2016 Fighting Fifth Hurdle Betting Tips PT 1
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2016 Fighting Fifth Hurdle Betting Tips PT 1

One of the most widely-anticipated National Hunt races in the early portion of the season is the Stanjames.com Fighting Fifth Hurdle – which is a Grade 1 contest going at just over a distance of two miles. A big win here sets a contender up for a number of different contests as their next target and since it's run at such an early point in the season, it is always interesting to see whether the race is won by a highly-rated debutante or a jumper who has had one or two outings so far during the 2016/17 National Hunt season.

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As it currently stands, the early favourite (by a distinct margin, it should be mentioned) is Sceau Royal who has already strung together two victories on the bounce so far this season. His opening victory came in a Class 2 handicap at Cheltenham, when he romped home by an eleven length margin on the day.

The next victory was the Grade 2 Stan James Elite Hurdle which unfolded at Wincanton a couple of weeks ago. This will be thre runs inside five weeks but he appears to be more than up for it despite this being one of the toughest tests of his career.

Sceau Royal has run in some Grade 1 contests before, taking on the JCB Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham and the Juvenile Hurdle at Aintree a few weeks later. He was only able to muster up a 12th place finish and a 6th place finish in those Grade 1 attempts last year. The fact remains that he will be taking a significant step up in quality but the types of victory margins he has posted in lesser races remain an indication that he could, theoretically, make short work of these contenders.

Sceau Royal is trading at a price near 11/8 with the majority of major bookmakers but a few have him going 5/4.  

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