World Hurdle Cheltenham Wed
Big Buck’s – that’s all betting shop workers have been hearing for the past few weeks as everyone interested in having a punt on the World Hurdle has been piling on the heavy odds on favourites with Paddy Power.
The imperious hurdler is chasing his sixteenth straight victory on the sticks and an unprecedented fourth straight World Hurdle title. Therefore, you won’t be surprised to hear that his price trades around the 1/2 mark – not one for the working man, one presumes.
What makes him so brilliant and unbeatable?
For starters, he jumps, no, actually he steps, over hurdles like no other horse in training. This along with his top-class staying power means no horse has really come close to being able to dethrone him at the home of National Hunt racing.
He doesn’t get the adulation his achievements deserve as the hurdling game isn’t seen in the same sexy light as the chasing sphere, but make no bones about it, this horse is a special beast and it looks as though nothing will stop him again this season.
Obviously, some will try, they always do, and in many people’s view this year’s main challenger, Oscar Whisky has plenty in his favour to put it up to the market leader.
Last year’s Champion Hurdle third has been stepped up in trip this year and although not tackling three miles yet, looks to have the profile to stay the extra three furlongs. He has been steadily supported throughout the last month and will go off a clear second favourite around the 4/1 mark.
You can’t rule Thousand Stars out either though, after Willie Mullins decided to take his strapping grey down the World Hurdle route rather than the Champion.
The eight-year-old was only beaten a staying on neck by Oscar Whisky in the Aintree Hurdle last season over four furlongs shorter and it’s easy to see why many people would have him to reverse the form with the Nicky Henderson runner. At 8/1 he looks a decent each-way prospect.