You can try, try and try again to find ways of getting a favourite beat, but the sometimes you just have to hold your hands up and admit just how bombproof a certain horse is.
That is the case with Hurricane Fly’s chances of landing the Stan James Champion Hurdle.
Cases will be made to get this horse beat, but ultimately, unless Willie Mullins’ star turns up dreadfully below-par or suffers some trouble in running, then it really is a formality regarding his chances.
Not only is he the defending champion, it looks as though, if his comeback race is anything to go by, the Fly has come back this season bigger and better than ever. Last season he took his time to hit full rhythm – many will argue he wasn’t at his best until after his win at Cheltenham, when he landed the Rabobank Champion Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival by five lengths ahead of stablemate Thousand Stars.
That makes his seasonal debut, where he thrashed Oscars Well by six and half-lengths without breaking sweat, even more mind-blowing when you consider the amount of improvement he has shown in the past as the season progresses.
If everything goes according to plan under big-race jockey Ruby Walsh, the Fly is likely to sit off an early lead cut out by Overturn and strike for home over the last flight.
From there, one of his rivals has improvement 10lbs or so, he will win and join modern day hurdling legends such as Night Nurse (1976 and 1977), Sea Pigeon (1980 and 1981), See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987), Istabraq (1998, 1999 and 2000) and Hardy Eustace (2004 and 2005) in becoming a multiple winner of the prestigious Champion Hurdle.
His price is nothing to get carried away about, but a winner is a winner after all and you should be confident of taking odds-on regarding a horse of this quality.