Monday, February 22, 2010

Cheltenham: World Hurdle Betting Preview of Ladbrokes


The Ladbrokes World Hurdle is a Class A Grade 1 hurdle run over three miles. It is open to horses aged four years old and upwards.

Recent Winners

By staging both the Ryanair Chase and the World Hurdle on the Thursday of the Festival, organisers have ensured that day three lacks nothing in prestige, despite not staging one of the three blue riband events.

In fact, the World Hurdle has taken on increased significance in its own right in recent years, thanks mainly to the exploits of the great French champion, Baracouda, who won the race twice and then finished second twice, and subsequently three-time winner Inglis Drever. They have set the standard by which all great staying hurdlers will be measured.

The recent resurgence that the race is enjoying is, perhaps, no coincidence. The trend towards better ground at the Festival has meant that the event has become less of a slog and has enabled the classier horses to dominate. Not since Anzum, in 1999, have we seen a double figure price winner of the race.


Previous Winners

Year - Horse - Age - Trainer - Odds
2009 - Big Bucks - 6 - P F Nicholls - 6/1
2008 - Inglis Drever - 9 - J Howard Johnson - 11/8F
2007 - Inglis Drever - 8 - J Howard Johnson - 5/1
2006 - My Way De Solzen - 6 -A King - 8/1
2005 - Inglis Drever - 6 - J Howard Johnson - 5/1
2004 - Iris’s Gift - 7 - Jonjo O’Neill - 9/2
2003 - Baracouda - 8 - F Doumen - 9/4JF
2002 - Baracouda - 7 - F Doumen - 13/8F
2000 - Bacchanal - 6 - N Henderson - 11/2
1999 - Anzum -8 - D Nicholson - 40/1

Key Trends

Make sure your pick ticks the following boxes:

* Aged six to eight, 9 winners in last 10 runnings
* Ran between 6 and 17 times over hurdles, 9/10
* Never out of the first four all season, 9/10
* Ran no more than four times since August, 9/10 (average is 2.7)
* Top-two finish last time out, 9/10
* Previously ran at the Cheltenham Festival, 8/10
* Won a Graded hurdle, 8/10
* Racing Post Rating of at least 161, 8/10

Other Factors

No 5 year-old has ever won and there has only ever been one winner older than 9 (Crimson Embers in 1986).

This is also a race where the Irish do not excel as there has been no Irish-trained winner for 14 years.

This isn't a race where shock results proliferate with 8/1 the highest SP in the last nine years.

Four winners contested the Long Walk Hurdle, in which they finished 7121.

Latest Prices - William Hill
Big Bucks 8/13
Karabak 6/1
Tidal Bay 8/1
Sentry Duty 14/1
Time For Rupert 20/1
Cousin Vinny 25/1
Katchit 33/1
Lie Forrit 33/1
Mourad 33/1
Powerstation 33/1
War Of Attrition 33/1
Fair Along 50/1
Jumbo Rio 50/1
Mr Thriller 50/1
Cape Tribulation 66/1

Ante Post Advice

If anyone was looking for a runaway winner of the Cleeve Hurdle to find a realistic challenger to Big Bucks, we didn’t find one and something is going to have to go seriously awry with him not to collect. No lesser an authority than Tom Segal aka Pricewise of the Racing Post, says he thinks Big Bucks is potentially the highest-rated horse in Britian - even higher than Kauto Star. If he is correct and Big Bucks runs to form then the 8/13 on offer should be taken now since nothing else in the race will be able to get within 10 lengths of him.

However, betting ante post requires us to find a horse who has the ability to shorten its price between now and the race so clearly betting on Big Bucks odd-on at this stage is not a very attractive betting option.

We favour a small wager on Tidal Bay who looks back to his best and clearly loves Cheltenham. He won the Cleeve Hurdle comfortably and he is worth betting on now at an acceptable price in the hope he can repeat the performance.

Karabak is the obvious second-best choice but he missed the Cleeve as he didn’t scope right, which means he has had no prep run and puts us off.

Former Champion Hurdle winner Katchit ran well back in third in the Cleeve but that is as good as he is now and we're not sure he will even line up.

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