With seemingly no Thistlecrack to worry about this year, connections of all highly rated hurdlers are all aiming their stars at the World Hurdle. We have a cracker in prospect…
Who won the World Hurdle in 2016?
Thistlecrack joined an illustrious list of horses to have landed this famous race and in many people’s opinion put on a higher level of performance than the likes of Baracouda, Inglis Drever and Big Buck´s achieved. We could be looking at one of the best horses to have ever graced the turf. The pace was good throughout and the winning time was over six seconds faster than the Pertemps Final.
Always going well, Thistlecrack was much the best of these and won with authority. At this stage, chasing is his game this season with the Gold Cup firmly on his radar.
How to pick the winner of the World Hurdle?
The last 16 winners of the World Hurdle could have been found in the first four in the betting. It’s easy to think that statistic might be skewed due to the dominance of the likes of Inglis Drever and Big Bucks, however, the horses that have finished behind them have also been amongst the market leaders.
This suggests that the markets usually have it spot on and it’s hard for an outsider to compete against the classier horses.
In fact, backing the top five in the market in combination forecasts and tricasts would have made you a substantial profit over the last 16 years.
Ante-post tip for the World Hurdle?
This contest is shaping up to be one of most exciting of the Festival, strangely, it has more sex appeal than the Champion Hurdle.
Course form is always something to respect greatly when the greatest show on turf comes around so Uknowwhatimeanharry, who won the Albert Bartlett last season, looks a rock solid option at 6/1.
There’s still seven months until the Cheltenham Festival and the stars of the show are still on their holidays, but that hasn’t stopped Lewis Jones. He’s decided to look ahead to the big races at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival and the next part of his countdown takes him to the intriguing World Hurdle market….
A best place to start when looking ahead to a Cheltenham race is always the previous year’s renewal, won in this case by the admirable Cole Harden. Going into the contest it was about as open a running as there´s been of the race and pulled together the biggest field since 2006.
It was won the hard way from the front by the gutsy customer, who was able to make all without being taken out his comfort zone in terms of jumping.
He outstayed them from the front and deserves credit, but the race has a look of below-par renewal and the 12/1 on offer for Cole Harden to defend his crown look about right.
This division has been crying out for a new star since Big Buck’s legs went and in the form of Jezki many punters think they may have got one. The former Champion Hurdler looks all se to step up to three miles next season after ending his last campaign with a win in the Punchestown World Hurdle, where he out-stayed the remarkable Hurricane Fly.
The manner of the victory suggested that three miles now has to be the way forward with this horse who has the perfect mix of speed and stamina for this test. He’s 8/1 for the title and that looks generous as he’ll be winning the trials before heading to Cheltenham.
If he gets there in one piece, he won’t be 8/1 on the day.
He’s being rivalled in the betting by Annie Power but as we saw last year, there seems little chance that she’ll be diverted from the Mares Hurdle, therefore she can be ignored.
Whisper was beaten by Cole Harden last season but gained revenge at Aintree, whether he’s as effective at Cheltenham is doubtful.
Neptune winner Windsor Park looks a versatile customer and he could feature in the three mile shake-up but is more likely to head down the Champion Hurdle route.
The 12/1 is best watched. Other challengers to note with more concrete plans over this trip are Albert Bartlett winner Martello Tower and the 2014 World Hurdle winner More Of That.