3miles run at pace, 12 hurdles to jump, and the stamina sapping Cheltenham hill mean that plenty of horses don’t truly see out the World Hurdle, a race which has been won by several multiple winners in the last few years including Big Bucks (4) and Inglis Drever (3).
All the horses carry the same weight, whilst you have to go back to 1986 to find the last winner that wasn’t aged between 6 and 9. There are 13 runners set to go to post – and here’s our analysis and tip! Alpha Des Obeaux 8/1
Was in the process of putting-up his best performance at Aintree last season when falling when he would have probably been second to Thistlecrack. Connections believe he’ll be at his best on good ground, and many shrewd Irishmen believe he’ll go close.
At Fishers Cross 50/1
The 2013 Albert Bartlett winner has finished 3
rd and 4 th in the last two renewals of the World Hurdle, but jumping issues, a preference for soft ground, and a decent field should mean he’ll struggle to trouble the judge this year. Aux Ptits Soins 20/1
Won last year’s Coral cup off a mark of 137 on his stable debut, and now bids to win this on his seasonal debut. Highly regarded, completely unexposed, but tough ask.
Bobs Worth 50/1
The likeable 2013 Gold Cup Winner has only been beaten once over hurdles, and loves good ground. Might outrun his big odds, but major surprise if he wins this at the age of 11.
Cole Harden 7/1
Last year’s winner looks the each-way value in the race now the ground has come good, and looks most likely to be the one to give Thistlecrack a race.
Highly rated on his soft ground wins, but has been nowhere near as good on a faster surface.
Knockara Beau 200/1
13-year-old who is loved everywhere he goes after he defeated Big Bucks in a Cleeve Hurdle, but this is surely one fairytale too far.
Lieutenant Colonel 50/1
Flopped when just 7/1 for this last year and, though he’s 50/1 this year, he won’t have too many supporters after just two average runs this season so far.
Martello Tower 28/1
Last year’s Albert Bartlett winner has been in nowhere near the same form since, and would probably prefer softer ground.
Saphir Du Rheu 10/1
Last year’s runner-up should be on the premises again, though there’s no obvious reason why he should beat either Cole Harden or Thistlecrack, especially after reverting back from chasing.
Looked brilliant so far this season, and absolutely trounced the reliable Reve Di Sivola at Ascot. Faster ground the only worry, but could be a super star.
The 2014 Coral Cup winner was 5
th in this last year, and has won the last two Aintree grade 1 hurdles over 3-miles. Not been at his best so far, but likely to improve at this time of year, though Aintree may be his major target. Tip
If you fancy Thistlecrack for your life, and he’s fully entitled to win, then don’t let me put you off. However, I much prefer the each-way angle on Cole Harden for whom the ground has come right, and he could add his name to the list of multiple winners.
Cole Harden each-way @ 7/1 (Befair, Paddy Power)