Epic battle ahead for the World Hurdle title
Among the fun and frivolity of St Patrick’s Thursday, Cheltenham will also witness a top class racing line up. Top of the bill will be the World Hurdle, still referred to by some as the Stayer’s Hurdle. Run over a course of three miles with twelve hurdles to clear, it is the top long-distance race in the National Hunt season.
However, this year will see a new chapter being written in the race’s history. For the past four years, Big Buck’s has absolutely dominated this race winning in each year with Ruby Walsh in the saddle, making him one of the top hurdlers of all time. However, Big Buck’s has been ruled out of this year’s contest and one wonders if he will ever come back the same again. Nonetheless, it gives the rest of the field a chance and certainly gives a different complexion to World Stayers Hurdle betting this time round.
Two of the favourites were on show at the Cleeve Hurdle just weeks before Cheltenham, Reve Di Sivola just pipping Oscar Whiskey at the post. However, although he was beaten, Nicky Henderson’s horse showed more than enough courage and form over three miles to make Oscar Whiskey a favourite for the World Hurdle. Most bookies however continue to make Reve Di Sivola the favourite for the big race. There are of course plenty of other contenders too. Monksland has continued to make great strides over the course of the season and is sure to be in the mix. However, if you are looking for a more potentially lucrative outside bet in this showpiece race, then Smad Place may be a good bet, especially after his promising show in the corresponding race last season. It all makes for an intriguing St Patrick’s Thursday.