Paul Ferguson gives us a selection for the Cheltenham Festival today; Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle. Compare odds.
Even if Ayr passes an early morning inspection, Tuesday’s card makes little appeal, so instead I suggest taking the opportunity to strike an ante-post bet on Hurricane Fly to repeat last year’s success in the Champion Hurdle in March.
Those of you who have read my various columns and publications down the years will know I have been a huge fan of this horse since day one and it was highly satisfying when he finally got the plaudits he deserved when beating Peddlers Cross at last season’s Cheltenham Festival.
He followed up in even more impressive fashion at Punchestown and, though he hasn’t been seen since, he remains very much the one to beat.
Zarkandar and Spirit Son (third and fourth in the market) have also yet to reappear this season and Willie Mullins gave a relatively positive update in his Racing Post column on Sunday.
Even more upbeat, however, was Ruby Walsh when interviewed at Cheltenham for Racing UK. The jockey seemed more than pleased with the progression of Hurricane Fly to say the least and I believe Mullins will have him ready for the Irish Champion Hurdle later this month.
If he comes out and wins that impressively, which he probably will, the 11/4 currently on offer with the sponsors Stan James will be a thing of the past, so now is the time to step in.
Clearly, ante-post punting isn’t for everyone and, given his fragility and the fact he missed the 2009 and 2010 Festivals, Hurricane Fly won’t rate as an ante-post proposition for many. But, at 11/4, I’m more than prepared to take a chance as I could see him going off much closer to Evens if everything goes right in the meantime.
Hurricane Fly Champion Hurdle (11/4 Stan James)
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Last Year’s Tips Included 40 Leading Prospects: £499.80 profit to a level £10!
- AL FEROF won Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 10-1
- BENSALEM won Stewart Family Handicap 5-1
- BOBS WORTH won A Bartlett 15-8, 4/4 for year
- CAPTAIN CHRIS won Arkle Trophy 6-1
- FIRST LIEUTENANT won Neptune Investment 7-1
- (plus Grade 1 in Ireland 16-1)
- JAMES DE VASSY won Lanzarote Hurdle 8-1
- LONG RUN won King George 9-2, Gold Cup 7-2
- OSCAR WHISKY won Aintree Hurdle 6-1
- Peddlers Cross (Fighting Fifth Hurdle)
- Medermit (Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase)
- FINIAN’S RAINBOW (Maghull Novices’ Chase)
- WISHFULL THINKING (Manifesto Novices’ Chase)