Monday, October 31, 2011

Hurricane Fly targets second Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is many people’s favourite race at the Cheltenham Festival and last year it didn’t disappoint with a star being born in Hurricane Fly.
The Irish-trained horse answered any critics by winning on his first ever run in the UK, after missing his one other scheduled Cheltenham run through injury two years ago.

Before the race, it was difficult to judge the form of the seven-year old who had always looked impressive when beating Solwhit on three occasions last season, including the win the Irish Champion Hurdle. However, all three runs were in small field races and the ability to handling the hill at Cheltenham was also brought into question. Even those looking at the date of Cheltenham Gold Cup 2012 will have been impressed.

After his victory at the festival, there was no doubt that Willie Mullins-runner was a star hurdler who had an exceptional turn of foot in the closing stages of a race. The George Creighton-owned horse has now won six consecutive races over the hurdles.

This season’s renewal of the feature race on day one of the festival will see Hurricane Fly go off a lot shorter than his starting price of 11/4 earlier this year. He is a currently a 7/4 shot in the Cheltenham Festival betting with most firms in the early ante-post market for the race.

It is likely that Binocular will return for another shot at the race he won in 2010. The Nicky Henderson-trained runner surprised all when landing the contest two seasons ago. He was ruled out of the race by connections leading up the running, but made a remarkable comeback to make it to Prestbury Park and then go on to win in by over three lengths.

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