Overpriced Colonel To Cook Up A Storm
World Series Hurdle
Thursday’s Grade 1 World Series Hurdle brings a real sense of excitement, as it could see the old adversaries, Hurricane Fly and Jezki, clash once again but with a twist, as the pair make their debut over 3m.
It’s a race that could prove the most thrilling of the entire week, and both runners dominate the market with Hurricane Fly 5/2, and Jezki 4/1.
The Fly v Jezki
The former has enjoyed matters this season in defeating Jezki in each of their four meetings, including when third and fourth in last month’s Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham (2m, good to soft). But, this will be a completely different test, and of the pair, it is Jezki who may appreciate the step up in trip more than Hurricane Fly, having won over 2m4f for the second occasion at Aintree several weeks ago.
That confidence-boosting victory would have done Jessica Harrington’s star the world of good, and he heads to Punchestown with the more likeable profile, especially being a 7yo…
Of the last 10 World Series winners…
10 won three hurdles or more
10 arrived via Aintree or Cheltenham
9 were 6-9yo’s
8 won during their last three runs
8 had raced twice or more at Punchestown
8 ran in a Grade 2, Grade 3 or Listed race last time
8 either won or were beaten 2l or less last time
7 were favourites
W Mullins won it five times
But, this is no two-horse race, as the consistent, Rock On Ruby, also enters the scene at 7/1.
Can Ruby Rock Up In Trip?
Harry Fry’s 10yo adds further spice to this intriguing event as he too has yet to go beyond 2m4f, and showed he was no back number when landing a Grade 2 at Cheltenham in December. He was only 2l behind Jezki when hampered at Aintree last time, and as a full-brother to a 2m6f winner, there is reason to believe he could find late improvement.
One who has nothing to fear over this 3m trip is Tony Martin’s Dedigout (7/1), who arrives on a roll having won his last three. Each of those victories came in Grade 2 events – including a 3l defeat of Thousand Stars (10/1) last time – while the first of them over 3m came on soft ground. That victory at Gowran Park in January was also a career best, though his participation will depend a lot on the ground, as he would like the mud flying.
The Brit challenge isn’t that strong, but David Pipe could have Un Temps Pour Tout (10/1) in the line-up. Sixth in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham (Lieutenant Colonel back in tenth), this 6yo was then a 9l third in Aintree’s Stayers’ Hurdle (3m, good), suggesting he could be one for each-way backers.
As for Lieutenant Colonel, then Sandra Hughes’ 6yo poor run at Cheltenham was too bad to be true having won the Christmas Hurdle over 3m (soft), but he did race very freely at Cheltenham.
Thursday’s conditions will be more preferable (unplaced in both races at Cheltenham), and having already bagged two Grade 1’s this term, could be the surprise package at good odds.
A truly fascinating event with many questions for the main protagonists to answer. Jezki may finally gain revenge on Hurricane Fly over this trip, but a chance is taken on Lieutenant Colonel, who is a Grade 1 winner over 3m and may bounce back having not enjoyed Cheltenham last time. He could be the forgotten horse, and looks overpriced at 10/1.