Ruby To Rock On In World Hurdle – Weekend Review

Last weekend’s informative two-day International Meeting from Cheltenham has certainly left its mark on the ante-post markets, as a number of runners were punted for the big Festival.

The New One
One such performer to have proven popular following his victory in the Grade 2 International Hurdle is The New One. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 6yo was winning this race for the second straight year, and did well giving 8lb away to Vaniteux (third in last season’s Supreme). The New One went on to fill third place following last year’s win in this race, and has again laid his credentials on the line, hence why he is now into 5/2 for March.

Whether he can improve enough to go two places better is another thing, especially as the last International winner to win the Champion Hurdle was Rooster Booster back in 2002.

Similar comments to stablemate, Blaklion, who half an hour earlier won the Grade 2 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (3m) by 11l and is now 12/1 for March’s Albert Bartlett. While this 5yo has done little wrong in taking his hurdles record to 3-4, he doesn’t appear to making massive improvement, and may be vulnerable to something less exposed.

Nicky Henderson was also amongst the action at Cheltenham, bagging the Triumph Hurdle Trial with Hargam, who was previously runner-up in a Grade 2. Tony McCoy had to get serious with Hargam in order of getting him up the hill, and he will need to continue progressing if justifying his third favourite quote of 14/1 in March’s Triumph.

Sprinter Sacre
Henderson also stated at the weekend that Sprinter Sacre is showing good signs at home, and could appear in a course gallop before his reappearance in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January, which he won in 2013. A good show there would see his 4/1 odds for the Champion Chase take a tumble.

Elsewhere at Cheltenham, Rock On Ruby won the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle and is 33/1 to regain the Champion Hurdle, but only 20/1 for World Hurdle, which would be an interesting choice, as he seemed to stay 2m4f well on Saturday.

David Pipe also had a key winner in Kings Palace on Friday, who won the 3m novices’ chase 3m. The manner in which he jumped like a stag impressed a number of judges, and he is now 5/1 for the RSA Chase.

Peace And Co
But, while all eyes were on Cheltenham, one of the biggest clues for the March Festival may have been revealed at Doncaster on Saturday where Nicky Henderson’s, Peace And Co won a Grade 2 Juvenile Hurdle impressively and is now 5/1 for the Triumph Hurdle. This ex-French recruit has won both career outings in the mud, but will be a lot shorter than 5/1 if proving himself on good ground prior to March.