World Hurdle Tips – Day 3 – Cheltenham 2015
With no Big Buck’s in the line-up for this year’s World Hurdle (3.20), Thursday’s renewal has a very open look to it, although Paul Nicholls is once again in a good position with Zarkandar currently heading the betting on 4/1.
Nicholls Strong Again
Paul Nicholls’ 2011 Triumph Hurdle winner has been a credit to connections down the years, winning no fewer than 11 Graded races, including a fourth Grade 1 in France last November. Well backed to follow-up at Ascot the following month, this 8yo only just lost out to Reve De Sivola (20/1) on the line.
It’s possible Sam Twiston-Davies got involved in with an unnecessary battle that day, having travelled well before idling, and Noel Fehily – who takes the ride on Thursday – will look to avoid a repeat. Not that this is any easy task for Zarkandar, as he managed only fourth 12 months ago, and will need to step up this around.
The main threat to Zarkandar is stablemate, Saphir Du Rheu, who has climbed the ladder slowly, but surely, in earning a crack at this race, and a repeat of his victory in the Grade 2 Cleeve Hurdle over C&D (Un Temps Pour Tout almost 3l back in third) has seen him supported into 5/1 second favourite.
That victory for Saphir Du Rheu last time has also been a good sign in this race with 9 of the last 10 winners having won last time out, and with better ground likely to suit, Saphir Du Rheu looks sure to go close.
Un Temps Pour Tout The Value?
As for Un Temps Pour Tout, then this 6yo’s third at Ascot represented a career best on his first attempt at 3m, staying on late.
Considering that outing was also his first from an eight-month absence, there is every reason to believe there could be improvement to come.
Elsewhere, Nicky Henderson’s 7yo, Whisper (12/1), won last year’s Coral Cup here (2m5f, good), before landing a Grade 1 at Aintree over this 3m trip. He was not seen since that win in April, prior to finishing second on his return over chases (2m3f, soft). He handles the conditions, has the class and any is capable of going at good odds.
Henderson also has an interesting outsider in Blue Fashion (16/1), a lightly raced 6yo that was a 4l runner-up behind Faugheen in the Grade 2 Ascot Hurdle in November (2m4f, soft), keeping on in a manner that suggests this trip may suit. Any rain would aid his cause.
But, what of the Irish challenge led by Sandra Hughes’, Lieutenant Colonel (8/1), a 6yo that has improved to beat the reliable yardstick, Jetson (14/1), during his last two Grade 1 victories. The last of those came over this 3m trip at Leopardstown (soft), where Monksland was 6l back in third, and his chance is respected, even more so if any rain arrives.
Willie Mullins has the 14/1 chance, Briar Hill, entered, who fell at last year’s festival, and also fall last time, hardly inspiring confidence, while Pont Alexandre (25/1) hasn’t been seen since finishing third in the Neptune here 729 days ago.
This year’s renewal is up for grabs with plenty of value on offer, such as Un Temps Pour Tout, who seemed to stay 3m on his first try at it over C&D last time. At 10/1, he looks a good each-way punt.