2015 World Hurdle

  Big Buck’s – arguably the greatest of them all   Chris Flavell unravels the World Hurdle THE feature race on day three of The Festival sees the staying hurdlers come the fore. A host of old favourites and young pretenders will once more be looking to fight out a finish in the hope of emulating the recent successes of the likes of Big Buck’s, Baracouda and Inglis Drever. However, with news that defending champion More Of That will miss the contest, it looks like 2015 will see a new name step forward to rule the World. For a long time this season the Jonjo O’Neil-trained seven-year-old has dominate at the head of the market. That came as no surprise to anyone who watched the way More Of That powered on up the famous hill 12 months ago […]


Cue Card

2015 Ryanair Chase Preview

Chris Flavell analyses the Ryanair Chase   Ryanair Chase IF ever there was an argument to suggest that the Ryanair Chase has now firmly found its place amongst the Festival’s top contests, then this year’s mouth-watering potential line-up would surely be it. The 2m 5f race is quickly becoming a firm Festival favourite after it carved out its niche back in 2005. The back-to-back victories of Albertas Run, the win of Imperial Commander on his way to claiming a Gold Cup one year later, and the recent successes of the classy Cue Card and Dynaste have highlighted how important this race has quickly become to the packed March programme. Fears that it would in some way detract from the Queen Mother Champion Chase or Gold Cup have been washed away by the roar of the Thursday crowds at Prestbury Park. The recent […]

The Festival Handicap Chase   Recently updated !

Tom Boardman figures out the Festival Handicap Chase One of the finest handicaps all year for staying chasers takes place on day one of the festival. The Festival Handicap Chase has long been seen as among the highest quality of the steeplechasing handicaps of the four days. It was won last year by Holywell, now a key player in the Gold Cup this time around,  and that shows the kind of quality that often comes to the fore here. Holywell himself wasn’t a typical winner of this. His rating going into the race last season was 145, a mark that would have put a lot of trends followers off. Indeed nothing in the previous 14 renewals had won off a mark higher than 143, although all four winners between 2008 and 2011 were rated either 142 […]

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2015 Cheltenham Gold Cup Preview 1   Recently updated !

The Gold Cup – what it means to win it   Tom Boardman runs the rule over the 2015 Gold Cup Hearing the same old thing continually in the run up to a festival can become quite tiresome. There are a couple that I seem to be getting this year, both related to the Gold Cup. The first being ‘It’s the most open Gold Cup in years’ which, in all fact, it does seem to be. It could be perceived as a strange statement considering that in Silviniaco Conti we have a multi-grade one, dual King George winner from the country’s top yard sitting at the top of the betting. What makes it all the more curious is that he’s rated half a stone superior to his nearest rival. Only once in the last decade […]

Champion Hurdle Preview 1   Recently updated !

Thomas Rowe takes a look at how the 2015 Champion Hurdle is likely to shape up The Champion Hurdle is one of, if not the, most anticipated races of the Festival, with three of last year’s first four returning and an unbeaten Neptune winner taking them on. The logical place to start is with the defending champion, Jezki, trained by Jessica Harrington. His victory last year came on the back of two defeats at Leopardstown, a second at Christmas in the Ryanair Hurdle and a fourth in the Irish Champion Hurdle. The win last year returned good odds of 9/1 in a race that was also tinged with tragedy. His form this season is very similar, filling the same place at Christmas before coming third behind Hurricane Fly and Arctic Fire on his most recent start. […]