Solwhit Wins World Hurdle
1 Solwhit 17/2
Class will out, from horse and trainer. Solwhit's success in the Ladbrokes World Hurdle was his seventh Group 1 victory and, as only his third run in two years in a softly-softly campaign after leg problems, a testament to the skill of Charles Byrnes and his team at Ballingarry, Co Limerick.
"We never lost faith in him," said Byrnes. "In the past he was one of the few horses who could put it up to Hurricane Fly. He developed a bit of heat in a leg, and though we tried to get him back for last season, we weren't happy with him, so we eased off and left it another year. We always believed he still had all his old ability, and today he's proved he hadn't lost it.
HALO STEPS OUT OF A 'BIG' SHADOW
Ladbrokes World Hurdle
LADBROKES WORLD HURDLE FACTS
The Ladbrokes World Hurdle is one of the youngest races at The Festival. Known as the Stayers’ Hurdle up to and including 2004, it was only introduced with the current race conditions in 1972. Before that, the equivalent race was known as the Spa Hurdle. Foot and mouth caused abandonment in 2001.
The Ladbrokes World Hurdle has been run on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of the meeting. It moved to its current Thursday slot in 1993.
The first year of sponsorship was 1972, under the title of the Lloyds Bank Hurdle. There have been four sponsors of the race, with Lloyds followed by Waterford Crystal from 1978 to 1990 and Bonusprint from 1991 to 2004. The first year of Ladbrokes’ sponsorship was 2005 and prize money currently stands at a record £275,000.
The most runners to have participated came to 22 in both 1985 and 1990. The current safety limit is 24. The smallest number of horses to line up was eight in 1973.
Big Buck’s created history in 2012 when becoming the first four-time winner. He was also successful in 2009, 2010 and 2011, but injury has ruled him out of challenging in 2013.
The only triple winner is Inglis Drever, the winner in 2005, 2007 and 2008.
There have been three dual winners - Crimson Embers (1982 & 1986), Galmoy (1987 & 1988), and Baracouda (2002 & 2003).
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
The Stewart Family, owner of four-time winner Big Buck’s, is the most successful owner.
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Paul Nicholls, victorious with Big Buck’s in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012, is the most successful trainer with four wins.
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Ruby Walsh, who partnered Big Buck’s to each of his four victories, is the winning-most jockey.
Two mares have been successful - Rose Ravine (1985) and Shuil Ar Aghaidh (1993).
The 40 runnings have seen 14 favourites achieve success (35 per cent).
The biggest shock was provided by A Kinsman, who was a 50/1 chance when scoring in 1983.
At the other end of the scale, Big Buck’s was the shortest-priced winner at 5/6 for his 2010 and 2012 victories.
One grey has succeeded - Iris’s Gift in 2004.
The oldest winner was Crimson Embers, who was 11 at the time of his second success in 1986.
The youngest winners were the six-year-olds Big Buck’s (2009), My Way De Solzen (2006), Inglis Drever (2005), Bacchanal (2000), Cyborgo (1996), Dorans Pride (1995), Trapper John (1990), Rose Ravine (1985), Derring Rose (1981), Mountrivers (1980), Lighter (1979), Flame Gun (1978) and Town Ship (1977).
The overall breakdown by age is as follows:
6yo – 13 wins
5m 36.60s, set by Bacchanal in 2000.
IRELAND (9): Brown Lad (1975); Bit Of A Jig (1976); Flame Gun (1978); Mountrivers (1980); Galmoy (1987 & 1988); Trapper John (1990); Shuil Ar Aghaidh (1993); Dorans Pride (1995)
FRANCE (2): Baracouda (2002 & 2003)
DID YOU KNOW?
The race was dominated in the mid-1980s by Crimson Embers, trained by Fulke Walwyn, and the winner in 1982 and 1986. Indeed, Crimson Embers would have been awarded the race in the stewards’ room in 1985 had his rider not declined to give evidence to the enquiry afterwards, but the trainer won the race anyway with Rose Ravine. The owner, Sally Smart, was ambivalent about the result - she owned both horses!
Gaye Chance, the 1984 winner, was a full-brother to the 1983 Champion Hurdle winner Gaye Brief. Both horses were trained by Mercy Rimell.
No horse has won both the Stan James Champion Hurdle and the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
The three-time winner Inglis Drever was partnered by different jockeys for each of his victories – Graham Lee (2005), Paddy Brennan (2007) and Denis O’Regan (2008).
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