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Cheltenham World Hurdle Pointers
25/01/11

The second of the two Grade One events run on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival makes sure that although Thursday does not have one of the blue riband events it lacks nothing in interest or quality.

In terms of headlines it's often the Champion Hurdle that grabs the attention but in terms of overall quality since the abandoned Festival in 2001 the World Hurdle has had winners of better quality than the hurdle over the shorter distance. The stayers over 3M have seen plenty of stars since that desperate year when the Festival was called off.

Three time winner, Inglis Drever
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Inglis Drever

The enigmatic Baracouda set the ball rolling in 2002 and 2003 winning the race for France and Francois Doumen and then we were treated to the three time winner Inglis Drever, who despite hitting flat spots in his Cheltenham races always found plenty for pressure. First successful in 2005, Howard Johnson's stayer added two further successes in 2007 and 2008, becoming the first triple winner of the race.

Recently we have been treated to an even better stayer than the two named already in the shape of Big Bucks who has taken the last two runnings of the World Hurdle at 6/1 and 5/6 and is poised to follow in the footsteps of Inglis Drever and become the second triple winner of the event. He's bound to attract plenty of Cheltenham 2011 bets and looks like he should make it three in a row.

Big Bucks
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Big Bucks

If Big Bucks is turned over this year it will be highly unlikely that the winner would come in the shape of a five year old as no challenger from that age group has ever won this contest and the Irish challenge would also be unlikely to provide a success as we have to go back 1995 for their last winner when Dorans Pride triumphed and those contemplating the Cheltenham racing betting should remember this.

Of late the race has always been run on decent ground and we have not had the slogs of past years this contributed to the last shock winner coming in the shape of Anzum at 40/1 way back in 1999 – 8/1 (My Way De Solzen) being the biggest priced winner in the last ten years.

Thursday sees a Grade One double header at the Cheltenham Festival with the Ryanair and World Hurdle dovetailing nicely to provide some terrific entertainment.

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