Cheltenham Festival 2012 

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cheltenham festival / 2012 news /

By Dylan Jenear ValueChecker

Thousand Stars the Value in World Hurdle

It’s almost inconceivable that Big Buck’s will be toppled when he goes to post for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13.

Thousand Stars

Thousand Stars

At the time of writing, he is no bigger than around the 8-13 mark to win the race formerly known as the Stayers’ Hurdle for an unprecedented fourth time, and his odds will doubtless contract even further if he wins the Cleeve Hurdle, his intended prep run for the Festival on January 28.

From a value perspective, however, his odds are far too prohibitive. Instead, the value is in the market without Big Buck’s, and the Wikis point to a big run from Willie Mullins’ Thousand Stars who is a tempting 4.80 with Betfair in that market at present.

The grey is admirably consistent and extremely versatile. And, whereas a number of those shorter or similarly priced to the eight-year-old in this market, Thousand Stars is a proven stayer, with winning form at up to 3m 1½f, and he clearly acts well at Cheltenham, having landed the County Hurdle at the 2010 Festival, and finished a cracking fourth in the Champion Hurdle at last season’s meeting.

Willie Mullins has a number of entries in the World Hurdle at this stage but Thousand Stars’ credentials look the strongest of those that Ireland’s leading trainer could field on March 13. Punters should not be perturbed if Thousand Stars fails to figure if lining up for the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown on January 29. Indeed, the Wikis highlight that the gelding has been beaten on the last four occasions that he has raced over 2m on a flat track. He needs a stiffer test nowadays.

Oscar Whisky is the one that many punters will look to as an alternative to Big Bucks, but he has to prove he stays 3m, a remark which also applies to one of Thousand Stars’ stablemates that have been entered for the race, So Young.

Recommendation: Thousand Stars in the World Hurdle Betting W/O Big Bucks @ 4.80 (Betfair)


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