The Champion Hurdle looks set to be one of the best races of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival and guest writer David is keen on the chances of Our Conor, read his Champion Hurdle preview and betting tips to find out why.
A popular question you might hear in a job interview is “Where do you see yourself in five years from now?”, which is a difficult thing to answer at the best of times, but not if you’re a horse and not if you’ve already proved yourself as arguably the greatest juvenile hurdler of the modern era.
The answer that 5 year-old Our Conor would tell you is that he wants to be where 10 year-old Hurricane Fly is now; in good health and with a wealth of successes at the top level under his belt. Next Tuesday isn’t so much a job interview though, it is an audition to be the new top dog on the two mile hurdling scene and who is to say the young Dessie Hughes trained gelding won’t take it all in his stride as he did 12 months ago to land the biggest prize in the hurdling game?
If we break it down when looking for a Champion Hurdle 2014 tip, then we only really have five horses that can win the race. With the ground drying out by the hour, the soft ground animals Melodic Rendezvous and Ptit Zig might not even show up at the starting tapes, let alone land a blow in what promises to be the finest Champion since the halcyon days of 2004-07 when Brave Inca and Hardy Eustace were in their pomp. Un De Sceaux is almost certain not to make the cut and you can forget the rest besides the front five in the betting.
The two JP McManus fancied runners, with pacemaker Captain Cee Bee supplemented this week might count themselves unlucky that they find themselves part of a new golden generation of elite hurdlers. It wouldn’t be the biggest shock ever if Jezki won, as Jessie Harrington will have him tip top on the day including a first time hood to help keep focus, but at the top, top level he tends to be found wanting. My Tent Or Yours on paper hasn’t done anything wrong, cleaning up the two big grade ones in Britain at Newcastle and Kempton this season, but he came there to win his race in the Supreme last year and didn’t quite get the hill. Add a setback this week which saw him hit double figure odds on the machine and we’ll probably put a line through this one as a flat track bully.
That leaves us with Our Conor, The New One and defending champion Hurricane Fly. The latter recently beating Our Conor and Jezki back to back to win his 18th and 19th grade one races. But the ground won’t be heavy and this isn’t Leopardstown, so back at a course where we have never seen the Fly at his sparkling best despite winning two Champions, I fully expect Our Conor to reverse form on the track he came alive on last year on ground he is better suited to. The New One is the darling of the Twiston-Davies yard and clearly handles the course, as seen when winning the Neptune last year and has a fine blend of speed and stamina which could be so crucial in the big one. I also view the Neptune as the smartest novice trial for the Champion Hurdle these days, throwing up Istabraq and Hardy Eustace to name a couple in the past 15 years.
But, if The New One chucks in one of his bad jumps, like that which cost him in the Christmas Hurdle, then I can see him being left behind and for that reason I am siding fully with the slick jumping, rapid improving five year-old, Our Conor (4/1 Ladbrokes) for my Champion Hurdle betting tip, who looked every inch a Champion when hacking up in the Triumph last year.
There may not be a more popular winner ever than Hurricane Fly, if Ruby Walsh gets him up at the line for his third title on Tuesday and it would rank as arguably the greatest performance of all time. But, what happened the last time a ten year-old (Rooster Booster) tried to defend his crown? Oh yeah, Dessie sent one over didn’t he?
Champion Hurdle 2014 Betting Tip
Our Conor to win – click here to bet at 4/1 with Ladbrokes
Money Back Special: If Hurricane Fly finishes 1st or 2nd in the Champion Hurdle Ladbrokes will refund all losing bets on other horses, meaning we can bet on Our Conor and if Hurricane Fly comes in the top 2 we will get a refund.
How to use the Ladbrokes offer:
2. Sign in or open a new account for free
3. New accounts get a free £50 bet
4. Bet on the Champion Hurdle and if Hurricane Fly finishes in the top 2 you will get a refund.
Bet on our Champion Hurdle 2014 betting tips at Ladbrokes.
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