World Hurdle betting tips and predictions for the feature race on day 3 of the Cheltenham Festival 2016 where our tipster has picked his best bets.
The Ryanair World Hurdle takes centre stage on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival. Won four years straight by the mighty Big Bucks between 2009-2012, past victors also include Barracuda, Inglis Drever and last year Cole Harden came out triumphant.
World Hurdle Predictions – Cheltenham Day 3 Tips
It’s almost unbelievable to think that this time last year Thistlecrack was just 135 on official ratings and had just finished a decent fifth in the Imperial Cup at Sandown the weekend before the Festival. Fast forward 12 months and Colin Tizzard’s stable-star has transformed himself into a superstar and looks the likeliest winner of the World Hurdle.
Following his effort in the Imperial Cup, connections opted to bump the son of Kayf Tara up from minimum distance to three miles in the Grade 1 Sefton Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree. Thistlecrack relished the extended trip and travelled a dream that day to win by 13-lengths for Tom Scudamore from Vyta Du Roc. He was unlucky not to land a double at Punchestown on his final start of last season when he finished a close second to Killultagh Vic in the Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle. He was left short of room against the rail in the run-in to home but found plenty of gears when daylight did emerge and finished a gallant second.
Thistlecrack has continued to improve dramatically this term. He dispatched the opposition in the Grade 2 Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, his first time in open company, and produced an even deadlier performance in the Grade 1 Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot in December, beating former three-time winner of the race, Reve De Sivola, by eight lengths without producing a sweat. His latest performance came over course and distance in the Cleeve Hurdle on Trials Day in January. Sent off 4/5 favourite, he again dominated the field with Scudamore just a passenger and the eight-year-old cantered to a 12-length win. He holds impeccable form over most of his rivals in the World Hurdle and looks a near certainty for my World Hurdle tip on day 3 of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
Mouse Morris will be hoping to spoil the Thistlecrack party with Alpha Des Obeaux. He was matching Thistlecrack at Aintree before falling two fences out and connections will likely be relishing the prospect of the pair meeting for a second time. The son of Saddler Maker scoped well on seasonal debut and finished just four lengths behind the classy Artic Fire in the Grade 1 Hatton Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse. The six-year-old had to play bridesmaid to Prince of Scars, who carried the second string colours of Gigginstown, in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown but it’s likely that Gordon Elliot’s charge preferred the softer conditions than Alpha Des Obeaux. He finally found himself in the winner’s enclosure for the first time this term on his latest start in the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, winning by 11-lengths. However, in second that day was At Fishers Cross, who’s since run poorly at Haydock in a race won by Reve De Sivola.
Warren Greatrex recently admitted how highly he thinks of Cole Harden’s chances of landing back-to-back World Hurdle’s. The son of Westerner made all to win the race in dramatic style last term and this has always been the plan for him this season. Cole Harden has been campaigned lightly to maximise his chances of retaining his crown. He could not lay a glove on Thistlecrack at Newbury and was no match for Camping Ground in the Grade 2 Relkeel Hurdle on New Year’s Day at Prestbury Park. The seven-year-old will undoubtedly be suited by a sounder surface with both of his runs this term coming on unsuitable soft ground; however, it’s unlikely that he’ll be allowed such an easy time in front this time around.
Paul Nicholls hasn’t won this race since 2012 but he looks to send a dual-pronged attack to claim back his crown. Aux Ptits Soins rocked up in the Coral Cup last season in just his first start in Britain and produced a sensational performance to win the contest by a neck. He’s not been seen since but Nicholls does not think his long lay-off will affect his ability. He could be absolutely anything but this is a significant step up in class from the Coral Cup and he’ll certainly have to improve at least a stone, if not more to win it.
Many thought Saphir De Rheu could be a viable Gold Cup contender this season following his Grade 1 novice victory at Aintree at the end of last season. He dispatched The Young Master at Carlisle on seasonal reappearance and finished a creditable fifth in the Hennessey Gold Cup when lugging around top weight. However, connections feel he’s still maturing into his frame and switched him back to hurdle following his Newbury effort. The son of Al Namix then lined up for the Cleeve Hurdle, a race he won in 2015, but failed to threaten Thistlecrack and finished 30-lengths fifth. Saphir Du Rheu has since had a wind operation and Nicholls feels the gelding is in good nick heading into the World Hurdle; however, based on his last two starts, it's hard to predict how he will run for my World Hurdle predictions.
The each-way betting tip for the 2016 World Hurdle at Cheltenham 2016 looks to be Whisper. He’s a gelding who comes alive this time of year and relishes spring ground. He’s registered two lacklustre runs this season but is reportedly sparking on the gallops at Seven Barrows under the watchful eye of Nicky Henderson. Whisper has good course form following his 2014 win in the Coral Cup and is a twotime Liverpool Hurdle winner at Aintree. The eight-year-old shaped well for the majority of this race last year before a fitness disadvantage seen him tail off in the closing stages. It’s likely that Henderson has gave him a tougher training regime ahead of a crack at this year’s renewal and, at the prices, he looks a worthy each-way pick.
For my World Hurdle tips, Thistlecrack looks almost bombproof providing he makes no crucial errors and Whisper, a former course and Grade 1 winner, also could have a big run in him.
World Hurdle 2016 Betting Tips
Open a Coral account and get odds of 8/1 for Willie Mullins to train a Cheltenham Festival winner, this bet is a banker, it will not lose. Get it before it sells out.