The World Hurdle is a grade 1 National Hunt race and is 3 miles in length. There are 12 jumps to overcome and the race is open to horses aged 4 years or over. The race is run on the new Cheltenham course. The race was first ran in 1972, with the first winner being Parlour moor with jockey Macer Gifford.
The world Hurdle is the biggest race of the third day of the festival and also the biggest long distance hurdle race of all the National Hunt calendar. This race had been somewhat been dominated in recent times by one jockey, one trainer and one horse. These being Ruby Walsh, Paul Nicholls and Big Buck’s respectively. This trio won this race four years consecutively in 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012. The only reason why this horse did not win in 2013 was because it was ruled out of the race due to a leg injury.
Since then this race has seen outsiders romp home past the post first. ‘Solwhit’ won in 2013 out at 17/2, ‘More Of That’ in 2014 at 9/1 and then Cole Harden at 14/1 in last year’s race. Will an outsider be the intelligent bet this year or will one of the clear favourites show their true colours? Here are the three main horses during the build up.
World Hurdle 2016
Thistlecrack is the out and out early favourite for the win here and it’s no surprise with it’s current form over 24 furlongs. This horse has looked unstoppable at this distance across soft, good to soft and heavy conditions. This makes Thistlecrack the deserved favourite in my opinion and will be where my money is leading up to the race. The only thing lacking here is festival experience. I don’t see that being too much of an issue but he certainly wouldn’t be the first horse to lose it’s bottle out on the big stage.
If you are looking to place a bet on Thistlecrack, Paddy Power are offering the best odds at the moment at 2.2 with the added security of non runner no bet – Click here to go straight to Paddy Power
The next favourite, according to the bookies is Annie Power. This horse appears to be able to win a jump race anywhere on the planet, apart from the Cheltenham festival. 15 runs, 13 wins with both fails being at the Cheltenham festival. the first was in 2014 in this very race, where she finished second to More Of That, and last year in the Mares Hurdle after suffering a horrific fall at the last fence.
She has only had two runs out since then, both shorter runs than this race and with a much smaller field so I would not be surprised to see Annie Power overwhelmed by the occasion again here. Still I do hold belief that she does have a fighting chance and is certainly a worthy each way bet here in my opinion.
William Hill are offering the best odds currently on Annie Power at 4/1. Click here to go straight to William Hill
Alpha Des Obeaux
An outsider for this race at 7/1 but another horse well worth an each way bet in my opinion. This french horse ran well against Thistlecrack in April last year, but unfortunately fell at the last as it was in a neck and neck situation with the aforementioned horse. This race is half a furlong shorter, which may make all the difference. This horse has only first and second place finishes apart from that one fall from it’s 9 jump races historically. The fall came on good to soft so may be worth staying away if this race displays similar conditions, but has ran well on heavy and soft.
All in all it will be a very good race to watch and we are looking forward to seeing the outcome come race day!