The World Hurdle – the likely lads, maybe men and lovable longshots
The likely lads – Oscar Whisky, Reve De Sivola
Make no mistake, whilst Reve De Sivola has hardly taken the stayers hurdle scene by the scruff of the neck, his is the best form in the book this season. Oscar Whisky couldn’t get by him on his way up the hill when the pair clashed over course and distance in January, but the latter’s supporters will hope that – having proved with that run that he stays three miles – he may outpace his conqueror given better ground.
The maybe men – Bog Warrior, Get Me Out Of Here
Having lost his way over fences, a return to the smaller obstacles has revitalised Bog Warrior, who downed the capable Zaidpour by three and a quarter lengths on his first tilt at three miles last time out – a margin of victory superior to the distance by which Monksland overcame the same opponent. Having won five of his six races on ground that was soft-to-yielding or heavier, he’ll need such conditions to be seen at his best. One who may improve for tackling a longer trip for the first time is Jonjo O’Neill’s Get Me Out of Here, who has rock-solid festival form having placed second at three consecutive festivals, the latter two being near misses coming under welter burdens in handicap action.
The loveable longshots – Mossley, Fiveforthree
Mossley has become something of an untrustworthy character since his move to Robbie Hennessey’s yard the only horse to defy him in two hurdles runs over course and distance is Gold Cup favourite Bobs Worth. Good ground (upon which five of his eight runs have ended in first or second) could see him outrun his three figure odds. Fiveforthree rates a fascinating contender for the Willie Mullins yard, having not raced since finishing unplaced (for the just the second time in his 12 career) in the 2009 World Hurdle. A Grade 1 winner over 2m, 2m4f and 3m, the 11-year-old can’t be discounted.