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Cheltenham Festival 2015 latest: Beat That out of World Hurdle

Beat That ruled out of World Hurdle
Trainer Nicky Henderson revealed today that Beat That will not run in the World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on Thursday, March 12th, for which he had been considered the stable’s number one contender.

The seven-year-old looked a top notch prospect when winning Grade 1 novice contests at Aintree and Punchestown last year, but disappointed on his sole start this season when well beaten behind Rock On Ruby at Cheltenham last month.

Beat That’s handler Henderson said the gelding had failed to sparkle since, and with time running out the decision had been made to swerve Cheltenham and save Beat That for a novice chase campaign next term.

The Seven Barrows trainer could still be represented in the World Hurdle by Blue Fashion and Whisper, who are both currently 12/1 with Coral for the 3m contest.

Options remain open for exciting Gwencily Berbas
Leading Irish owner Barry Connell will await to see the handicapper’s assessment of Gwencily Berbas before deciding on his Cheltenham Festival target.

The four-year-old was bought by Connell after winning at Auteuil back in the autumn, and made an impressive start for new handler Alan Fleming when cruising home by 11 lengths from a couple of useful opponents in a Grade 2 contest at Fairyhouse.

Gwencily Berbas had been a 40/1 shot for the Triumph Hurdle before that success, but is now 25/1 with Coral having attracted plenty of support.

However, the son of Nickname also holds an entry in the Fred Winter Handicap Hurdle (16/1) and Connell said he would wait to see what mark Gwencily Berbas was given by the British handicapper before deciding on which race he would contest.

Jacob sweet on Reve De Sivola’s chances
Jockey Daryl Jacob believes Reve De Sivola’s chances in the World Hurdle, 16/1 with Coral, are far better than his odds suggest.

A three-time winner of the Long Walk Hurdle, Reve De Sivola has finished fourth and eighth in the last two World Hurdle races, and ran a blinder last time out at the track when going down by a neck to Saphir De Rheu in the Cleeve Hurdle.

The Nick Williams-trained 10-year-old was attempting to give 4lb to the winner, who is currently Coral 9/2 joint-favourite for the World Hurdle with defending champ More Of That.

Jacob believes that form is rock solid, and there should not be such a big price differential between the pair. “He’s more like a fourth or fifth favourite and that’s how I’ll be going there with that sort of confidence in him,” he said.