At Fishers Cross reputation intact despite Long Distance defeat
At Fishers Cross already has one win at the Cheltenham Festival to his name and Rebecca Curtis’ stable star is 4/1 to add the World Hurdle in March.
The three mile contest was dominated by Big Buck’s for four years however his injury last winter left the door open for Solwhit to land the 2013 renewal.
Although Paul Nicholls’ legend is back in training and on target for the Prestbury Park event, he is only just favourite (3/1) ahead of At Fishers Cross.
The latter is owned by JP McManus who purchased the horse before his Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle win last season and he was supposed to be part of a wonderful two days for the owner this weekend.
Bet on At Fishers Cross to win World Hurdle at 4/1
He was sent off at 10/11 for the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury, however the horse’s finishing position of fourth doesn’t tell the full story.
Ridden by Barry Geraghty for the first time, the six-year-old was making a move to chase down leader Celestial Halo when making a bad mistake at the second-last hurdle.
Geraghty did well to stay on top of the horse but all chance was lost and the jockey eased him in the closing stages accordingly.
At Fishers Cross has won eight of his 11 starts
Whether he would have won remains open to debate – winner Celestial Halo had enjoyed an easy lead – but the horse deserves plenty of credit.
The ground was much quicker than ideal and the fact that he managed to stay on his feet and not fall will stand him in good stead for the future.
The son of Oscar has been a winning machine and has really put Curtis on the map.
He has won eight of his 11 starts and should be expected to get back to winning ways sooner rather than later.
At Fishers Cross won the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle in 2013
His next run is likely to be in the Long Walk Hurdle at Ascot on December 21st and Curtis reports the horse to have taken his Newbury experience well.
She said: “He’s absolutely fine this morning and hopefull we’ll have him right for Ascot at the end of the month.
“It took him a couple of runs last season to really hit top form and I think it might be the same this year.
“At the same time, I wouldn’t say he was beaten when he made the mistake. Barry was quite confident he would have won.”
Those interesting comments would suggest that the 4/1 about At Fishers Cross winning the World Hurdle could look generous come March.
If the ground comes up soft or worse and Big Buck’s isn’t at his best on his own comeback in January, then there is every chance that At Fishers Cross will go off a very short price for the World Hurdle at Cheltenham.