Vincent OBrien County Hurdle PreviewA fast and furious battle for what used to be the closing race of the Festival until 2009.
County Hurdle Trends
|10/10||carried 11st 4lb or less|
|10/10||were rated between 131 & 139|
|10/10||had their last run that year|
|8/10||had run at least 3 times since November 1st|
|6/10||finished in the first 3 on their last completed start|
|6/10||had won a race since November 1st|
County Hurdle AnalysisSome punters maybe put off by the large field but this race has been good for the backers in recent years with only one recent winner at large odds.
Previous form at a Festival is one of the consistent trends in most of the races at Cheltenham but not for the County Hurdle with only four recent winners having appeared at a Festival before.
County Hurdle Last Ten WinnersTable below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age and weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).
|2016||Superb Story||5-10-12||D Skelton||H Skelton||8/1|
|2015||Wicklow Brave||6-11-4||W Mullins||P Townend||25/1|
|2014||Lac Fontana||5-10-11||P Nicholls||D Jacob||11/1|
|2013||Ted Veale||6-10-6||A J Martin||B Cooper||10/1|
|2012||Alderwood||8-11-1||T Mullins||AP McCoy||20/1|
|2011||Final Approach||5-10-12||W Mullins||R Walsh||10/1|
|2010||Thousand Stars||6-10-5||W Mullins||Ms K Walsh||20/1|
|2009||American Trilogy||5-11-0||P Nicholls||R Walsh||20/1|
|2008||Silver Jaro||5-10-13||T Hogan||N Fehily||50/1|
|2007||Pedrobob||9-10-0||T Mullins||Philip Carberry||12/1|
County Hurdle PreviewFor a trainer renowned for his three mile chasers it is a testament to Paul Nicholls that he has also been able to train four winners and two seconds in the County Hurdle since 2004.
The best trials for this race are the Betfair Hurdle (formerly Totesport Trophy), the Imperial Cup in the UK and the Boylesports Hurdle in Ireland.
Recent County Hurdle winners Thousand Stars, Silver Jaro, Final Approach and Ted Veale all figured in that season's Boylesports Hurdle so make that race your first port of call when considering an Irish challenger.
Brownie3 has taken a view on Desoto County
" I've taken a view on Desoto County, rated 137, ex Donald McCain horse. Elliott is working a treat with these ex McCain horses, re Diamond King etc.
Desoto County was entered up in the Betfair Hurdle, however the comment was made that he wanted the Handicap mark protected for the County, so will go straight there. He has useful form in the book, and ran well enough last time out when 3rd of 23 at Leopardstown. He went up 11lbs for that effort and was very well backed on the day. "
The Shrews like the prospect of Willie Mullins trained Townshend
" Townshend 16/1
Willie Mullins had the 1st, 4th and 5th last year, the 2nd and 4th in 2014, the 2nd in 2013 and won it in 2010 and 2011. The horse is an unexposed recruit from France and at the time of writing is also entered for the Supreme and the Neptune suggesting he is better than handicap class.
His horse who finished 2nd in 2012 was Arctic Fire and the winner in 2010 was Thousand Stars. Both were rated under 142 and went on to achieve marks in the 160's. I can't see anything else of his entered that is also entered in the Supreme and Neptune, they just look typical handicap class or already rated 150+ "
Townshend will need a lot of horses to pull out of this race to get a run but certainly looks on a good mark if that does happen!
Derbz makes a very good case for David Pipe trained Starchitect who has several entries at Cheltenham but looks worth keeping an eye out for whichever race he runs in.
" Despite his howler at the last fence in the Betfair Hurdle Starchitect still managed to pick himself up and finish off 2nd on desperate ground, pretty sure looking at the formbook better ground and Chelts should suit. Finished 4th in Fred Winter on decent ground last year and a 6lb rise for the Betfair run seems very fair given it was his first outing of the season. The only negative I can see is that he's entered in two other handicaps at Chelts as well but this is the only one over a trip he's actually tried before. I might hold off for NRNB anyway because the 14/1 on offer at moment isn't that exciting "