It’s the smash up everyone’s been waiting for as four-time champ Big Buck’s and Annie Power go head-to-head in the World Hurdle (3.20).
Ruby Walsh’s quest for the quiet life in Ireland hasn’t quite worked out as planned and his three winners so far have caned Paddy. Team Mullins are on a roll and swerved a crack at the Champion Hurdle with Annie Power for a first run over three miles.
Big Buck’s looked as good as ever in the Cleeve Hurdle until the petrol tank flashed red in the shadow of the post and trainer Paul Nicholls says he’s as good as ever and a fifth World Hurdle would cap a stellar career.
We tried our best to get him back to his best in January and he ran really well and he’s improved from then. Having had a hard run that day has probably done him the world of good rather than going for a soft option.
We always planned not to have him back before the Cleeve Hurdle and everything went to plan but I probably didn’t have him fit enough.
The card gets underway with the 2m 4f JLT Chase (1.30) with Oscar Whiskey, Felix Yonger and Wonderful Charm at the head of the market. King George flops Al Ferof and Dynaste are trying to rescue their season in the Ryanair Chase (2.40) .
As well as giving money back on all horses who are second to the SP favourite, Paddy’s paying five places in the 24-runner Pertemps Hurdle (2.05) where Fingal Bay could be one of the best handicapped horses at the meeting
What the tipsters say…
Meanwhile John Parrott’s barking dogs were on the button with Faugheen and the snooker ace also came up with O’Faolains Boy at 12/1 in the RSA Chase. Top jocks Barry Geraghty and Ruby lead the race for leading jockey at the Festival and all their selections are here in Thursday Tips.
The Blog’s Aidan Elder has strapped himself in with just enough room to move his fingers and will be LIVE BLOGGING all the action – on and more importantly, off the track.