Thursday, December 13, 2012

International Hurdle Preview



International Hurdle Preview

By Stephen Dwyer



There is a great race in prospect at Cheltenham on Saturday. Perhaps the most competitive hurdle race this season sees three course and distance winners out to stake a claim for the festival in March.

Zarkandar is the freshest horse in the race, he beat Prospect Wells in a hard race at Wincanton last month but I am mindful that this race will have taken it out of him. He is the 5/4 favourite and gets 4lb from Grandouet and Rock On Ruby but could be vulnerable to the older horses, Grandouet and Rock On Ruby.

Grandouet won this race last year and hasn’t run since because of injury. He beat Overturn and Brampour that day and beat them easily enough too. Barry Geraghty said he has schooled really well and he is ready to give a very good performance. He has been beaten twice by Zarkandar and coming back from a serious injury he might just need this race so I have to pass him over for Rock On Ruby

Rock On Ruby, the highest rated horse in the race runs off a mark of 170. He has the best Cheltenham form two wins and two seconds at the track, beaten only by First Lieutenant and Bob’s Worth, he has a 245 day layoff to deal with and he missed the fighting fifth because of the ground, Harry Fry says he couldn’t be happier with him and for me he is the one because he is a real grinder and I can see him in the mood for a scrap on Saturday.
Recommendation: Rock On Ruby 2 points win @ 7/4

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