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Hurricane Fly creating a storm in the Punchestown Festival betting

| 06.05.2011

It’s the race punters were hoping to see at the Cheltenham Festival and you can be sure all eyes will be on Punchestown at 17.30 as Hurricane Fly and Binocular go head-to-head.

Hurricane Fly is currently the best backed horse of the day and is currently trading at 8/13 to win the Rabobank Champion Hurdle after Binocular’s poor performance in the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting.

The Cheltenham Festival odds had Binocular as the favourite for the Champion Hurdle until his late withdrawal, but Binocular has been installed as the 5/1 second favourite.

On that basis you could argue that Hurricane Fly’s price is too short and Binocular should be a lot closer in the Champion Hurdle betting, but Binocular has never run in Ireland and Hurricane Fly’s Punchestown record reads won three and a third place.

There are other horses in the race with Menorah (6/1) attempting to reverse the Champion Hurdle result, and Aintree Hurdle second Thousand Stars offering plenty of each-way value at 10/1 – Blackstairmountain (33/1) and Alavain (40/1) will be unable to cope with the class.

The stats are split with the last 12 winners coming into this race on the back of a win but six of the last eight runs have been won by the second-favourite.

Hurricane Fly prefers a bit of cut in the ground but has proven himself on the good ground in the biggest races, however both of his good ground wins have been narrow victories.

Binocular’s mercurial nature means this race hinges on which of his many personalities turns up.

Binocular will favour the return to 2m but if he performs like he has done at Newbury and Ascot this season then Hurricane Fly will win at a canter with Thousand Stars taking second at a big price.

Should Binocular run to his best then we’re in for one of the finishes of the season.

A £10 each-way stake on Thousand Stars placing would return £35. Sign up here for a free Punchestown Festival bet worth up to £30.



Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.