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Cheltenham: Walsh can improve his County Hurdle record with Arctic Fire

| 14.03.2014

Ruby Walsh has an impressive record in the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle and he has an excellent chance to add to his four wins from the last ten renewals with Arctic Fire.

Willie Mullins produced Thousand Stars and Final Approach in 2010 and 2011 respectively to win this race and Walsh’s booking to the race favourite is a giveaway to his chances.

The five year-old’s last two runs have been in Grade 1 contests and he was not disgraced in that company.

But with plenty of Irish success over the years the German–bred horse has plenty of competition in the shape of JP McManus trio Minella Foru , Never Enough Time and Alaivan.

The Irish picked up their sixth win in the last seven renewals of this race when Ted Veale cruised to victory and Edward Harty’s Minella Foru and Thomas Foley’s Never Enough Time both come into the race in decent form.

Cheltenian leads the way for the home charge and has been backed as our news team’s tip of the day on day four of the Festival.

Phillip Hobbs has trained two winners in this race before and he has seen support for his charge in recent days with the punters backing him into 8/1 from 14/1.

The Somerset-based trainer is confident about the chances of Betfair Hurdle fourth and former Champion Bumper winner, who also ran in last year’s Supreme Novices’.

Winning the Champion Bumper on good ground looks a good piece of form and with the last eight winners all officially rated in the 130s the signs look good.

But it’s difficult to look away from the Mullins and Walsh combination so Arctic Fire is given the vote to turn up the heat at Prestbury Park.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Oliver Yew