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Ageing Hurricane Fly at the mercy of new Champion Hurdle generation

| 15.10.2013
SPORTSBOOK ODDS

The 2014 Champion Hurdle represents a fascinating melting pot of angles into the contest, with reigning ruler Hurricane Fly aiming to withstand the challenge of numerous graduating novices, among them Our Conor, The New One and My Tent Or Yours.

The shadow of Hurricane Fly has loomed large over the Cheltenham Festival’s premier throw-down over the smaller obstacles for the last four seasons, with victories in 2011 and 2013 sandwiching an under-par second to Rock On Ruby in 2012.

Willie Mullins charge has every claim of being the finest Irish Hurdler since Istabraq and may well have been a force in the 2010 renewal won by Binocular as well had he not picked up an injury early in his first senior campaign.

As such he’s hard to ignore in the Cheltenham 2014 odds, although he’ll have to hold off Rock On Ruby once more.

However, it’s the threat of fellow winners at last year’s Cheltenham Festival Our Conor and The New One as well as Supreme Novices Hurdle silver-medallist My Tent Or Yours that may prove the undoing of the veteran.

At 10 years of age when the race rolls around only the most blinkered of Irish backers will have Hurricane Fly among their most sure-fire Cheltenham 2014 tips.

Legendary multiple Champion Hurdle winners Sea Pigeon and Hatton’s Grace are the only other horses in the history of the venerable race to score at double-digit ages.

Given the breathtaking way in which Our Conor slaughtered his Triumph Hurdle rivals at the Festival in 2013 and the superb pace The New One exhibited to run away with a steadily run Neptune Novices Hurdle he has a particularly feisty bunch of first season seniors to fight off this year.

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