This is undoubtedly the most open Ladbrokes World Hurdle in numerous years and with the field liable to be weaker than normal, it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Mossley could sneak an each-way place and he can currently be backed at 150/1.
The early-season injury to Big Buck’s was sure to make the race more competitive and now fellow Paul Nicholls runner Tidal Bay has also been ruled out.
Throw in that Quevega is not expected to take part and ante-post favourite Oscar Whisky is still a possible for the Champion Hurdle, then something at a bigger price at present has a fine chance of finishing in the first three.
Rewind back to the Cheltenham Festival of 2011 and Mossley pushed Bobs Worth all the way to the line in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle over 3m, before being sent chasing last season with mixed results.
Robert Alan Hennessy has taken over training duties this season from Nicky Henderson and immediately switched Mossley back to hurdles, with the horse already having three runs for his new yard.
The first can be considered a bit of a pipe opener off top weight at Gowran Park before showing some of the signs of his high-class novice days with a victory at Thurles.
His last start was a little disappointing in a Grade Two at Navan, but this was over an inadequate 2m4f and perhaps most importantly, was on heavy ground.
Mossley has never run well throughout his career on heavy ground and his form makes substantially better reading in conditions deemed to be good.
He has completed six of his eight races over hurdles and fences on good ground and finished in the first two on five of these occasions.
A race over 3m on good ground would be perfect for Mossley, but he has rarely had the luxury of things falling his way.
If the rain stays away in the coming weeks from Cheltenham, 150/1 is a mammoth price in a race when many of the main protagonists will be absent and as this is his only Festival entry, there is no danger of him running in a different contest.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.