Darlan is one of the early-season favourites to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March and he is clearly the one to beat in the Racing Post Trophy.
Punters may be put off by the fact he is a fairly short price at 7/2, but it is doubtful whether the best of him has yet been seen.
Darlan was only second in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the last Cheltenham Festival, but he took the widest passage throughout and seemed to be caught too far back in the field when the pace picked up.
This in turn caused him to use up too much energy to make up ground and in the end Darlan did well to finish only behind Cinders And Ashes.
The way he stayed up the Cheltenham hill was another plus as he struggled on his first start at the course and hopes are high that he could be one of the superstar horses of the season.
Given his undoubted class, it is no surprise that Darlan has been handed top weight for the race formerly called the Greatwood Hurdle, but horses carrying 11st 4lb or more have won seven of the last ten renewals.
Furthermore, top weights have an outstanding record in the last decade, claiming four victories.
The fact that Darlan is favourite is another positive, as six of the last ten winners have come from the top two in the betting and only one victor in this period went off bigger than 12/1.
Finally, Darlan is the right age to win the Racing Post Hurdle, with five-year-oldS taking half of the last ten, despite making up only a third of the entrants.
Darlan is currently 12/1 to win the Champion Hurdle and this price is almost certain to shorten with a success at Cheltenham.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.