14:05 Cheltenham – Citizenship to land bonus with County Hurdle win
Citizenship will earn connections a €100,000 bonus if winning the Vincent O’Brien County Hurdle and he has a lot of things going for him to land tasty Cheltenham odds of 7/1 with victory.
The Boylesport.com Hurdle at Leopardstown in January is often one of the best guides to the Festival race and this was won by Citizenship.
It was the way that Citizenship surged past around a dozen horses up the home straight that particularly impressed and the fact that he prefers to be held up that is a further positive towards his chances.
Front runners do not have the greatest track record in the County Hurdle, with only three of the last 41 horses to have either won or placed being positioned towards the front of the field.
The final statistic in Citizenship’s favour is his official rating.
Six winners in the past seven years have entered with a rating between 128 and 135 and Citizenship is one of only six entrants within these bounds this time.
Another of these is Ted Spread, who arrived on the hurdles scene with a reasonably big reputation having won the Group Three Chester Vase on the Flat.
His hurdles career has not taken off in the way that many would have expected, especially as he folded tamely in the Imperial Cup on his latest start.
Punters prepared to forgive this result and give the horse another chance could be richly rewarded as he is 14/1 to win the County Hurdle.
Elsewhere, Raya Star has been ultra consistent this season having not been outside the first three in all four starts and this means that she has to be given each-way consideration at 10/1.
Olofi was fifth in the Betfair Hurdle last time with Raya Star third, but he re-opposes on slightly better terms and is another with worthy each-way claims at 9/1.