Samcro Conundrum Continues In Fighting Fifth Hurdle Betting
Three Cheltenham Festival heroes clash in Saturday's Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, all seeking to stake their claim on the Champion Hurdle crown, including present wearer: Buveur D'Air.
JP McManus's star is setting out on a path to win the Champion Hurdle for a third successive year, and heads the ante-post markets to do so. He is the champion until proven otherwise, but the Fighting Fifth Hurdle betting suggests he could have competition this weekend in the shape of two Cheltenham Festival novice hurdle winners.
Who will win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle?
It's not a question of who will win the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, but rather who won't. It takes some imagination and faith in equine improvement to consider a winner other than Buveur D'Air (11/10f Paddy Power), however, there are two horses who may and that's worth exploring.
- What has Samcro beaten? Samcro's Fighting Fifth Hurdle odds of no bigger than 2/1 (Coral) say he is Buveur D'Air's biggest rival, but does that mean he can beat the dual Champion Hurdle winner? Here's a look at what Samcro has beaten:
- Maiden Hurdle: Mind's Eye by 15 lengths - went on to win a maiden and handicap hurdle, beating Quick Grabim, who went on to win a Grade 3, and Darkest Flyer - yet to run again. Mind's Eye recently won beginner's chase.
- Grade 3: Jetz by 12 lengths - went on to be well-beaten by Next Destination three times, and Pallasator once, and was beaten a head by Tower Bridge. Remains a one-time hurdle winner, but recently won first chase. Next Destination was beaten nearly 8 lengths by Samcro at Cheltenham.
- Grade 1: Duc Des Genievres by 5.5 lengths - went on to be well-beaten in two Grade 1s and a Grade 2. Third Paloma Blue was fourth in Supreme Novices' Hurdle, but well-beaten at Punchestown and in chase debut.
- Cheltenham: Black Op by 2.75 lengths - went on to win Grade 1 over similar trip at Aintree, beating Lostintranslation by 0.5 lengths, that rival having been 7th in Supreme over shorter. Still only won a maiden hurdle. Third Next Destination, a Navan Grade 1 winner, went on to win 3m Grade 1 at Punchestown beating Pertemps Final winner Delta Work by a neck - he has since won beginner's chase.
- What has Summerville Boy beaten? Summerville Boy's Fighting Fifth Hurdle odds of 5/1 (Bet365) place him third in the betting. Like Samcro, he's a Cheltenham Festival novice hurdle winner seeking to step up. Unusually the first hurdle he won was a Grade 1. Here's a look at what Summerville Boy has beaten:
- Grade 1: Kalashnikov by 4 lengths - went on to win Grade 3 handicap hurdle at Newbury.
- Cheltenham: Kalashnikov by a neck - went on to win chase debut by 11 lengths. Third Mengli Khan was Grade 1 winner, who went on to be 3rd in equivalent Punchestown race. Fourth Paloma Blue has been well-beaten twice since.
In summary, Samcro won four races last season, beating 47 different horses. Of them, 27 had won, 16 going on to win, or win again, including in two Grade 1s and a Grade 2.
Summerville Boy beat 31 different horses in three lifetime wins. Of them, 20 were winners, 9 going on to win, or win again, including a Grade 1 and Grade 2. The horses Samcro has beaten have won 87 races across all codes, or an average of 1.85. Those in Summerville Boy's wake have won 65 races - an average of 2.1.
Best Bet in Fighting Fifth Hurdle
That analysis probably brings you no closer to betting against Buveur D'Air in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle odds. He is rated upwards of 9lbs superior to the young pretenders, won the Grade 1 last year, and is on a winning streak of 10.
There are likely to be only five runners, so place terms for each-way bets on the Fighting Fifth Hurdle will be two places at 1/4 the odds. The reality is that Buveur D'Air will never be bigger than the 11/10f offered by Paddy Power now, and if you can bet at those odds, do.
But if you are still a believer in Samcro being the second-coming, he is NOT going to be odds-on for the first time in his entire racing career.
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