Zarkandar And Cole Harden Top Liverpool Hurdle Betting

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Published: 11/04/2015
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Whisper will be aiming to be the first horse since Big Buck`s to win back-to-back Liverpool Hurdle titles, Paul Nicholls` legendary Big Buck`s having won the race in four consecutive years from 2009 to 2013. Despite this, Whisper is no where near favouritism with Cheltenham World Hurdle winner Cole Harden and Nicholls` Zarkandar fighting it out to head the betting. At the minute Zarkandar is on top, the eight-year-old available at 5/2 at bet365 and a number of other bookmakers.

This favouritism is in spite of the horse having to reverse the form on both last year`s champion, Zarkandar completed this race back in fourth, and Cold Harden after Nicholls` charge was six lengths off him in third at the Festival. Zarkandar was over four lengths better off than Whisper in the World Hurdle however. This experience over the requisite 3m trip is a positive as are his wealth of runs at this track. Zarkandar has a 50% record around Aintree, winning the juvenile hurdle in 2011 and the Aintree Hurdle two years later.

Despite having five runs at around 24f, the mount of Sam Twiston-Davies has never won at this distance, missing out by just a head in Ascot`s Grade One Long Walk Hurdle. With conditions in his favour, the Potensis Bloodstock horse will have to try to right this wrong with a victory in this Liverpool Hurdle.

Numerous bookmakers are offering the best price of 11/4 on Cole Harden scooping back-to-back Grade Ones after his unlikely triumph in the World Hurdle last month. Unlike Zarkandar who is yet to taste victory at this trip, this was Cole Harden`s second graded win at around 3m. Whilst Warren Greatrex`s horse might lack the course experience of his nearest market rival with just the one run at Aintree, this was a very nice run finishing just four lengths off Beat That in last year`s Sefton Novices` Hurdle. Ridden by long time jockey Gavin Sheehan, Cole Harden is looking more and more like the class 3m horse in this race with the only concern being whether or not the ground will be too soft for the fast track lover.

With a strong Liverpool Hurdle field then, Whisper is available for backing at 9/2 at both betway and Coral. The reigning champion hasn`t had it his way this season, his World Hurdle fifth following a defeat at 19f when the odds-on favourite. This form is of course a worry for connections and potential backers though it may just be that this horse turns it on when in Liverpool. His previous win in this race has been his only experience of this course.

Last year`s Grade Three Coral Cup Handicap winner at the Cheltenham Festival, Whisper is sure to relish conditions and, despite his regular jockey Barry Geraghty being ruled out through injury, he is under the orders of Gold Cup winning jockey Nico De Boinville - the very same rider that lead him to Coral Cup success.

That is just one of two mounts that Nicky Henderson will saddle in this race this afternoon, Blue Fashion being another one of his representatives at 25/1. Another World Hurdle finisher, back in November this horse finished just three lengths behind Faugheen in the Grade Two Coral Hurdle at Ascot over 19f following a year off the track. Whilst he messed it up at the Festival the ground will be more to his liking this afternoon and he should be able to give a better account of himself. The Scorpion-sired charge is still looking for his first win for Henderson since his move from France.

Another five runners will join these four at the starting tape.

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