Horse Racing Tips: International Hurdle Preview, Predictions and Best Bets

The International Hurdle, a pinnacle of horse racing, is eagerly awaited by enthusiasts and experts alike. This prestigious Grade 2 race, previously known as the Bula Hurdle, is held at Cheltenham during the Festival Trials Day. As we approach this celebrated event, which will take place this Saturday 27th January at 3pm, the focus sharpens on the top contenders, their recent performances, and their potential to triumph in one of racing’s most demanding challenges.

Read on for a complete preview of this race made by our horse racing expert, Herrin Kendrick, who has picked two horses that are expected to do well: a main bet and an each-way alternative. Don’t forget to take advantage of the selected betting offers listed below to maximise your betting value.

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International Hurdle Preview, Predictions And Best Bets

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International Hurdle Best Bets

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Reason for tip: Jade De Grugy, trained by Willie Mullins, shines with exceptional versatility and hurdling skill, poised as a strong contender at Cheltenham with proven performance and potential.

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£10x2 Returns £TBC

Reason for tip: Dysart Enos, a standout in British racing, heads to the Mares' Novices' Hurdle with a track record of agility and speed, poised for impact with a weight advantage and adaptable talent.

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Introduction to the International Hurdle

Encompassing a distance of two miles and one furlong, it presents a formidable challenge with eight hurdles. The competition is open to horses aged four and older, boasting a significant purse of £130,000. In this analysis, we delve into the intricacies of the race, examining past performances, trainer and jockey records, and trends that have emerged over the years.

The Essence of the Race

The International Hurdle’s history is marked by thrilling performances and unexpected outcomes. The race’s competitive nature is reflected in its over-rounds, averaging 113% over the last 20 renewals. This statistic highlights the unpredictability and excitement inherent in this event. The course’s difficulty and the quality of contenders combine to make it a true test of agility, speed, and endurance.

Trainer and Jockey Insights

Analysing the past 20 years, two trainers stand out: Nicky Henderson and Nigel Twiston-Davies, each with five wins. Their remarkable records are a testament to their expertise in preparing horses for this specific challenge. Among jockeys, Sam Twiston-Davies leads with four victories, showcasing his skill and understanding of the course.

Performance Trends and Analysis

In evaluating the trends, horses achieving an RPR of 150+ and holding an OR of 140+ have consistently performed well. A break of 20 – 247 days appears beneficial, as does having 4 – 16 career wins. Interestingly, the course at Cheltenham has produced the most winners, indicating a possible advantage for horses familiar with the terrain.

The 2024 Contenders

This year’s race sees a mix of seasoned champions and promising newcomers. The focus is on ‘Lossiemouth’, the 2023 Triumph Hurdle winner, and ‘Love Envoi’, who has shown potential for significant improvement. ‘Rubaud’, trained by Paul Nicholls, and ‘First Street’ and ‘Guard Your Dreams’, both seasoned competitors, add depth to the field.

Predictions for the 2024 International Hurdle

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Predicting the Winner: Lossiemouth

Formidable Track Record

‘Lossiemouth’ emerges as the robust favourite in the 2024 International Hurdle, her credentials burnished by a string of impressive performances. Her victory at the Triumph Hurdle was not just a win but a display of sheer dominance, a testament to her endurance and speed. Following this, her performance at Punchestown further solidified her reputation as a formidable contender. These victories weren’t flukes but a clear demonstration of her growing prowess on the track.

Training and Strategy

Under the tutelage of the renowned W.P. Mullins, ‘Lossiemouth’ has developed an exceptional racing profile. Mullins’ training regime is legendary for its precision and effectiveness, often turning good horses into great ones. This level of preparation is crucial, especially at a challenging track like Cheltenham. Furthermore, Paul Townend, a jockey known for his tactical acumen, will be guiding ‘Lossiemouth’. His ability to read the race and adjust strategies on the fly could be the edge ‘Lossiemouth’ needs to outperform her competitors.

The Dark Horse: Love Envoi

Potential for Upset

While ‘Lossiemouth’ is a frontrunner, the potential for an upset by ‘Love Envoi’ is significant. Trained by Harry Fry, a trainer known for bringing out the best in his horses, ‘Love Envoi’ has shown flashes of brilliance that hint at untapped potential. Her performance curve suggests she is on the cusp of a breakthrough, which could very well happen at the International Hurdle.

Stamina and Strategy

‘Love Envoi’ has exhibited a particular aptitude for longer races, where stamina and strategic racing come into play. Her ability to maintain pace and endurance over extended distances is a critical factor in a race like the International Hurdle. Furthermore, with Jonathan Burke in the saddle, a jockey known for his skill in managing race dynamics, ‘Love Envoi’ has the right combination of skill and strategy to turn the tables on more favoured runners.

Conclusion: A Race of Strategy and Skill

The 2024 International Hurdle is shaping up to be a contest not just of speed, but of strategy, conditioning, and racing intelligence. ‘Lossiemouth’, with her proven track record and top-notch training, stands as the likely victor. However, the unpredictable nature of horse racing, coupled with the emerging strength of ‘Love Envoi’, suggests that an upset could be on the cards. This race, with its blend of historical data, current form, and the tactical acumen of trainers and jockeys, is poised to be a riveting spectacle, full of excitement and potential surprises.

£50 Returns £TBC

Reason for tip: Jade De Grugy, trained by Willie Mullins, shines with exceptional versatility and hurdling skill, poised as a strong contender at Cheltenham with proven performance and potential.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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New customers only, 18+. Min deposit £10. Place a £50 bet on any sport at 2.0+ to qualify for £25 in free bets and 10 Free Spins. Free Bets and Spins valid 7 days. £0.10 Free Spins. T&Cs apply. Please bet responsibly. #Ad. 18+Only, begambleaware.org

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£10x2 Returns £TBC

Reason for tip: Dysart Enos, a standout in British racing, heads to the Mares' Novices' Hurdle with a track record of agility and speed, poised for impact with a weight advantage and adaptable talent.

Best Bookmaker for this selection:

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Odds corrects at time of posting and subject to change; Stake Limits Might Apply; T&C's Apply; #Ad

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Please gamble responsibly (18+ begambleaware). The odds and predictions mentioned are based on the information available at the time and may change as the race day approaches.

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.