A Grade 1 contest at Ascot, the Long Walk Hurdle is one of the key races for the staying hurdles each season. Raced over the three-mile distance, given the time of year, it tends to be a strong test on softer ground.
It’s a race with an illustrious roll of honour. Baracouda, Big Buck’s, Reve De Sivola, Thistlecrack and Paisley Park are all examples of classy recent winners. 2020 should be no different, with twenty-three provisional entries providing cause for excitement.
We’ll get plenty of clues towards the Stayers’ Hurdle, especially with Paisley Park, Thyme Hill and Sire Du Berlais potentially in attendance.
I’ve taken an early look through the market, and just like Benetar last weekend, I’ve found a horse who looks a massive price for the big race. You can find all the details about my antepost selection below!
Last year’s winner overlooked?
He’s endured a stop start career in terms of form, but THE WORLDS END is very smart at his peak. A dual Grade 1 winner for Tom George, that includes last year’s Long Walk Hurdle in gutsy fashion. Granted, that wasn’t the strongest renewal, but he was a very ready winner.
Both his runs since that success have been below form, pulling up in the Rendlesham on his final start of the 2019/20 campaign. He made his return in a Grade 1 at Auteuil, where he looked in desperate need of the run.
What makes his chance so interesting, is that he’s switched to the Olly Murphy yard since we last saw him. Murphy’s string are in fantastic form at present and the switch in stables could feasibly rejuvenate this classy stayer.
With rain forecast all week at Ascot, you’re going to need a horse who can relish heavy conditions. Winning this race twelve months ago on heavy going, that’ll be no problem for The Worlds End, who has also run well on both his Ascot runs to date.
A general 25/1 chance for the contest, that looks a big price for a horse who has plenty in his favour, and it might not last.
Long Walk Hurdle Trends
- 9/10 – Had won that season prior
- 8/10 – Aged seven or older
- 8/10 – Ran in the last 30 days
- 7/10 – First of second favourite in the market
- 5/10 – Won the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury on prior start
The trends horse for the 2020 Long Walk is Thyme Hill, who meets all of them bar one. He’s currently joint-favourite, winning the Long Distance Hurdle at Newbury when last seen. Age is the only thing not on his side, with just one six-year-old winning the race in the last ten years.