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McCain Predicts “Hell of a Contest” in Champion Hurdle


“Underrated” was the declaration as popular conditioner Donald McCain fielded a media question about his key Cheltenham charge Peddlers Cross. Less than a week from the festival kick-off, McCain echoed Tony McCoy’s statement that Binocular is up against a tougher field this time around in the Champion Hurdle.

To describe an undefeated horse as underrated might sound a bit odd, but last year’s Neptune Novices’ Hurdle-winner remains a is not within the top three favourites for the 2011 Champion Hurdle score.

McCain has seen most of the attention paid to Menorah, who he also declared “underrated” and it will be interesting to see how the pair match up against popular Irish hurdler Hurricane Fly. McCain predicted that, no matter how the race actually shapes up, the betting public could expect “a hell of a contest.”

Speaking to the Racing Post, McCain pointed to last year’s runners up as a clear indication that this year’s iteration of the contest would prove superior “you only have to look at the placed horses in last year’s Champion Hurdle to know that it’s a better race this year.” 

Peddlers Cross trades at 6/1 for Champion Hurdle glory with Binocular a lukewarm 3/1 favourite. Both Menorah and Hurricane Fly are breathing down his neck at 5/1.

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