The StanJames.com International Hurdle is one of the big races coming from Cheltenham tomorrow and it should be a really interesting encounter.
Six runners will go to post for this one and the unbeaten Peace And Co leads the way in the betting at around the even money mark.
This horse was a winner of the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March and looks to be a real class act for the Nicky Henderson team.
He is a live player in the Champion Hurdle market and would want to be winning this if he plans on challenging the likes of Faugheen come the spring on the opening day’s feature.
Peace And Co might be a little short, but goes well here at Cheltenham and has wins on soft ground, so ticks plenty of boxes and should take all of the beating.
Old Guard is then at 7/2 for Paul Nicholls and Sam Twiston-Davies, who seem to having a bit of a tricky time at the moment.
This horse is on an upward curve though and has won his last two races. It’s a step up in class for the Nicholls runner, but he should go well.
However, Old Guard was a long way behind Peace and Co in the Triumph Hurdle and does have a bit of form to find there.
Sempre Medici runs for the Willie Mullins team and it is always worth noting when Ruby Walsh comes over to Cheltenham for just the one ride.
This horse was last seen finishing third at the Curragh on the Flat, but is clearly a little bit better over hurdles and does have plenty of class. The performance at Fairyhouse in April was impressive and you’d expect this five-year-old to run a good race. Whether he is up to this standard, though, remains to be seen.
Hargam is a 9/1 shot for Barry Geraghty and Nicky Henderson. Geraghty took the job for JP McManus in the summer of course and this might be one of the races where he has some doubts about that decision as he might well be on Peace And Co if still being stable jockey to Henderson.
Hargam has bags of talent, but was a little bit disappointing on seasonal reappearance and is another who finished behind Peace And Co in March. Soft ground is a bit of a worry for this horse too as he seems to go much better on a sounder surface.
Cheltenian is then at 16/1 with Melodic Rendezvous at 25/1.
Despite being a little bit on the short side, we think that Peace And Co will take all of the beating here.