Monday, 24th Dec 2018
Horsebetting.com experts give their 2018 Christmas Hurdle betting tips for the prestigious 2m Grade 1 contest at Kempton on Boxing Day. Last year’s victor and dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air is in a totally different league to his rivals and impossible to oppose. If The Cap Fits scored in good style last time out and has untapped potential, so looks the obvious choice to chase him home. Global Citizen, meanwhile, is an improving and gutsy sort, and therefore another with claims of making the forecast spot behind the long odds-on jolly. Read our in-depth 2018 Christmas Hurdle betting tips preview below for more details on these horses’ chances on a cracking day of horse racing.Buveur D’Air has Christmas Hurdle at his mercyBuveur D’Air looks in a totally different stratosphere to his rivals in the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day (14:30). He is fully expected to land back-to-back runnings of the 2m contest with minimal fuss before attempting a hat-trick of successes in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.
This Nicky Henderson trained seven-year-old has won 11 of his 12 starts over the smaller obstacles, including seven Grade 1s, and has proved himself one of the best hurdlers of the modern era. Buveur D’Air was very impressive when staying on strongly to beat stable companion My Tent Or Yours going away by 4 1/2 lengths in the first of his two Champion Hurdle successes.
He then had little difficulty confirming his superiority over the same rival when cruising to a facile five-length success in the Grade 1 Aintree Hurdle on the opening day of the 2017 Grand National meeting. The JP McManus owned son of Crillon then made a winning return to action in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle 12 months ago when winning hard held in the hands of Barry Geraghty and beating Irving by 3 1/2 lengths.
Buveur D’Air followed-up in this 12 months ago when quickening smartly to beat The New One by 1 3/4 lengths. After then toying with his rivals when landing a Listed contest at Sandown by a similar margin, he retained his Champion Hurdle crown with a gutsy neck success over Melon.
Henderson has always maintained that he was not at his best that day, and Buveur D’air confirmed that view to some extent on return to action at Newcastle last month when destroying a top class field to win a second Fighting Fifth. As per usual, he put in a slick round of jumping and after leading on the bit at the last quickened clear to slam the much vaunted Samcro by eight lengths.
He made the runner-up, who is a top class horse, looks very ordinary and it was a breathtaking display. That win earned him a 3lb rise and a revised official rating of 172 gives him 15lb and upwards in hand on his five rivals.
It makes this look a penalty kick for Buveur D’Air and, granted a clear round, the others are playing for places. That’s why it’s impossible to oppose Buveur D’Air and he simply had to be the main selection in our 2018 Christmas Hurdle betting tips despite his prohibitive odds.If The Cap Fits the obvious forecast choiceIf The Cap Fits scored in good style last time out and looks the obvious one to chase home Buveur D’Air. This Harry Fry trained six-year-old is very light-raced, winning six of his eight career starts. After landing back-to-back bumpers either side of Christmas 2016, the son of Milan went to Aintree and ran a blinder when a 2 3/4 length and fourth to Lalor in a Grade 2.
He looked the type to make up into a really smart hurdler, and that view was confirmed when and he won all three starts last season at Exeter, Bangor and Kempton. In the latter, If The Cap Fits stayed on well for a five-length success over Diese Des Bieffes, but injury then ruled him out of the Cheltenham Festival.
Fry duly gave him plenty of time to recover and he ran really well on return to action in the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle at Wincanton when a 2 1/4 lengths runner-up to Verdana Blue. If The Cap fits shaped as if needing the outing – his first for 319 days – and duly went one better when showing a smart turn of foot to beat Old Guard by 1 1/2 lengths in last month’s Grade 2 Coral Hurdle at Ascot.
It was a most taking performance which suggested there was better to come and he looks a a young hurdler going places. So, with the stable operating at a strike rate of just under 27 per cent in the last 14 days at the time of writing, If The Cap Fits has to be the one to put in a straight forecast behind the awesome Buveur D’Air.Improving Global Citizen an interesting contenderShould If The Cap Fits underperform, then Global Citizen could be the one to capitalise and secure the runner-up spot. This Ben Pauling trained six-year-old has won three of his four starts over the obstacles and is 1-1 over course and distance.
He has a progressive profile and comes into the contest on the back of a cracking effort when defying top weight of 11st 10lb to land a competitive Listed handicap at Newbury. Global Citizen made all, jumped well and set a strong pace. After then being given a breather four from home, he came clear after the next and when challenged on the run-in responded gamely for pressure to fend off Lisp and score by half-a-length.
It was a most taking and gusty display and one which suggested there was better to come and some decent pots to be landed with Global Citizen. This obviously demands much, much, more but his current rating of 150 is the same as If The Cap Fits.
Global Citizen has just as much scope to progress as that rival. Taking that into account, he’s thus another to consider, then, for forecast purposes and completes our 2018 Christmas Hurdle betting tips preview. Bookmakers are only paying two places at a quarter of the outright odds.Your Next Bet