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Bog Warrior Gowran Park, 24.01.2013

Bog Warrior slashed for World Hurdle glory

Report: Gowran Park, Thursday

John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle (Grade 2) 5yo+, 3m

BOG WARRIOR was cut to 10-1 by most firms for the World Hurdle after making it three from three over hurdles for the season in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park.  

Just four faced the starter for the Grade 2 contest and it was no surprise to see Davy Russell send Bog Warrior (8-11 favourite) straight to the front.

His jumping was quite good, although he was a bit awkward at one or two and slowed up into the last, but that didn’t stop him from galloping to a three-and-a-quarter-length victory over last year’s winner Zaidpour, from whom he was receiving 4lb.

Bookmakers were quick to slash Bog Warrior for the World Hurdle (10-1 from 16s with Paddy Power) and Russell believes that would be the most sensible option for him at the Cheltenham Festival.

Russell said: “Obviously it’s an option. Where else could you go? The Ryanair or the Gold Cup? It’s just at a very high level and, at that sort of level in the hustle and bustle of a Ryanair or a Gold Cup, his jumping might suffer, even though he does jump a fence well.

“Everybody is probably tempted to go for the Wold Hurdle with Big Buck's out and I would personally say that it is the race for him now. He’s a very classy horse and much more manageable now.

“He was in and out over fences but he’s a much easier horse to ride now. He retains all of his ability and he’s a very high class horse. He has such a huge stride that’s it’s pointless trying to control that and it’s best to leave him lob away in front. It’s very hard to know how fast you are going on him as he has such a long stride and when he does meet a hurdle right, he jumps very well.”

Tony Martin was less emphatic about his festival target and said: “It was the first time over a new trip but we were confident he'd get it. He's got class and is a very good horse. All options are open at Cheltenham and everything is still in the balance. He does like cut in the ground and that will be factored in.”

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