Punters sweet on Vincent; Friday 13th March RACE 2 2.05 Vincent O'Brien County H'cap Hurdle 2m 1f.
Noel Meade's Realt Dubh won his third race of the season when he justified short odds by four lengths from Otay Kawn in a conditions hurdle at Punchestown last month.
Having got off the mark at Newbury in November on his second outing over hurdles, Cockney Trucker didn't see out the trip when stepped up to two miles three furlongs at Newbury in January, finishing fourth to Mad Max.
Like Cockney Trucker, Aachen is set to tackle handicap company for the first time.
HILLS ODDS: 7-1 Dave's Dream, 9-1 Aachen, 10-1 Cockney Rebel, Psycho, 12-1 Big Eared Fran.
TRENDSETTERS: Not surprisingly, bringing recent form to the table is an advantage, as 17 of the last 20 winners had been placed at worst on their previous start.
Five-year-olds have a strong recent record. They have taken six of the last 10 renewals despite making up just over one-fifth of the runners.
Avoid horses at the top of the handicap - no winner has carried more than 11st 8lbs since 1960, and only one horse has carried more than 11st 8lbs into the frame since 1979.
For a big-field handicap, the betting stats aren't too bad, as all bar two of the last 34 winners went off at 16-1 or shorter.
HISTORY LESSON: Rooster Booster's win in 2002 seemed apt reward for an honest-togoodness handicapper who had fought a few fights.
But no-one could have foreseen Terry Warner's grey finding the improvement to win the following year's Champion Hurdle by 11 lengths.
In 1998, punters wouldn't hear of defeat for Imperial Cup winner Blowing Wind as he hunted a pounds 50,000 bonus for winning at Sandown and Cheltenham. Martin Pipe's horse scored as 15-8 favourite.
Blowing Wind isn't the shortest-priced favourite to land the race. Bold Baby scored at 13-8 in 1954.
In 1947 the Champion Hurdle was won by National Spirit. The runner up was Frenchtrained five-year-old Le Paillon who went on to win the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in the same year.
BONUS WINNER Martin Pipe
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|Publication:||The Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Mar 10, 2009|
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