Past Winners » Overturn


Binocular may win this, but at the prices, you have to take him on. The vibes about Binocular for the last month or two have been strong, Nicky Henderson seems to be happy that he has the old Binocular back, and the fact that Ladbrokes are keen to duck him suggests that he is pleasing at home.

There is no question that, if the real Binocular turns up, he will win, but we haven’t seen the real Binocular for a while now, not since he beat Overturn in the Christmas Hurdle last January. He was disappointing in the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown, even though he won, he missed Cheltenham, and he was disappointing at Aintree and the last time we saw him at Punchestown.

As well as that, there is no way that Nicky Henderson will have him trained to the minute for today. The Champion Hurdle is his main target this season, and it is highly unlikely that he will be at his best today. Significantly, he was beaten in this race last year and the year before, both times at odds-on.

Of his two main rivals, I much prefer Overturn. He is a classy horse in his own right, he was only beaten four lengths by Binocular in the Christmas Hurdle in January, and he has won a Chester Cup and a good hurdle race at Perth, when he gave over a stone to General Miller, in the interim.

Last time out, at Ascot last Saturday, he won the Ascot Hurdle. I think that Oscar Whisky would have beaten him if he hadn’t come down at the final flight, but Barry Geraghty said afterwards that he was going to have to jump it well if he was to overhaul Overturn, and Donald McCain’s horse finds lots for pressure. Overturn is race-fit, and the drop back to two miles will suit him.

Hopefully Celestial Halo will not harry him on the front end, hopefully Daryl Jacob leaves Jason Maguire alone and allows him set his own pace because, if they get into a battle for the early lead, they could set it up for Bonocular. But both riders are experienced enough to not let that happen. Even on official ratings, Overturn only has 1lb to find with Binocular, and he is well over-priced in my book at 7/2.