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International Hurdle - 13th December, 2014

The New One will attempt to retain his International Hurdle crown on Saturday afternoon and duly notch his third win of the season, but the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained raider will have some notable rivals in what looks a fascinating renewal of the Champion Hurdle trial.

He kicked off his campaign with an easy win at Kempton Park, before going on to land a similary authoritative victory at Haydock Park, but this race could see him tested a bit more as Nicky Henderson has a classy dual-pronged attack entered for this Cheltenham race.

Vaniteux ran a cracker off top weight in the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle last month at the track and having travelled eye-catchingly well into the race was just unable to quicken up the hill, but he is sure to improve for that run and will be a leading player.

Sign Of A Victory eased to a mightily-impressive win in a Listed Ascot handicap hurdle and he will now aim to show that he is of Graded class and he will be handed his toughest test to date, but he is another still on the upgrade and has to be considered.

Zamdy Man was comfortably beaten by The New One at Haydock Park, but could well set a decent gallop from the outset and has to be considered, whilst Bertimont ran well in the Elite Hurdle and could be a potential each-way play in what should be a real crackerkjack on December Gold Cup day.

Latest Betting for 2014 International Hurdle

4/7 The New One

2/1 Vaniteux

5/1 Sign Of A Victory

8/1 Zamdy Man

16/1 Bertimont

33/1 Olofi

50/1 King Of The Picts

50/1 Mad Moose

66/1 Billy Twyford

100/1 Mighty Mambo

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International Hurdle History

The International Hurdle is a Grade Two race run at Cheltenham over two miles and one furlong for horses aged four years or older and is widely regarded as a trial for the Champion Hurdle.

Established in 1963, this race had originally been called the Cheltenham Trial Hurdle and it showed in its infancy that it would often see top class horses winning this and later returning to Prestbury Park, and in particular the Cheltenham Festival, to compete in and often win the Champion Hurdle.

Magic Court and Salmon Spray both bagged the aforementioned double to show that this race can often unearth potential stars for the March extravaganza.

The 1970's roll of honour has a very stellar look to it with firstly, dual Champion Hurdle winner Bula winning the 1972 renewal, whilst his record was eclipsed by both Comedy of Errors and Bird's Nest, who both managed to bag doubles in the race during the decade with the former also bagging two Champion Hurdle crowns in 1973 and 1975.� Finally, the mighty Sea Pigeon is another name etched in the illustrious roll of honour as he used this as a stepping stone in 1975 before going on to win the 1980 and 1981 Champion Hurdles.

More recently, Relkeel was a three-times winner of the contest during the late 1990's, whilst Rooster Booster was an emphatic two-and-a-half length winner of the 2002 renewal before he went on to win the Champion Hurdle in 2003.

Other names who have bagged glory in this top class contest are Detroit City, Harchibald and 2010 Champion Hurdle winner Binocular, who won the International in 2008 for Nicky Henderson.

Recent Winners of International Hurdle

  • 2000 - Geos
  • 2001 - Valiramix
  • 2002 - Rooster Booster
  • 2003 - Rigmarole
  • 2004 - Back In Front
  • 2005 - Detroit City
  • 2006 - Harchibald
  • 2007 - Osana
  • 2008 - Binocular
  • 2009 - Khyber Kim
  • 2010 - Menorah
  • 2011 - Grandouet
  • 2012 - Zarkandar
  • 2013 - The New One