Abby Rugg

Name: Abby Rugg
Qualification: Gold Standard NCTJ Multi-Media Journalism Diploma. (Including 100 words-per-minute shorthand)
Employment: Worked at BBC Sport and Deltatre for London 2012.
Future Aim: To work in broadcast/production television.
Blog: Started in November 2011. Published on The Sports Investor and Value Horse Tips. Please comment on a post or follow me on Twitter.

Wednesday, 19 December 2012


FOLLOWING Big Buck's shock departure from the remainder of the season, Quevega is now favourite to win the Ladbrokes World Hurdle.
The four-time Cheltenham Festival winner is leading the pack despite connections often training her for the Grade 2 mares' race.
Bookmakers were thrown into uncertainty when Big Buck's was pulled out of the hurdle after sustaining a tendon injury - but who can benefit from the situation?
Quevega has definitely caused a debate among racing fans. Her win the last year's mares' hurdle was good but if she was to repeat the performance it would certainly not be enough to win the World Hurdle.
Nevertheless she is always up for a challenge and trainer Willie Mullins knows he has a capable mare on his hands that could give him bigger titles.
Tidal Bay is also thrown into the mix and it was interesting to see Paul Nicholls mention him within hours of breaking the news of Big Buck's departure.
He is a consistent horse around the Cheltenham track and it wouldn't surprise me if pulled off a stunning performance in the hurdle.
He has really improved this season: his competitive long-distance hurdle at Wetherby was fantastic and plenty of confidence was also seen in the Hennessy.
But I personally believe Oscar Whisky will shine in the hurdle. After watching him at Cheltenham races last weekend, it is clear the horse oozes confidence around the track.
Nicky Henderson has got a trick up his sleeve - and it is in the form of Oscar Whisky. I know Big Buck's departure has disappointed many, but it has opened a door for those who wouldn't have been in the reckoning.
After all, is that a bad thing?
Despite Oscar Whisky's flop in last year's race, Henderson is still backing his champion and why wouldn't he? The horse has previously charged up Cheltenham hill four times to victory and if he holds his nerve in the World Hurdle I think he can pull off a tremendous win.
The market is fresh and even though Big Buck's will be missed in the World Hurdle, I am excited to see who else will finish on top.

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