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2016 World Hurdle - Alpha Des Obeaux aiming for Cheltenham revenge on Thistlecrack

Jon Wilde in Thur. 16th March 10 Mar 2016
  • Alpha Des Obeaux takes on Thistlecrack again in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham
  • Find out the latest from trainer Mouse Morris about his revenge mission
Alpha Des Obeaux (left) in action during the Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree (credit: Cheltenhampro.com)

Trainer Mouse Morris is relishing the opportunity of pitting Alpha Des Obeaux against Thistlecrack in the Ryanair World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival to see if the six-year-old can avenge his Aintree defeat of last season.

Morris is not convinced Thistlecrack would have beaten Alpha Des Obeaux in the Doom Bar Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree last April when the Irish raider’s last-flight fall ended the argument early.

Alpha Des Obeaux was less than a length down when he clipped the top of the final hurdle and he and jockey Richard Johnson crashed to the ground, and Morris thinks Colin Tizzard's staying hurdle star would have had a real fight on his hands had his charge not crumbled.

Morris said:
“It was 50-50, it would have been a toss of a coin. My fella seemed to be coming back at him at the time. 
“But look, he fell and the other one stayed on his feet so we will never know. Thistlecrack is a proper horse and has done very little wrong all year so we will have our work cut out.”

Since that Sefton Novices’ Hurdle showdown, Thistlecrack has become the highest-rated stayer over hurdles with a mark of 168. Although Alpha Des Obeaux's Irish mark of 155 is 13lb lower, Morris reports the son of Saddler Maker to be in tip-top shape in the build-up to his big St Patrick’s Day test at Cheltenham on Thursday March 17.
 
Morris added:
“He has done his last few pieces of work and I’ve been very happy with him. We took him away a couple of times and he didn't disappoint. Hopefully he will get a nice bit of ground and we will see what he is made of.  
“I'm not really worried about the trip for him. I think he will stay. The only concern is whether he is good enough or not. We will find that out on the day.”

Since his Aintree fall, Alpha Des Obeaux has finished runner-up three times, in Grade One events at Punchestown, Fairyhouse and Leopardstown, before cruising home 11 lengths clear of At Fishers Cross in the Grade 2 John Mulhern Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park in January.


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2016 World Hurdle - Alpha Des Obeaux aiming for Cheltenham revenge on Thistlecrack

Trainer Mouse Morris is relishing the opportunity of pitting Alpha Des Obeaux against Thistlecrack in the Ryanair World Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival to see if the six-year-old can avenge his Aintree defeat of last season.

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