Take Karabak to be King of the World

I thought Karabak put up a great trial for the Ladbrokes World Hurdle this afternoon and am putting him up to join Forpadydeplasterer and Celestial Halo in my Cheltenham Festival 2010 portfolio.

It was a great day’s racing yesterday with the highlight being Kauto Star’s narrow (very!) victory over Imperial Commander at Haydock. Great to watch although I’d backed the second horse. Kauto Star was eased slightly for the Gold Cup but this was a far better performance in this race than last year so he’s the rightful favourite. He must also have every chance of winning a fourth King George.

Also at Haydock, Diamond Harry put up a tremendous performance under top weight in the fixed brush hurdle and must enter the reckoning for the World Hurdle but that’s assuming he stays hurdling. It’s entirely possible that he will go chasing as he has the make and stamp of a chaser.The one I like for the World Hurdle is Karabak who finished second at Ascot to another impressive winner Zaynar, who goes for the Champion Hurdle. It’s worth remembering that Diamond Harry was beaten 3 3/4 lengths by Karabak at the Festival.

Karabak will be better suited to a longer trip than yesterday’s 2m 3f where he will really come into his own. It was encouraging to see how well he travelled yesterday, a useful asset when it comes to a Championship race at the Festival. Also encouraging is that the King stable has not been in form and have generally needed a run so against that backdrop this was a good performance.

He has great Cheltenham form having won a novice hurdle at the Boylesports meeting last year and then running a good second in the Ballymore Hurdle to the brilliant Mikael D’haguenet after a troubled run.  It’s worth noting that Diamond Harry was a further 3 3/4 lengths behind Karabak in third so on Cheltenham form he has the measure of Diamond Harry. Time and time again we see that Cheltenham form is important.

Karabak is trained by Alan King who knows what it takes to win the World Hurdle having won it with My Way De Solzen in 2006. He was also assistant trainer to David Nicholson when the Duke won it with shock winner (I can remember the total silence!) Anzum in 1999.

You can be sure that Karabak’s season will be geared to winning on 18 March 2010 as Alan King has flagged the horse as a potential World Hurdle hope in recent interviews and stable tours.

The going is likely to be good or good to soft at the Festival and this is the ground that Karabak has won on.

In summary Karabak has the following going for him:

  • Cheltenham and Festival form
  • Trainer who knows how to win World Hurdle
  • Will improve for the 3m trip
  • Travels well
  • Should be suited by the ground

It will be tough to beat Big Bucks but ante-post betting is all about value and making judgements when not all the facts and the runners are known. The rationale behind the selections on this blog is to find horses that are each way value and at 14/1 Karabak fits the bill.

As stated it’s important to take the recommended prices in this blog as if the horses get to their respective races they will almost certainly be shorter in the betting so act now! totesport are a standout price on Karabak so they won’t hold it for long.

Recommended bet: 1 point ew Karabak 14/1 – totesport