International Hurdle 2021 Odds: Sceau Royal among nine entries for Champion Hurdle trial

International Hurdle Odds: Sceau Royal is set to line up on Saturday.
International Hurdle Odds: Sceau Royal is set to line up on Saturday.

Nine horses have been entered for the Grade 2 International Hurdle, which takes place at Cheltenham on Saturday afternoon, and the contenders taking their chance will be looking to propel themselves into the Champion Hurdle picture...

Song For Someone was a sparkling winner of the International Hurdle 12 months ago, and the Tom Symonds-trained raider will look to retain his Grade 2 crown when he heads to Cheltenham on Saturday. A narrow winner by a nose over Silver Streak in last year's renewal, the six-year-old is unsurprisingly prominent in the betting, and is currently a best-priced 7/2 chance, at the time of writing.

Beaten on his next two starts last season, Song For Someone was unable to get his head in front on his seasonal reappearance in Ascot's Coral Hurdle, as he was no match for Nicky Henderson's Buzz. But, a return to Cheltenham should play to his strengths and he has to be one of the leading contenders for this prize, as he looks to emulate The New One, who won back-to-back renewals a few years ago.

David Pipe last trained the winner of the International Hurdle back in 2007 when Osana bound to victory, but the Pond House handler has a great chance of landing the event once again, as he saddles the exciting and improving Adagio, who currently heads the betting at 2/1. Second in the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March, the four-year-old returned to Prestbury Park last month to compete in the Greatwood Hurdle, but was just touched off by West Cork. As big as 40/1 for the Champion Hurdle, Adagio will need to come on again now stepping up from handicap company, but he looks a hugely progressive youngster, and has to be a major player.

At the other end of the age spectrum is Alan King's Sceau Royal, who may be a nine-year-old, but is a gelding still delivering the goods at a high level. Fourth in this race 12 months ago, the Barbury Castle inmate is a 4/1 chance to land Saturday's prize, and if he can replicate his Elite Hurdle win from earlier in the season then is a key component of the race. Beaten in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle last time out, Sceau Royal will want the rain to stop, if he is to take his chance in the weekend contest.

The aforementioned Henderson has entered Fusil Raffles, whose also entered for the Racing Post Gold Cup over fences on the same day, and he's a 12/1 chance to strike here, while the shock 33/1 winner of the Coral Cup, Heaven Help Us could take his chance for Paul Hennessy, and he's 16/1 for this prize.

Nigel Twiston-Davies trained The New One to three victories in this race, and the Naunton handler will saddle Guard Your Dreams (7/1), who won a handicap hurdle at Cheltenham's October meeting and wasn't disgraced when finishing third in the Coral Hurdle at Ascot, and looks an improver.

Completing the nine-strong field are Henry De Bromhead's Ballyadam, who's somewhat gone off the rails after winning Grade 1 novice hurdles, but he's an eye-catching entry at 12/1, with Wilde About Oscar (16/1) and Hunters Call (20/1) completing the line-up.

Champion Hurdle Odds
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