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Impaire Et Passe
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Aintree Hurdle odds: Bob Olinger favourite ahead of Impaire Et Passe

The Aintree Hurdle is the last of four mouth-watering Grade 1s on the opening day of the Grand National Festival, and this one could just be the best of the lot.

The race has been littered with memorable moments over the years, including Morley Street's early 90s dominance, the mighty Istabraq's victory and Constitution Hill enhancing his reputation as one of the best of all-time last year.

This year's renewal is one of the most eagerly anticipated in recent times as Bob Olinger goes head-to-head with Impaire Et Passe.

Aintree Hurdle odds

(Any odds displayed were correct at the time of writing and are subject to fluctuation)

Impaire Et Passe Form

Impaire Et Passe's victory at last year's Cheltenham Festival was undoubtedly one of the performances of the week as he triumphed over the likes of Gaelic Warrior and favourite Hermes Allen at Prestbury Park.

After ending his campaign with a resounding victory in the Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, big things were expected heading into the 2023/24 National Hunt season.

The Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has not enjoyed success in his three outings so far this season, but that statistic doesn't tell the full story.

Impaire Et Passe Aintree

He was narrowly defeated by Stayers' Hurdle champion Teahupoo on his seasonal reappearance over two and a half miles at Fairyhouse, before losing out to Champion Hurdle king State Man in a pair of Grade 1s over two miles at Leopardstown.

Connections thought that a step back up in trip was required for his next outing, but the absence of a suitable race at Cheltenham and the three-mile Stayers' Hurdle being deemed too far, means that Impaire Et Passe heads to Aintree fresh.

His best performances have been in excess of the two-mile mark and the 2m4f Aintree Hurdle could see Impaire Et Passe return to the winners' circle.

Bob Olinger form

The two-time Cheltenham Festival winner heads the betting for the Aintree Hurdle and, like Impaire Et Passe, he is stepping up in trip after losing out to State Man in the Irish Champion Hurdle last time out.

The career of Henry De Bromhead's superstar appeared to be stalling last season. After being narrowly beaten in the Lismullen Hurdle, Bob Olinger was off the pace in the Christmas Hurdle and the Limestone Lad Hurdle, as his campaign ended without victory.

But this year has seen an upturn in fortunes reminiscent with years gone by, as he went one better on his return at Navan before an imperious display in the Relkeel Hurdle on New Year's Day.

Bob Olinger

The loss to State Man at Leopardstown led to the decision to avoid the Cheltenham Festival in favour of a trip to Aintree, and we now have a situation where two excellent horses, who possibly have a point to prove, will battle it out on Thursday afternoon.

Mullins and De Bromhead will be wary of Nicky Henderson's fine record in the race, with James Bowen set to be on board Luccia, while Langer Dan cannot be underestimated after another impressive Cheltenham outing.

But it would take something special from those two to take the honours this week, as Impaire et Passe and Bpb Olinger get set to round off their 2023/24 season.

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