Massive 109st horse Hillcrest, who's too big to measure and nicknamed Rodney, looks a Cheltenham Festival bet

THEY say bigger is better.

But in the case of the massive 109st Hillcrest, bigger might just be the very best.

The absolute unit of a horse – nicknamed Rodney – has earned Cheltenham Festival quotes after seeing off Nicky Henderson's highly touted I Am Maximus at Prestbury Park last weekend.

He won the Listed Ballymore Novices' Hurdle over 2m4½f of the new course for delighted trainer Henry Daly.

That earned him quotes of 16-1 for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and 20-1 for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle by Paddy Power for March.

Those prices could look decent value should seven-year-old Hillcrest – whose trainer must now decide which race he will target – bully his way to the front once again.

Hillcrest, who is owned by the Exors of the late British billionaire Trevor Hemmings, is so tall that his trainer has difficulty measuring him.

And he weighs a whopping 693kg (109st) – some 170kg more than the rest of Daly's runners.

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The trainer said: "He is enormous. When he arrived in the yard, which was three years ago, he weighed 693kg and my horse’s average racing weight is 520kg.

"My measuring stick goes to 18 hands and it won't go over him – he's very tall."

For context, 18 hands is around 6ft, and that measurement is taken from the ground to where the horse's neck joins its back.

Standing fully upright there's a good chance Hillcrest reaches comfortably over 7ft – about the same height as wrestling star The Big Show.

Speaking of his Cheltenham win, Daly said his star had merely 'had a plod' round and was never seriously challenged.

That could bode well for the Festival, where Sir Gerhard, Journey With Me and Ginto are all vying for favouritism in the Ballymore.

While Blazing Khal is currently the 5-1 favourite in the Albert Bartlett.


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