Champion Hurdle – Cheltenham Day 1
15.30 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) 2m 87y: (4yo+, 2m 87y, Class 1,)
Faugheen’s absence now leaves it relatively open and a field of 12 or 13 will go to post headed by the Willie Mullins-trained Annie Power under Ruby Walsh.
Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….
- Need to be proven beyond the bare 2 miles – it’s a fast run 2m 100yds
- Fighting Fifth winners have filled the frame in four of the last five years (Identity Thief)
- 21 of the last 31 winners finished in the first four at last season’s Festival
Henderson v Mullins?……our Super Yank value bet…Nichols Canyon.…voted for by you is the 2nd of the Mullins team with Paul Townend up top and his trio will be completed by Sempre Medici.
Nicky Henderson has five of the starters….My Tent Or Yours, last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Peace And Co, Hargam, Sign Of A Victory and Top Notch.
Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner Identity Thief trained by Henry de Bromhead is the final Irish runner….with the home team headed by The New One having just his third run in the race for N T-D.
Neil King’s Lil Rockerfeller and Robert Walford’s Camping Ground complete the list.
NICHOLS CANYON has won six Grade 1 hurdles and was in contention for the Neptune last year when clouting the second from home. He stays more than the minimum 2 miles and he can at least get up in the places for a better than ‘wipes yer face return at a current best 6/1.