Dunraven Welsh Champion Hurdle Preview


15 October 2018

Saturday’s Ffos Las fixture is one of its best meetings of the year and the highlight is the Welsh Champion Hurdle, sponsored for the first time by the Dunraven Group.  Unlike its Cheltenham counterpart, it’s a handicap, and top of the list is expected to be that perennial favourite The New One, now ten years old and trying to establish himself as a long-distance hurdler.  He disappointed at Cheltenham and Aintree but cannot be written off, having won 20 of his 38 races.  Remarkably, he has won first time out in all of the seven seasons he’s been racing and on Saturday he may well make it eight.

Amongst the entries are two good horses from the Dan Skelton yard who would be stepping up from two miles for the first time.  Ch’Tibello lost his way at the end of last season, but his earlier form with The New One, My Tent Or Yours and Yanworth entitles him to be a prime contender.  Mohaayed, the winner of the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, would also be a danger.

Paul Nicholls’s Le Prezien won the Grand Annual Chase at Cheltenham and although he hasn’t run over hurdles for over two years his form then was smart.  He is now potentially well handicapped over the smaller obstacles.

Evan Williams’s Silver Streak won in great style at Chepstow’s 2017 Jump Season Opener and improved again to land the Swinton Hurdle at Haydock in the spring, looking like there was more to come.

Colin Tizzard’s Vision Des Flos, less than 10 lengths behind Samcro at Cheltenham and runner-up in good novice hurdles at the Aintree and Punchestown Festivals, is one of the principal entries in the two mile five furlong novice chase at 3.55.  This race has attracted several winning hurdlers having their first or second run over fences.

The final declarations will be known on Friday.

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