French Filly Pick Of Four Year Olds
Champion Four Year Hurdle
Saturday’s Grade 1 Champion Four Year Old Hurdle has once again attracted a classy line-up in which those who came via Aintree and Cheltenham performed well in the race down the years.
It’s a fact worth bearing in mind, as those that raced at Fairyhouse last time failed to win in 29 attempts since 2005, while another stat shows that last time out winners also flopped here…
Of the last 10 Four Year Old winners…
10 returned 8/1 or shorter
10 ran over 2m½ or 2m1f last time
9 won during their last three runs
9 ran twice during the last 90 days
9 came via Cheltenham (6) or Aintree (3) – those from Fairyhouse were 0-29
9 ran in a Grade 1 last time
9 were non-winners last time
8 won two hurdles or more
W Mullins won it three times, N Henderson twice
The above evidence suggests the likes of Willie Mullins’ Business Sivola, will have to do well to overcome the trends, having won a Grade 3 at Fairyhouse last month (2m, soft). For those who take no notice of the stats, though, then Business Sivola may well carry their cash, as he recorded a career best that day no doubt still has more in the locker.
Charles O’Brien’s Prussian Eagle, was 3l behind Buisiness Sivola at Fairyhouse, making it four consecutive placed efforts, in the process becoming a tempting each-way option for punters.
But, with Grade 1 form last time out a big pointer for this race, respect goes to Willie Mullins’ Petite Parisienne, having been a 4l runner-up in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse (2m4f, soft).
A Grade 1 winner back in February, he has the best form in the race, including a fifth in the Cheltenham’s Triumph Hurdle (albeit beaten 21l).
It’s also worth noting that the Brits won this four times since 2005, suggesting Paul Nicholls’ Qualando, should not be overlooked, having scooped the Grade 3 Fred Winter Handicap at Cheltenham in March (2m, good).
Meanwhile, Alan King’s, Pain Au Chocolat, deserves another chance having won twice during the winter before finding the Grade 1 Triumph too much at Cheltenham, while Jonjo O’Neill’s, Matorico, was also outclassed in the same race and should find this a touch easier.
Focus On Fiscal
There are also an interesting contender thrown into the mix via Fiscal Focus, a Grade 2 winner on his debut at Leopardstown on St Stephen’s Day (2m, soft), prior to being outclassed when 43l adrift of Hurricane Fly a month later. However, that run was too bad to be true, and he is another who could provide clues in the market.
With Paul Nicholls having captured a number of the big Grade 1’s last season, he could start the new season in the same vein with Qualando, but the vote goes to the Willie Mullins-trained, Petitie Parisienne. This filly has some top class Grade 1 form and gets a handy 7lb allowance here, which could make all the difference.