Cheltenham 2017 Day 1 Tips – Champion Hurdle
No Faugheen, no Annie Power and now no Limini.
Will Rich Ricci try to win three Champion Hurdles with three different horses by sending Vroum Vroum Mag down this direction? He hasn’t ruled it out but after failing to impress at Doncaster and getting overturned by Apple’s Jade in the Hatton’s Grace, the queue won’t be massive to back her at 10/1. Mullins/Walsh/Ricci are fairly dangerous though and warrant respect with anything.
Personally, I think it’s hard to fault Petit Mouchoir.
He was going to run a massive race in Newcastle when falling and has since come back to Leopardstown and got the job done in good style both days. The close proximity of Footpad is a concern to some form students but the race itself tells a different story.
In the Irish Champion Hurdle Petit Mouchoir and Nichols Canyon went at it and Petit Mouchoir was able to put him aside easily. Okay, Footpad, a dual Grade 1 winner don’t forget, was able to stay on well but he didn’t get involved early on and was flattered by the outcome.
Petit Mouchoir is a solid bet at 6/1.
I was thrilled like all of Irish racing to hear that Mark Walsh was going to get on Yanworth in the Champion Hurdle. I don’t fancy the horse as I have serious question marks over his jumping being good enough to win this race when they are going to go such a gallop, but if it is on the soft side and that slows them down a bit, maybe he could look a worthy favourite on the day. Not for me though.
That said, I would be absolutely thrilled to see him win for Mark who is not only one of the finest riders in Ireland, probably next best to Ruby in my opinion, but a really, really top fella at the back of it.
Something In D’air
Of the JP McManus-owned pair it would be Buveur D’air to finish closest.
This wasn’t the plan six weeks ago when he was still a novice chaser but maybe aborting fences could be a blessing in disguise for him, just like it was for Big Buck’s! He’ll have to get by Petit Mouchoir though and I don’t think that’ll happen on Tuesday so Henry de Bromhead’s charge is the pick for me at a generous looking 6/1. I wonder has there ever been a winner of a championship race at the Cheltenham Festival won by a horse who was with his third different trainer…
Petit Mouchoir (6/1) – Champion Hurdle
*Prices correct at time of publication.