Is Sharjah The One To Take Buveur D’Air’s Champion Hurdle Crown

Sharjah was a major mover in the antepost Cheltenham markets after Samcro’s Champion Hurdle credentials took a hit in Saturday’s Ryanair Hurdle.

Gordon Elliott’s pre-race favourite suffered his fourth straight defeat at Leopardstown as Morgiana Hurdle winner Sharjah pounced to make it two wins from two. BoyleSports slashed the Willie Mullins-trained 5-year-old all the way into 12/1 from 33/1 for the Champion Hurdle after Mullins suggested he could now go straight to Cheltenham.

Buveur d’Air remains the antepost favourite to win a third Champion Hurdle in a row but is now the wrong side of Evens at 5/4 following his surprise Christmas defeat at Kempon to Verdana Blue.

There is now a runaway favourite in Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle market as Champ was the subject of a renewed burst of support after Barry Geraghty steered him to success in the Challow Hurdle.

Nicky Henderson’s novice hurdler has never been out of the top 2 in 7 races and was trimmed into 7/1 favourite from 10/1 after the Newbury victory, however the 7/1 has now vanished and at 6/1 he is now half the price of his nearest challenger in the market.

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*Prices correct at time of publication