Champion Stayers Hurdle betting preview: Latest runners, riders, trainers quotes and odds for the final field at Punchestown
Category : Horse Racing
THE Champion Stayers has offered some fantastic finishes over the years – and this has the look of another belting contest.
We’ve taken an in-depth look at all the runners for tomorrow’s Grade 1 contest.
Unowhatimeanharry has won the race in the past and will bid for a repeatGetty Images – Getty
1. Aux Ptits Soins – Dan Skelton/Harry Skelton (9-2)
Bounced back to his best at Aintree last time, running out an impressive winner of a competitive handicap.
Entitled to be here on the figures and could provide the Skelton brothers with the perfect postscript to their season.
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Dan Skelton on Aux Ptits Soins
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“We were going to draw stumps for the season – but in reality he is nine years old, and there is no Paisley Park (Stayers’ Hurdle winner) in there.
“The highest-rated horse is Bapaume, and perhaps this year it is worth having a crack at it.
“I’m happy with how he is – and he will be turned out after this, no matter what.”
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2. Bacardys – Willie Mullins/Paul Townend (13-2)
Always been slightly disappointing given how much raw talent he has, but definitely has a chance if producing his best.
Couldn’t do it in this last year though and Willie Mullins has a better chance with Bapaume.
Willie Mullins on Bacardys
“Bacardys promises to win a race like this but just hasn’t quite got there yet, so I hope he can produce another good run”
3. Bapaume – Willie Mullins/Ruby Walsh (5-2)
Form horse in the race courtesy of his fourth behind Paisley Park at Cheltenham last time out – and he would have finished closer had he been positioned better.
Sports first-time tongue-tie and should win this if reproducing either of his last two displays.
Willie Mullins on Bapaume
“Bapaume probably ran a career-best in the Stayers at Cheltenham, and I think he’ll run a big race here. The track will suit him a lot better”
4. Cracking Smart – Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy (10-1)
Found things happening too quickly in the County Hurdle and he hasn’t got his head in front since November 2017.
Respected from these quarters but needs to show more before he can be considered a win proposition.
5. Dortmund Park – Gordon Elliott/Davy Russell (25-1)
Was a very impressive winner at this meeting last year and would have strong claims if reproducing that.
His two runs since have been very disappointing though, for all that Davy Russell is booked.
6. Killultagh Vic – Willie Mullins/David Mullins (25-1)
Looked a future Gold Cup winner once upon a time, but injury got in the way and he needs to discover some of his former glory.
A winner at this meeting in his youth, he has a squeak if putting his best foot forward.
Willie Mullins on Killultagh Vic
“Killultagh Vic races with cheek-pieces for the first time. He jumped too big the last day, and I hope he can adapt to hurdles quickly here.
“He won a Grade One over this course and distance as a novice, and I hope he’ll go well again.”
7. Not Many Left – Jessica Harrington/Robbie Power (9-1)
Ran a massive race in the Pertemps at the Cheltenham Festival and followed it up with a big run behind Rashaan at Fairyhouse.
Needs to find a little more but he’s still lightly raced and is strongly respected from this source.
8. Prince Of Scars – Gordon Elliott/Keith Donoghue (40-1)
Grade 1 winner in his youth but has reproduced nothing like that form in recent months.
Wears first-time cheekpieces and they need to have a massive impact if he’s to win this.
9. Unowhatimeanharry – Harry Fry/Mark Walsh (12-1)
Former winner of this race and top-class stayer is a big long in the tooth now and ran a very disappointing race at Aintree last time.
Harry Fry does well here though, and he’ll be hoping his stalwart can do himself justice on what could be his swansong.
Harry Fry on Unowhatimeanharry
“He obviously won the race two years ago. He isn’t quite at the same level these days, and it’s no easy task, but he owes us nothing and he’s there to take his chance.
“He needs to bounce back, but he’s in good form and we’ll see how he gets on.”
10. Vision Des Flos – Colin Tizzard/Tom Scudamore (7-1)
Did it well in the National Spirit at Fontwell on his penultimate start but that form is below the required level here.
Still unexposed as a stayer and is respected for Colin Tizzard.