Morgiana Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 2.15 at Punchestown, 18 November 2018
Won by a number of champions over the years, Punchestown’s Morgiana Hurdle is one of the top early season Irish contests. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers and provide our betting tips for this top class event.
This 2m Grade 1 Hurdle was first run at Punchestown in 1988 and now offers more than €50,000 for the winner.
Morgiana Hurdle Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Also check out our Greatwood Hurdle Tips!
Betting Offers and Free Bets
Morgiana Hurdle 2018 Tips and Race Preview
Sunday’s Morgiana Hurdle promises to be one of, if not the, best race of the National Hunt season so far. Racing fans have been treated to some excellent contests already early but the prospect of Samcro, Faugheen, Melon and Supasundae topping the bill in a six horse encounter over 2 miles at Punchestown is truly something special.
Samcro Looks Short a Little Short Again
When Samcro won the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival last year he looked to have the novices’ hurdling division at his mercy. Such was the dominance of his performance it was no surprise to see him go off at odds on in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle next up but he ended up falling three from home.
Even top level horses can be forgiven mistakes but that failure was a damaging one as it left connections with questions as to how to approach the next season. They eventually decided to keep him over hurdles rather than send him chasing but his performance at Down Royal at the start of November was really disappointing.
There were no excuses given for his failure to win over 2 miles but noises have already been made in the lead up to the Morgiana Hurdle that he may not get the ground he wants at Punchestown. He’s a quality horse but there are more than enough concerns about Samcro to avoid backing him at a general 4/6.
Faugheen to Do It Again for Mullins
Amazingly, Willie Mullins has trained the last seven winners of the Morgiana Hurdle and he could be on for eight in a row with the horse who won last year’s renewal, Faugheen. It seems as though every time Faugheen runs the same question is asked – will we see the real Faugheen?
Good enough to be nicknamed the Machine, Faugheen has claimed some of the biggest hurdle races in racing. He missed the best part of two years through injury though and his performances last season were understandably hit and miss. In total, Faugheen won two of his five races, both of which were at Punchestown and he must be doing something well at home for connections to line him up against Samcro.
Much like the situation with Samcro, there are question marks about Faugheen but at best odds of 2/1 with Ladbrokes it’s the latter who gets the nod.
Can Supasundae Crash the Party?
Racing fans have been looking forward to the clash between Samcro and Faugheen ever since the younger horse announced himself as a top class operator but don’t fall into the trap of thinking this is a two horse race.
Supasundae has done more than enough over hurdles to suggest that he is a real contender. Among his impressive performances last season was the win in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle in which he rallied well in the closing stages to take advantage of Samcro and Melon’s falls. With so many questions about the top two in the betting, Jessica Harrington’s eight-year-old looks a great each way bet at 8/1 with Betfair.
Be sure to check out Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers page as the National Hunt season progresses!
Morgiana Hurdle Previous Winners
- 2017 – Faugheen – jockey Paul Townend, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2016 – Nichols Canyon – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2015 – Nichols Canyon – jockey David Mullins, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2014 – Hurricane Fly – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2013 – Hurricane Fly – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2012 – Hurricane Fly – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2011 – Thousand Stars – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2010 – Solwhit – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Charles Byrnes
- 2009 – Solwhit – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Charles Byrnes
- 2008 – Hardy Eustace – jockey Paddy Flood, trainer Dessie Hughes
- 2007 – Jazz Messenger – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Noel Meade
- 2006 – Iktihaf – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Noel Meade
Morgiana Hurdle History
Inaugurated in 1988, this contest has undergone a number of changes over the years, in terms of both its Grade and distance. Initially a Listed class contest run over 2m4f, its distance was cut to 2m2f in 1992 before being dropped a further 2f to its present 2m trip in 1995. The class of performer attracted to the contest has also saw a rise in classification, with Grade 2 being conferred upon the event in 1994 and a further rise to Grade 1 level arriving in 2006.
There have been a number of multiple winners since the races inception, with Cockney Lad, Grabel and Solwhit all winning twice. That total was topped by Limestone Lad and the mighty Hurricane Fly who both landed a hat-trick of successes.
It is Hurricane Fly who must go down as the most talented winner on the roll of honour here. The son of the Arc winner Montjeu recorded a record setting 22 Grade 1 victories in his career including two Champion Hurdles and five Irish Champion Hurdles.
Champion Irish trainer on multiple occasions, Willie Mullins has won this race a remarkable six years in succession between 2011 and 2016. Having also sent out the winner in 1993, his eight wins make him the most successful trainer in the history of the race, two ahead of fellow Irishman Noel Meade.
Meade and Mullins share the distinction of having saddled the joint youngest winners here, with both Mullins’, Padashpan (1993) and Meade’s, Nomadic (1998), being four years old at the time of their wins. Dual Champion Hurdle winner, Hardy Eustace (2008) was the oldest winner as of 2015, being 11 when coming home in front.
Six is the benchmark total amongst the jockeys. Paul Carberry partnered four of Meade’s six winners to victory and also won back to back editions aboard the ever-popular Limestone Lad in 2001 and 2002.