The Scottish Champion Hurdle is one of the standout races on a high quality card at Ayr on Saturday afternoon. The race is run over the same 2 mile distance as other Champion Hurdles including those at Cheltenham and Punchestown but it is not directly comparable.
The Scottish Champion Hurdle has one more hurdle than its Cheltenham equivalent and is a limited handicap which, in theory at least, should produce very competitive races. It’s also a Grade 2 so doesn’t quite live up to the billing of the very biggest hurdles of the season but this is a very popular race with racing fans and should provide its usual dose of excitement on Saturday.
Scottish Champion Hurdle Tips
Odds correct at the time of writing and are subject to change.
Check out our Scottish Grand National tips too!
Can You Really Back a Horse at 4/1 for the Grand National?
Previous renewals of the Scottish Champion Hurdle show that the handicapper has a big impact on the outcome of the race. Only two of the last 16 winners carried more than 10st 13lb and those 16 races produced just three winning favourites.
The trends also suggest that horses with winning form in 2 mile hurdles and who have run inside the last five weeks should be favoured. Younger horses (seven or younger) are preferred to their elders and the last 10 winners had an average starting price of 10/1.
Mister Fisher Well Treated
If you were backing the most classy horse in the race, taking the 8/1 available about Verdana Blue’s chances would be a no brainer. She ran a good race in the Champion Hurdle and will relish the good ground but she’s just carrying too much weight at 11st 10lb. That opens the door to the top two in the betting with Mister Fisher getting the nod ahead of Nube Negra.
Nicky Henderson’s five-year-old arrived at the Cheltenham Festival with quite the billing but never got to grips with the track at Prestbury Park in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. It looked to be a combination of the soft ground and undulations that did for Mister Fisher’s chances so he should be much more like his old self on good ground at Ayr which is relatively flat.
Mister Fisher has not shown himself to be a great front runner but he has the pace to reel in the leaders in the closing stages so should win at 8/1 with Ladbrokes if produced at the right time by Nico de Boinville.
Dino Velvet Interests Against Higher Calibre Opposition
Alan King sends Dino Velvet to Ayr confident that the track will bring the best out of his six-year-old. Dino Velvet won a 2 mile handicap hurdle on good ground at Ayr last year so is clearly well suited to the conditions he’ll face on Saturday.
Dino Velvet is also in good form having won two on the spin. This is fairly steep step up in class compared to Class 3 handicaps at Stratford and Market Rasen but he will carry just 10st 4lb which is low enough to make him dangerous at 16/1 with BetVictor.