Scottish Champion Hurdle

I was very disappointed from the effort of Paul Nicholl’s ‘Connetable‘ last time out in the Triumph Hurdle, I personally thought he had more to offer, but lets give the son of Saints Des Saints another chance to shine, he is only a four year old taking on his elders here, and with no four year old ever to land the race, I suppose it is a schooling job for Ditcheat to see if he will progress next season.

He will relish the return to much softer ground this afternoon which has seen him show form figures of 1321, winner on very soft ground in France this time last year he is just another bargain purchase by Paul Nicholl’s. His win at Sandown in the Listed Contenders Hurdle saw him get up to beat Rayvin Black, the disappointing Peace and Co was back in third that day. He was penalised 13lb for that neck win but has dropped 5lb to a mark of 147 this afternoon which I think can see him run a big race.

Richard Johnson has really been riding at the top of his game this season, and rides for Philip Hobbs on ‘Sternrubin‘. The pair were successful back in 2006 with Noble Request and have not gone close since. There entry here is a likeable type who ran a creditable third last time in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham. He looked to be travelling well under Johnson that day, but was taken off the bridle turning in to the last, my concern is the ground this afternoon, it could just be on the quick side for him to really show his ability.

Ivan Grozny‘ was impressive when landing the Pinsent Masons at Aintree last week when a runner away winner by eight lengths, he takes on Sternrubin once more from their run at the Cheltenham Festival and looks on paper might find it hard to turn around the the form off these weights, it has been nine years since we have seen an Irish trained winner and even rarer eighteen years since a winner has carried over eleven stone to glory.

I am puzzled to see both ‘John Constable‘ and ‘CH ‘TIBELLO‘ are not fighting at the head of the market. The Dan Skelton five year old Ch’tibello was last seen when behind Philip Hobbs Sternrubin at Newbury, his costly jumping errors and the third and second last definitely put the nail into his coffin to land the race.

He was conceding 9lb to the winner that day for a nine length defeat and with errors, so would of probably gone close, and with a massive weight pull this time he should be getting it right, as should John Constable of who finished in front of Ch’tibello by five lengths, but once again you have to take in to account the jumping errors, they met off level weights that day, but the selection gets a 2lb pull this time around, a little to find I think and if he has his jumping boots on, he should go very close this afternoon.

As for the selection, CH’TIBELLO is my only straight win of the day, and I have to have a small each way play on Connetable, still learning at four so there should be more to come we have to see how he runs this afternoon if I will carry on tracking him.

CH ‘TIBELLO : £20 Win @ 7/1 (BOG)

Connetable : £5 each way @ 20/1 (BOG)



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