Grade Two Long Distance Hurdle Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
1
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Champ

J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-8
OR: 161
Days: 230

Champ probably had a bit of a “write-off” season last year. He was struggling with soundness, especially in his back – where he had a lot of work done to correct a kissing spine.

For the last few seasons he’s been mixing chasing and hurdling, though last season there was certainly more of an emphasis on revitalising him as a hurdler.

It looks like the team are persisting with this narrative, and this can only help Champ, who’s probably the best horse in the race.

He has had his issues, but all roads hopefully start here leading to a successful season hurdling. Top chance on ability.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/22AIN24.5GS11-73
17/03/22CHL24Sft11-104
29/01/22CHL24Gd11-62
18/12/21ASC24.5GS11-71
19/03/21CHL26.5GS11-10PU
Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
2
Aidan Coleman

Paisley Park

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Emma Lavelle
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-8
OR: 160
Days: 211

Paisley Park probably doesn’t need any introduction here, he’s been a serious horse in the staying hurdle division for a good few years now, though I think he’s probably on the downgrade.

He did win the Cleeve Hurdle last year from Champ in second, and that was a good effort and he was placed in the Stayers’ at Cheltenham so it’s evident he still has a good deal of ability.

However he usually comes on for a run, so I think you’d be brave to back him first time out against race fit, younger horses.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/04/22PUN23.5Gd/Y11-105
17/03/22CHL24Sft11-103
29/01/22CHL24Gd11-61
18/12/21ASC24.5GS11-73
26/11/21NBY24GS11-63
Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
3
Harry Skelton

Proschema

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-8
OR: 154
Days: 27

Proschema has always flashed real ability, but has always presented himself as something as a “nearly” horse.

However, this season he looked a completely different animal – when taking apart a G2 at Wetherby last time out from Thomas Darby well beaten in second.

That was a polished performance and he impressed with his hurdling (which had been a sticking point last season). He’s hard to rule out after that thoroughly dominant display. Top chance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/10/22WET24GS11-21
08/10/22CHP19.5Gd12-07
14/06/22ASC20GF9-1212
07/05/22HAY24.5GS12-03
13/11/21CHL24Gd11-11F
Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
5
Rex Dingle

Dashel Drasher

J: Rex Dingle
T: Jeremy Scott
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-2
OR: 152
Days: 20

Dashel Drasher has been switching from fences to hurdles, visa-versa. He’s fairly skilled over both sets of obstacles and he always gives his running and knows his job.

However, his peak form is certainly over fences. He won first time up at Aintree at the start of the month, which was likely a prep for this – he will certainly give his running and he’s a hard horse to pass when left alone on the front end.

Interesting.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/11/22AIN20Sft11-21
19/02/22ASC21Sft11-7PU
23/01/22LIN22Hy11-62
29/12/21NBY20.5Sft11-121
20/11/21ASC21Gd11-83
Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
4
Sean Bowen

Thomas Darby

J: Sean Bowen
T: Olly Murphy
N/A
Age: 9
Weight: 11-8
OR: 153
Days: 27

Thomas Darby won this last year, from On The Blind Side in second. This is undoubtedly a much stronger renewal this time round, but Thomas Darby will have to reverse the form with Proschema, to give him a chance here.

He was comprehensively smashed last time out by the aforementioned Proschema – the official winning distance was ten lengths, though it could have been three times that.

Work to do on that form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/10/22WET24GS11-82
09/04/22AIN24.5GS11-74
19/02/22HAY24.5Hy11-10PU
18/12/21ASC24.5GS11-74
26/11/21NBY24GS11-01
Newbury - November 25 2022
Newbury 15:05
6
Stan Sheppard

Tea Clipper

J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 142
Days: 27

Tea Clipper reverts back to hurdling after a few seasons over fences. He did win over the larger obstacles, and he did run to a useful enough level, though he was prone to the odd error which wouldn’t have helped.

He was a useful hurdler a few seasons back, though he didn’t set the world alight. We know where we are with Tea Clipper, he hasn’t had many excuses and he’s probably short on class in this field.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/10/22ASC24Gd11-113
08/10/22CHP23.5GF11-92
09/04/22AIN25GS11-14
15/03/22CHL25GS10-74
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-74

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