Scottish Champion Hurdle Guide - 18/04/21

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Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
3
Sam Twiston-Davies

Milkwood

J:
 
Sam Twiston-Davies
T:
 
Neil Mulholland
Age: 7
Weight: 11-6
OR: 142
Days: 30

The favourite for the event on Sunday is Milkwood for Neil Mulholland and this gelding does hold some leading form off the back of his last run.

The seven year old has always been a consistent horse for the yard, taking to hurdles well last season and being kept over them this term.

He made his seasonal debut at Ffos Las in October and got off the mark in fine style and then over the same course and distance he finished fourth in the Welsh Champion Hurdle behind the smart Sceau Royal and Buzz, who have since franked the form.

Milkwood then headed to Newbury in November and finished third of nine runners in a good Listed Intermediate Hurdle won by Floressa.

Back over the same course and distance two starts ago in the Betfair Hurdle he was outclassed slightly and could only finish mid-field.

However, he used that run to then finish a superb third of 25 runners in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival behind Belfast Banter who has since gone on to win a Grade One at Aintree and if replicating that run could be in with a big chance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR16Gd11-61
19/03/21CHL17GS10-113
21/02/21NBY16.5GS11-10
28/11/20NBY16.5Gd11-53
18/10/20FFO16GS10-114
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
4
Harry Skelton

Calico

J:
 
Harry Skelton
T:
 
Dan Skelton
Age: 5
Weight: 11-3
OR: 139
Days: 35

The five year old gelding for the Skelton's is very much a progressive type for a thriving yard and although stepping up in class for this test can not be overlooked.

This season the youngster made his debut at Ludlow in a Novices' Hurdle and won eased down, but then was dethroned at Kempton in the Grade Two Dovecote Novices' Hurdle when Cape Gentleman just managed to get the better of him.

With that strong form in the book he went to Warwick back into a Novices' Hurdle taking on a double penalty and still managing to win.

That prep run would have set him up perfectly for this event and if progressing once more is a value angle.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR16Gd11-34
14/03/21WAR16Sft11-71
27/02/21KEM16Gd11-22
21/01/21LUD16Hy11-41
20/09/20DOR14Gd9-64
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
5
Sean Bowen

Thyme White

J:
 
Sean Bowen
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: 138
Days: 30

The first of Nicholls' assault on the race is the five year old Thyme White who is a good grund specialist but this term has been slightly underwhelming.

Having been smart over hurdles last term, he was kept over them again and made his debut in October at Chepstow when getting off the mark for the season at the first time of asking in very taking style.

He then went to Newbury in the same Listed Intermediate Hurdle as Milkwood and unfortunately unseated his rider when already beat.

He has not seemed to get his confidence back since then, finishing midfield in the Betfair Hurdle and then last time out at Cheltenham finishing a similar position in the County Hurdle.

The drying ground is a huge bonus to this horse but he needs a bit of a revival off the back of his recent form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR16Gd11-27
19/03/21CHL17GS10-110
21/02/21NBY16.5GS11-19
28/11/20NBY16.5Gd11-5UR
09/10/20CHP16Gd11-11
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
2
Angus Cheleda

Diego Du Charmil

J:
 
Angus Cheleda
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 145
Days: 14

The second of Nicholls' runners is the familiar face of Diego Du Charmil that has been around the block a few times, but still holds bundles of ability.

He has been tried over both hurdles and fences during his career, but this term has stayed over hurdles and has put up some decent performances.

His chase form was very strong last term having landed a Listed Handicap Chase at Ascot last season before then finishing a smart second behind stablemate Capeland over the same course and distance.

He was moved back to hurdles on his final start of the season in the Grade Two Kingwell Hurdle when finishing a narrow second behind the smart Song For Someone.

He returned to Kempton for his seasonal debut this term where he looked like he needed the run, finishing third behind Silver Streak who has landed the Listed event two years on the bounce.

The gelding then went to Wincanton last time out in the Grade Two Elite Hurdle and again could only finish third behind Sceau Royal.

Stepping up massively in Class he was tried in the Grade One One Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and was massively outclassed.

After having a decent break, he returned at the start of April in the Sussex Champion Hurdle at Plumpton and managed to land the event and if coming on again could snatch a place.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/04/21PLU16Gd11-51
26/12/20KEM16GS11-75
07/11/20WCN15.5Gd11-03
18/10/20KEM16Gd11-03
22/02/20KEM16GS11-22
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
6
Danny McMenamin

Tommy's Oscar

J:
 
Danny McMenamin
T:
 
Ann Hamilton
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 138
Days: 22

Having been a superb horse in point to points, he made his rules debut in a bumper at Newcastle in November and finished a nice second.

He was sent straight over hurdles next time out at Sedgefield and blew the field away in a Maiden Hurdle over two miles.

The son of Oscar then went back to Newcastle and backed up his previous win with another smart performance in a Novices' Hurdle.

He landed a hat-trick at Musselburgh the time after that winning again by a clear margin and over the same course and distance next time out was a fine second by Bareback Jack.

The gelding was then sent to Kelso for the Morebattle Hurdle and could only finish sixth behind The Shunter and Favoir, who have both gone on to win good races since.

Tommy's Oscar also franked the form of the race last time out over two miles at Kelso when landing a Handicap Hurdle and although stepping up in class is a very consistent performer.

Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
7
Brian Hughes

Anna Bunina

J:
 
Brian Hughes
T:
 
John C McConnell
Age: 5
Weight: 10-13
OR: 135
Days: 30

The Irish raider in the event is Anna Bunina for John McConnel and unless having a big revival this horse should be opposable.

The mare has been a smart hurdler over the years, coming over from the flat where she was a smart horse, but this season she has been outclassed.

She ran through the summer winning races at places like Cork and Sligo, and also placing at Listowel, but after that she has fell off the boil.

When being up against better national hunt horses she has struggled, not winning in her last seven events and not even threatening to do so.

The mares eighth last time out at Cheltenham in the County Hurdle was a step back in the right direction, but it looks tough for her.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR16Gd10-132
19/03/21CHL17GS10-38
19/02/21DUN16St8-134
05/02/21DUN12St9-125
20/12/20THU16Sft11-05
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
8
Tom Cannon

Scarlet Dragon

J:
 
Tom Cannon
T:
 
Alan King
Age: 8
Weight: 10-13
OR: 135
Days: 26

Royal Ascot winner Scarlet Dragon has been mixing between hurdles and the flat for along time now but his form of late has suggested he is not the same horse anymore.

This season he has been seen predominantly on the flat, not winning in his last seven, with his last scalp coming at Royal Ascot.

Having been tried on the all weather a fair bit and struggling, he was sent back over hurdles at Huntingdon in March and finished a weak third of four runners and on that form looks opposable.

Needs a big resurgence in form but will enjoy the better ground conditions.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/06/21ASC12Hy9-76
08/05/21HAY15.5Sft10-105
18/04/21AYR16Gd10-136
23/03/21HUN16GS11-83
20/02/21LIN12St9-105
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
10
Jonathan Burke

Glory And Fortune

J:
 
Jonathan Burke
T:
 
Tom Lacey
Age: 6
Weight: 10-8
OR: 130
Days: 34

Glory And Fortune for Tom Lacey looks to be just making up the numbers having raced four times this season and showing very little in terms of quality.

He made his seasonal debut at Carlisle in a Limited Handicap Chase and only beat a few horses home and did the same next time at Ayr when last of four runners on his final chase starts.

The gelding was sent over hurdles after that and in the Betfair Hurdle his trainer was looking for a resurgence, but only saw him finish mid-field, never threatening to win the race.

He was last seen in March giving his best performance of the season when a good second behind Vision Du Puy in a Handicap Hurdle at Stratford and that winner has since gone on and won again.

Although running well last time out this is much tougher and needs a career best.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/21AYR16Gd10-85
15/03/21STR16.5GS11-92
21/02/21NBY16.5GS10-50
11/11/20AYR16.5Sft11-84
15/10/20CRL16Gd11-88
Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
9
Aidan Coleman

Miss Heritage

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Lucy Wadham
Age: 7
Weight: 10-12
OR: 134
Days: 36

Lucy Wadham fields the highly consistent Miss Heritage in this Grade Two event and although being progressive it is a fair step up at this level.

The seven year old mare has been highly consistent this year, placing in all of her last six races whilst also going on to win one of them.

Having been the bridesmaid on five occasions this term, she got off the mark three starts ago at Warwick seeing off two smart horses, with Rowland Ward since going on to win a decent handicap at Aintree.

After that she has finished second behind Ajero at Market Rasen and Langer Dan at Sandown in the Grade Three Imperial Cup and the latter franked the form when a close second at the Cheltenham festival.

She is a live each way contender at 14/1 if handling the quicker ground but must give a career best performance.

Ayr - April 17 2021
Ayr 13:25
1
Conor O'Farrell

Voix Du Reve

J:
 
Conor O'Farrell
T:
 
Iain Jardine
Age: 9
Weight: 11-10
OR: 146
Days: 2

The final runner in the event is the big outsider Voix Du Reve for Iain Jardine and this ex Willie Mullins trained horse looks a shadow of his former self.

He races off top weight in this event for his past exploits but this season although putting together two nice seconds a few starts ago in weak races, his overall form is below what it needs to be to go close in this event.

The gelding was last seen at Kelso in the Morebattle Handicap Hurdle where he only beating a few home and off another tough weight he looks opposable.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/04/21AYR20.5Gd11-123
06/03/21KEL16GS11-40
06/02/21MUS15.5Sft11-122
01/01/21MUS15.5Sft11-122
12/12/20NCS16.5St/Slw8-106
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