Scottish Champion Hurdle Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
4
Tom Midgley

Voix Du Reve

J: Tom Midgley
T: Iain Jardine
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 10-9
OR: 135
Days: 14

A winner last time out of a trappy, 4 runner handicap hurdle at Newcastle, sitting last and picking them off close home.

Prior to his win last time out, he had been winless since early 2019, which has to be a concern, though he's ran some nice races without winning.

He does look to be very much up against it here, but Tom Midgley's 5lb can only be a positive (very good value for the 5lb).

There's a good chance Voix Du Reve will need most of his rivals to falter, if he wants to be in the frame come the finish. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/11/22NCS16GS11-104
05/11/22AIN20Sft11-22
23/10/22AIN20GS11-48
02/04/22AYR16GS10-44
19/03/22NCS16Gd11-71
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
6
Charlotte Jones

Alqamar

J: Charlotte Jones
T: James Moffatt
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 10-6
OR: 132
Days: 171

Alqamar had racked up a 4-timer before unseating last time out in a handicap at Wetherby when going easily until the blunder 3 out.

This was towards the back end of October last year, and he looks to have a preference for better ground, hence the wait.

The ground (at time of writing) should suit and the race we last saw him in, has worked out superbly well, with none other than Tommy's Oscar in 2nd (Alqamar was definitely travelling with ease and looked far from out of place) against a horse now rated 155.

Off a mark today of 132, along with Charlotte Jones claiming 5lb, he could be chucked in here - but the lay-off has to be a concern.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
16/07/22CRT17Gd12-07
26/06/22CRT17Gd11-313
13/05/22AIN20Gd11-77
02/04/22AYR16GS10-16
13/10/21WET16Gd11-5UR
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
8
Adam Wedge

Socialist Agenda

J: Adam Wedge
T: L J Morgan
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-4
OR: 124
Days: 56

Another noivce, Socialist Agenda does look quite classy. He won the Scottish County hurdle on his first start in open handicap company, in good style, beating Anna Bunina by 5L back in third.

He's ran to a very decent level, after only four hurdles starts, it's impossible to gauge how good he could be.

On the evidence we have from last time out, he could well still be ahead of the handicapper - off a generous 124 - for context (Anna Bunina is 130). Very live outsider.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/12/22MUS15.5Sft11-92
13/08/22PER16Gd11-08
02/04/22AYR16GS10-48
05/02/22MUS15.5Gd10-51
01/01/22CAT15.5Sft11-21
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
1
Sam Twiston-Davies

Milkwood

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Neil Mulholland
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 150
Days: 181

Last year's winner of this in dominant fashion, to Anna Bunina in second. Milkwood reverts back to hurdles after one run over fences.

He's been off the track since the 3rd of October, but he has ran well fresh in the past. He will need to be bang up for it to win this again though, with improving, race fit rivals looking to have an edge on him today.

He has arguably some off the best form in the book, though you'll need to take his readiness on trust.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/22FFO16Gd11-72
07/05/22HAY15.5GS12-0F
02/04/22AYR16GS11-105
03/10/21UTT16GS11-24
29/07/21GAL16Gd11-22
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
7
Sean Bowen

Anna Bunina

J: Sean Bowen
T: John C McConnell
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-4
OR: 130
Days: 56

A decent yardstick, Anna Bunina looks to be up against it with lesser fancied horses here, let alone the ones towards the top of the market.

She was well beaten by the novice, Socialist Agenda last time out, although she was badly hampered early. Prior to that, she finished 4/5 in a G2 mares hurdle at Doncaster, but again she was well beaten.

She will have to be in tip top form to reverse the form with the aforementioned Socialist Agenda, and then she would have to improve a great deal to trouble the likes of West Cork, and Milkwood on ratings. Up against it.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/22LEO16Sft11-1210
04/12/22FAI16Sft11-126
24/09/22CHS18.5GS8-78
18/08/22KLN14Y10-21
28/07/22GAL16Gd11-49
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
2
Harry Skelton

West Cork

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-2
OR: 142
Days: 15

A good winner of the Greatwood hurdle off a long lay-off, West Cork beat Adagio and other very useful horses in good style at Cheltenham at the start of the season.

He then failed to back that great effort up, at  Ascot managing only 5th. Last time out though, he was a very good fourth in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival behind the deeply impressive State Man, who looked superbly well handicapped.

If he were to manage that kind of form again here, that would make him very tough to beat, though he does seem somewhat in and out - but he's the most likely winner on form.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22KEM20.5Sft11-10PU
16/11/22WAR16.5Sft11-43
01/11/22WAR20GS11-22
07/05/22HAY15.5GS11-10F
02/04/22AYR16GS11-22
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
3
Jack Quinlan

Onemorefortheroad

J: Jack Quinlan
T: Neil King
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 10-10
OR: 136
Days: 21

A last time out fourth, in the ultra competitive Imperial Cup looks solid enough on form. Prior to that he was a cracking second in a G3 handicap hurdle at Ascot, behind Tritonic, with subsequent winners such as the useful Metier in behind. West Cork also competed in that, and could only managed 5th.

Onemorefortheroad has been the subject of market support and he could still be improving and he looks to have a better chance than most.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
23/10/22AIN20GS11-74
02/04/22AYR16GS10-103
12/03/22SAN16Sft11-34
18/12/21ASC15.5GS10-92
27/11/21NBY16.5GS10-81
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
5
Brian Hughes

Barrichello

J: Brian Hughes
T: Donald McCain
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 10-8
OR: 134
Days: 35

An improving novice for Donald McCain and Brian Huges, he's won 4/5 this season, from a mark of 120 to 134.

He looks like he could still be improving. While the substance of his form can be questioned, he's clearly a nice horse but he's lining up in a much higher grade here, could this be too much too soon?

The yard is in flying form and for the champion jockey in Brian Hughes, he's dangerous to rule out entirely.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
03/01/23MUS20.5Sft11-102
26/11/22BAN20.5Hy11-73
28/10/22UTT16Gd11-43
02/04/22AYR16GS10-87
26/02/22NCS16GS11-31
Ayr - April 01 2022
Ayr 13:25
9

Kihavah

J:
T: Adrian Paul Keatley
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 10-4
OR: 124
Days: 1

An interesting novice, having competed in the Imperial Cup last time out. He finished 12/12, and well beaten. Prior to that in novice company, he took the Scottish Supreme Novice in good style.

He runs off a mark of 124, which, is well below the standard required here. Kihava is a decent enough horse but he will need lots of luck to hit the frame here.

Tough task but novice form is good enough. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
17/01/23STH12St9-125
01/01/23FAK20GS11-9PU
15/10/22MAR20.5GS11-6F
24/09/22MAR16.5Gd11-62
17/09/22AYR13Gd9-114