The Punchestown Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 race for horses aged 4-years-old and over. The national hunt race involves a trip of 2 miles and there are nine hurdles to be negotiated along the way.
Key Race Trends
7 of the last 12 favourites (1 joint) have won
7 of the last 10 winners won last time out
The last 10 winners finished in the top 3 last time out
10 of the last 12 winners were aged 6 or older
10 of the last 18 winners ran in that season’s Champion Hurdle
9 of the last 18 winners ran in that season’s Ryanair Hurdle (Leopardstown)
The current Champion Hurdler is yet to finish out of the top two
11 of the last 12 winners returned 3/1 or shorter in the betting
Willie Mullins trained the winner in 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2016
The last 6 winners returned odds-on in the betting
Ruby Walsh rode the winner in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2015 & 2016
Petit Mochoir heads the betting for this renewal of the Punchestown Champion Hurdle after his third place finish to Bueveur D'Air in the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham back in March. Expected to go one (or two) better this Friday after two impressive wins at Leopardstown before his Cheltenham run beating the likes of Nichols Canon (who won at Cheltenham), Footpad, Ivanovich Gorbatov and Jer's Girl. A first and a second at this track over two miles holds him in good stead and a bold run is expected. Arctic Fire ran an absolute cracker at Cheltenham beating 25 runners to secure the County Handicap Hurdle over 17 furlongs at the festival after being off the track for nearly 14 months, a repeat of this run or his second to Faugheen in the Champion Hurdle in 2015 should see him go close. Last year's winner of this race Vroum Vroum Mag is the pick of Ruby Walsh for this years renewal and ran a good race at Cheltenham to finish second in the Mares' Hurdle behind Apple's Jade, has mares allowance this Friday and holds every chance if she can make the most of that. My Tent Or Yours hasn't managed to get his head in front since February 2014 but has placed in some valuable races since. Was third behind VVM in this last year and also placed over two miles in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, a repeat of that run could see him hit the frame again but others will probably be fresher after a longer break. Brain Power didn't settle at Cheltenham finishing a remote 9th of 11 in the Champion Hurdle. Finished third in the Novice Hurdle at this Festiva last year with the mighty Yorkhill behind him so has form in the book, will need to be on the top of his game to win this.
Labiak refused to jump off on Tuesday (like he tends to do) but if jumping off on terms surely has to be in with a chance of hitting the frame here, it's just whether you want to take the gamble on the Supreme Novice winner but if he does run then the 16's on offer will be huge! Tombstone will probably want softer ground and hasn't been the same since his Gowran win in February finishing 22nd of 25th at the Festival and third of five at Fairyhouse two weeks ago. Another Willie Mullins trained horse in the race is Wicklow Brave, just the one run since November last year which was in the Champion Hurdle in March finishing eighth, may come on for that run and could be a lot closer at the finish. Another one who will be hoping for rain is Diakali who has four wins to his name since 2013 with three of them coming on either heavy ground or soft. Will need to dramatically improve to beat some of the market leaders.
Punchestown Champion Hurdle Tips:
Win Bet: ARCTIC FIRE 4/1 (BetVictor)
Each Way Bet: LABIAK 16/1 (SkyBet)