Friday, October 15, 2021

Welsh Champion Hurdle 2021

Champions Day at Ascot tomorrow but I prefer the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las instead.

Last year's winner Sceau Royal goes to Kempton on Sunday while the  runner-up Ballyandy tries his luck once again off a mark three pounds lower. 

That looked a particularly strong renewal with last week's Cesarewitch winner Buzz third and subsequent Scottish Champion Hurdle winner Milkwood fourth.

Tomorrow's renewal doesn't appear to be quite up to that standard but it's ultra competitive nonetheless. 

12 have been declared to face the starter at 4.35; the going is described as good with showers forecast.

At the time of writing the four five-year-olds in the field occupy the top four positions in the betting. 

Favourite Calico was last seen finishing fourth behind Milkwood in the Scottish Champion and has since had wind surgery (Diego Du Charmil eighth in that race).

Cormier came home second behind Copperless in Haydock's Swinton Hurdle in May and has been running on the Flat over the summer.

Amarillo Sky and Dobryn reappear after a summer break and both look unexposed; the former is joint top-rated with Ballyandy on Racing Post ratings.

The Tom Lacey trained Glory And Fortune is another unexposed type, coming into this after comfortably winning a Plumpton handicap last month. 

The Pipe team holds a strong hand with Umbrigado and Leoncavallo. 

On seasonal debut last year Umbrigado finished second behind War Lord in a Haydock handicap hurdle over a slightly longer trip. His five subsequent starts were all in chases - he won three, including the Greatwood Gold Cup at Newbury in March. I suspect this could be a pipe-opener for another campaign over the larger obstacles.

In the past Leoncavallo has run well after a break.

Ballyandy seems to have been around forever - he beat Battleford a nose in the 2016 Cheltenham bumper - and is as tough as old boots. Like the rest of us, he isn't getting any younger but the 10/1 bet365 are offering makes some each-way appeal.

The one that interests me is the Emma Lavelle trained Hang In There. 

This one brings decent recent form to the table. He was beaten a head by Stonific in the Summer Hurdle at Market Rasen in July, with Valentino Dancer a neck behind in third and Camprond fourth. 

Valentino Dancer was entitled to reverse that form when the pair re-opposed last month, again at Market Rasen, and he did just that, beating Hang In There two and a half lengths. Hang In There made a bad mistake at the final flight that day but the error probably didn't cost him the race.

Last weekend Valentino Dancer was beaten a head in a competitive handicap hurdle at Chepstow while Camprond won the Persian War Novices' Hurdle.

The handicapper has raised Hang In There two pounds for that latest run; regular pilot Joe Anderson claims ten.

Admittedly there are a few unexposed types in this field but with several layers quoting 16/1 and paying one fifth the odds four places, I've made a decision to hang in there.  

Hang In There is the each-way selection.


Anonymous said...

It’s the Welsh Champion Hurdle at Ffos Las today but I much prefer Champions Day at Ascot instead.

That said the race attracted sufficient interest for me to run the Ffos Las race through the system and when the cogs stopped turning it spat out the following:

Potter Group Welsh Champion Hurdle

167,DANS LE VENT(FR),6.2

Dobryn tops the ratings and is the system’s idea of the most likely winner with a WC of 16.1%. Ended last season trouncing some reliable yardsticks in a race ran in a good time, up 10lbs for that but he does look progressive. Fitness is not guaranteed but given his ownership this may have a been the plan?

Hang In There ticks all of the system’s boxes but it thinks a mark of 150 may be getting close to his ceiling.

A race I’m happy to sit out and watch so back to Ascot…

Good luck!


GeeDee said...

Thanks for your ratings, TW.

Good luck at Ascot!

GeeDee said...

Racing with the pace, Hang In There (11/1) hung in there until just before three out when he stopped hanging in there and decided to hang out with those racing mid-division; it was roughly around that point in the race I started to think he hadn't been particularly well named. Emma Lavelle's charge finished seventh, some twenty lengths behind unexposed winner Glory And Fortune (11/2).

Tom Lacey's inmate took up the running before the final flight to win what looked a very competitive renewal 'comfortably'. The name will have gone into notebooks and it remains to be seen what view the handicapper will take.

Dans Le Vent (18/1) chased the winner home some four lengths adrift although trainer's daughter Isabel Williams looked guilty of leaving her charge with too much ground to make up.

Leoncavallo (14/1) fared best of those racing up with the pace, hitting the front before the penultimate flight; he lost second spot on the run-in.