Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) 2m 110y

  • (4yo+, 2m 110y, Class 1, 11 runners)
  • Winner £210,937 2nd £79,143 3rd £39,627 4th £19,758 5th £9,916 6th £4,958
  • Going: Good (Good to Soft in places , Cross Country G/F,Good in places )
  • Surface: Turf
Weighed In:
  • Winning time: 3m 53.60s
  • Off time: 15:20:51

Full Result

15:20 Cheltenham
Pos Dist Horse Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP
1st 4 Hurricane Fly (IRE) W P Mullins 7 11-10 R Walsh 11/4f
SP 11/4f Held up in mid-division, headway from 3 out to track leaders going well 2 out, challenged approaching last and led at hurdle, driven and edged right under pressure flat, in command last 50 yards opened 3/1 £7000-£2000 £10000-£3000 £6000-£2000(x3) £3000-£1000(x5) £22000-£8000 £2750-£1000
2nd 10 Peddlers Cross (IRE) D McCain Jnr 6 11-10 J M Maguire 9/2
SP 9/2 Tracked leaders, went 2nd 4th, challenged 3 out, led narrowly after 2 out, driven and headed last, carried right flat, stayed on under pressure, held last 50 yards £10000-£2000 £5000-£1000 £18000-£4000 £9000-£2000 £4500-£1000
3rd 5 8 Oscar Whisky (IRE) N J Henderson 6 11-10 B J Geraghty 7/1
SP 7/1 Tracked leaders, hit 2nd and 3rd, led narrowly 2 out, soon ridden and headed, demoted to 3rd last, stayed on same pace, no impression on front pair opened 8/1 £15000-£1800 £8000-£1000
4th 2 11 Thousand Stars (FR) W P Mullins 7 11-10 P Townend 33/1
SP 33/1 Held up towards rear, headway to track leaders when not fluent and bumped 3 out, slightly outpaced when bumped on bend after 2 out, stayed on approaching last, went 4th flat, not trouble leaders opened 22/1 £20000-£600
5th 6 Menorah (IRE) P J Hobbs 6 11-10 R Johnson 3/1
SP 3/1 Held up in touch, hit 5th, tracking leaders 3 out, ridden after 2 out and unable to quicken, 4th and beaten when mistake last, one pace opened 4/1 £20000-£5000 £12000-£3000 £8000-£2000 £4800-£1200 £4000-£1000 £4000-£1000(x2)
6th 2 2 Clerk's Choice (IRE) M Banks 5 11-10 T Molloy 50/1
SP 50/1 Held up in rear, pushed along and outpaced after 3 out, stayed on under pressure after 2 out, chasing leaders when hit last, no impression, weakened flat opened 40/1 £60000-£600
7th 5 9 Overturn (IRE) D McCain Jnr 7 11-10 G Lee 40/1
SP 40/1 Led, headed 2 out, losing place when hampered on bend soon after, well held last
8th ¾ 3 Dunguib (IRE) P Fenton 8 11-10 B T O'Connell 10/1
SP 10/1 Held up in mid-division, in touch towards rear when hampered 3 out, no impression and soon beaten, weakened 2 out opened 9/1 touched 11/1 £10000-£1000 £5000-£500 £5000-£500
9th ½ 5 Khyber Kim N A Twiston-Davies 9 11-10 P J Brennan 12/1
SP 12/1 Held up towards rear, effort after 5th, ridden approaching 3 out, soon beaten £42000-£3000 £10000-£800
10th 10 1 Bygones of Brid (IRE) Karen Mclintock 8 11-10 Timmy Murphy 200/1
SP 200/1 Tracked leader until 4th, lost place after 5th, in rear when hampered 3 out, soon weakened opened 150/1
11th ½ 7 Mille Chief (FR) A King 5 11-10 R Thornton 16/1
SP 16/1 Held up towards rear, ridden 3 out, no impression, soon weakened opened 14/1 £10000-£700

Betting Breakdown

Tote Win £3.40 Tote Place £1.50 £1.80 £2.50 Straight Forecast £14.69 Exacta £16.10 Trifecta £66.50 Swingers 1&2 £2.80, 2&3 £5.10, 1&3 £4.50

Jackpot £142,083.50, Pool: £200117.69, 1.0 winning tickets
Placepot £60.60, Pool: £970517.56, 11686.68 winning tickets
Quadpot £9.30, Pool: £40783.77, 3221.34 winning tickets

Analysis

A wonderful performance from HURRICANE FLY, as he shrugged side the 'Montjeu' stat, the 'course form' stat and any other stat that the doubters could throw at him. A bit unsettled in the preliminaries, he had sweated up by the time that they had got to the start, and was then keen in the race. That didn't affect his jumping however, as in a field of great hurdlers, he jumped as well as any rival. Held up off just a moderate gallop set by Overturn, Ruby Walsh was still taking a pull on him coming to the second last. As Peddlers Cross, Menorah and Oscar Whisky tried to tough it out, the winner was yet to be asked for his effort, and when asked to jump to the front over the last, he produced a flying leap. To his credit Peddlers Cross battled back, however the winner was always holding his renewed challenge at bay. Tactics were always going to be key, and there are some interesting comparisons to be made with the Supreme Novices' Hurdle run over the same course and distance. Not only was the time in the Champion slower, but there was no concerted effort from Graham Lee on Overturn to stretch the field and whether by accident or design that probably didn't aid the cause of his stablemate Peddlers Cross. The winner however probably would have coped, and indeed he may have settled better off a stronger pace, so its probably irrelevant. Third home was Oscar Whisky, who ran his heart out. Never too far off the pace, he jumped level with Peddlers Cross two hurdles out and he ran on well to the line. He would definitely have preferred a strong pace over this trip, and it will be interesting to see whether Nicky Henderson steps him back up in trip in the future. However barring the World Hurdle, the more valuable races lie over this trip and the temptation may be to keep him to this distance. Menorah travelled well for a long way, and he lost no ground by hugging the rail all the way round. He looked a picture before the race, but having jumped closer six hurdles from home, he was then one of the first of the leading protagonists to come under pressure. He still held every chance turning in, but just flattened out in the closing two furlongs and was eventually pipped for fourth by Thousand Stars. Mullins' second string ran a blinder, especially as the slow pace was against this confirmed hold-up performer. He swung wide off the final turn but jumped the last two hurdles with plenty of zest and may even have snatched a place in another 50 yards. He's just short of this level, but the level of improvement that he has shown since joining Mullins is truly remarkable. Clerk's Choice ran a career-best a couple of lengths further back in sixth, especially as he hit the last flight quite hard, whilst there was a decent gap back to Overturn who appeared out of his depth. He was quickly swallowed up running down the hill despite having had an easy lead. Dunguib ran a strange race; he was reined back around half-way by his jockey and was a little hampered at three out, but he made no impression on the leaders and was bitterly disappointing. Khyber Kim tried to make ground on the outside three out but was soon brushed aside. He may not have been at his best and is not discounted if turning up at Aintree next month. The other disappointment was Mille Chief, who, like Dunguib, never threatened to get into the race from off the pace. In truth, this race was hugely weakened by the absence of reigning champion Binocular, but it is hard to take anything away from Hurricane Fly. He has oodles of class, has proven himself throughout Europe, and will be near impossible to beat at Punchestown. However if Binocular makes it there, then it will be one heck of a battle between two great champions.