15:30 Cheltenham

Tuesday 12 March 2024

Premier Race Meeting Logo
All13:3014:1014:5015:3016:1016:5017:30

Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1) (GBB Race)

  • 4YO plus  |   Class 1  |   2m 87y  |   Heavy (Soft in places)  |   8 Runners  |   Turf  |   Weighed In
  • Off time: 15:30  |   Winning time: 4m 13.88s
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1
Horse silk
Colonel Mustardb124
Age: 9|  Weight: 11-10| J: J J Slevin| T: L Fowler| OR:  146| D
50/1
Good effort back hurdling when 1½ lengths second of 5 to Nemean Lion in Kingwell at Wincanton last month but received 3 lb from his reopposing rival on that occasion so there's no reason why he'll turn the tables. Blinkered first time.
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Timeform
2
Horse silk
Iberico Lord31
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-10| J: N de Boinville| T: N J Henderson| OR:  143| CD
11/1
Good winner of the Greatwood over C&D on his reappearance in November and shrugged off a lesser run behind stablemate Luccia at Ascot in December when bagging another big handicap win in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury (2m, soft) last month. Capable of even better. Supplemented for £18,000 last week.
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Timeform
3
Horse silk
Irish Point75
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-10| J: J W Kennedy| T: G Elliott| OR:  159| D
9/2
Wrapped up his novice hurdle campaign with a 2½m Grade 1 success at Aintree. A second Grade 1 win came over just short of 3m at the Leopardstown Christmas meeting but his Down Royal reappearance success prior to that came over 17f so he isn't short of speed. Can follow State Man home.
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Timeform
4
Horse silk
Nemean Lion24
Age: 7|  Weight: 11-10| J: R Patrick| T: Kerry Lee| OR:  151| D
12/1
Took his form up another notch when landing the second Grade 2 success of his career in the Kingwell at Wincanton last month, giving weight and a beating to Colonel Mustard. More will be needed to seriously trouble State Man but this likeable type should give another good account.
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Timeform
5
Horse silk
Not So Sleepy94
Age: 12|  Weight: 11-10| J: S Bowen| T: H Morrison| OR:  158| D
33/1
Now a 12-y-o but he was better than ever at the end of 2023, winning a Flat handicap at Newbury in September and the rearranged Fighting Fifth at Sandown (2m, heavy) in December. Fifth in the last 3 running of this race but he might go a place or two better this time.
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Timeform
6
Horse silk
State Man37
Age: 7|  Weight: 11-10| J: P Townend| T: W P Mullins| OR:  169| C| D
2/5
No match for Constitution Hill in this race last season but that's his only defeat in his last 11 starts, gaining second successive wins in Grade 1 Morgiana, Matheson and Irish Champion this winter. Can't be opposed.
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Timeform
7
Horse silk
Zarak The Brave44
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-10| J: D A Jacob| T: W P Mullins| OR:  152| BF| D
22/1
Really smart effort to win the Galway Hurdle in August. Pulled up in Tipperary Grade 3 in October but back on track with small-field Grade 3 success at Naas in January. More needed.
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Timeform
8
Horse silk
Luccia80
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-3| J: James Bowen| T: N J Henderson| OR:  140| D
33/1
Useful hurdler who resumed winning ways in valuable Betfair Exchange Trophy (Handicap) at Ascot (2m, good) just before Christmas. Her strong-travelling style provides some hope she can cope stepping up significantly in class but she'll need a career best to reach the frame.
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Timeform

Forecasts

State Man (2/5), Irish Point (9/2), Iberico Lord (11/1), Nemean Lion (12/1), Zarak The Brave (22/1), Luccia (33/1), Not So Sleepy (33/1), Colonel Mustard (50/1)

Verdict

STATE MAN's only defeat over hurdles in the last 2 years came at the hands of Constitution Hill in this race last season and in the absence of that outstanding rival he's fully expected to make it 11 career wins. Irish Point's Grade 1 success at Leopardstown over Christmas came at just short of 3m but he was speedy enough to win a Grade 3 over just in excess of 2m on his reappearance and can give the selection most to do ahead of Kingwell-winner Nemean Lion.

Previous Winners

2023
4/11
2022
Weight: 11-3  |Age: 8
8/11
2021
Weight: 11-3  |Age: 7
11/10
2020
Weight: 11-3  |Age: 6
2/1
2019
Weight: 11-10  |Age: 5
16/1
2018
Weight: 11-10  |Age: 7
8/15
2017
Weight: 11-10  |Age: 6
5/1

Prize Money

1st: £262,078.002nd: £98,739.003rd: £49,416.004th: £24,685.005th: £12,389.006th: £6,194.007th: £3,074.008th: £1,584.00

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