Champion Hurdle ratings update

Filed on 31 Jan 2008 @ 11:35

Cheltenham countdown - news digest

Champion Hurdle ratings update | Triumph Hurdle ratings update

By Graham Richards

Graham's full Cheltenham Preview is available now for only £5. Order your copy now. Parts two and three, and daily meeting emails, will be available in February and March.

The fastest three horses in the field on my speed ratings are Straw Bear, Harchibald and Osana.
My three top rated form horses are Harchibald, Straw Bear, Sizing Europe.
Overall FSF and thoughts are below.

Straw Bear151Won the Christmas Hurdle in game fashion. I still feel he is best on soft ground on a flat track and the hill may catch him out again.
Harchibald150The enigma, which may become the champion. I hope all the runners that matter will turn up for the fun. Given that scenario, the race will be run at a ferocious pace. If Harchibald turns up fresh and well, I do not see him being out of the frame. With the fancied horses likely to kick for home between the final two hurdles, he will have every opportunity to execute the exaggerated waiting tactics required. Paul Carberry possesses the mental strength to come fast, late, and creep into the action on the run-in; stealing it from under the nostrils of his opponents.
Sizing Europe147Created a favourable impression, winning easily at Leopardstown. He still has something to find with the top two, his speed figure letting his overall FSF figure down. He was spending far too much time in the air at his hurdles during the AIG Hurdle; he will not be able to repeat that at Cheltenham. It should be noted from that race, Hardy Eustace needs further these days, and Al Eile is a better horse when he is fresh. Sizing Europe did however win comfortably, and looks sure to figure at the business end of the race.
Osana147Likely to run in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, as part of his preparation for the Festival. I wonder in the heat of a Champion Hurdle, if he will be able to repeat his all the way win achieved at Cheltenham in December. I am sure he has improvement to come and his speed figure is close to the top two.
Sublimity146The reigning champion is waiting in the wings at present. I am still of the opinion that he won a weak renewal in 2007. He is steady in the market at present and I am convinced that is where his chance will be reflected.
Hardy Eustace146Short of speed now at two-miles, despite his Cheltenham record, he may be past his best when it comes to Festival glory.
Al Eile145I hope this fellow will by-pass Cheltenham and go straight to Aintree, where he should be fresh and ready to run for his life.
Afsoun143Generally disappointing this season and hard to fancy him at this stage.
Katchit143May be a year too soon for this game performer. Nevertheless, he loves Prestbury Park and will, I am sure, not be disgraced.
Jazz Messenger143Not sure to come over and I feel, Cheltenham is not his track.
Farmer Brown140Still recuperating, connections hope to be able to give him a Festival prep in February.
Aitmatov138Ran like a drain at Leopardstown confirming the abysmal form of Noel Meade’s horses. As I write, he is one winner from thirty runners this month.
Ebaziyan138Will have the fast pace he loves. I have a sneaky feeling he will run a big race and make the frame.
Silent Oscar137Reported to be coming back to his best and a fast improving hurdler last spring.
Blythe Knight135Due to run soon and the subject of upbeat reports from his trainer.
Amaretto Rose131Another due to reappear in the near future and Nicky Henderson feels she has improved considerably since we last saw her.

Filed on 31 Jan 2008 @ 11:35