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2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle tips – 7/1 and 14/1 tips in popular Ayr handicap

Jonathan Vine 12 Apr 2019
A view of the runners in the Scottish Champion Hurdle.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade Two Handicap and highlights two horses for punters to back at Ayr on Saturday 13th April.

The Scottish Grand National rightly hogs the lion’s share of the limelight on Saturday afternoon. Hurdlers are, however, given their chance to shine earlier in the card, as a talented field of two-milers battle it out in the Scottish Champion Hurdle. Unlike many of the other Champion Hurdle’s on the calendar, this Grade Two is a handicap race. None-the-less, many of the game’s greats have sealed victory in this high-quality contest, with the names of Alderbrook, Comedy Of Errors, Night Nurse and Sea Pigeon shining on the roll of honour.

The final field of 20 looks set in stone for this year’s renewal and the betting is starting to take shape. Our expert has cast his eye through the list of entries and picked out two horses for punters to back in the 2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle.

2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle Tips

The Skelton’s are a combination to be feared in any handicap hurdle and it looks like Nube Negra has been pointed at this race all season. Redicean is a talented dual-purpose horse with plenty of speed. Yet, neither has been particularly convincing in the jumping department this term and I’m going to look further down the betting for both of my selections.

Nicky Henderson has called upon Connor Brace to take seven pounds off Verdana Blue’s back, giving the top-weight a significantly better chance. Nicky Henderson hasn’t won this race since 1986 and the prospect of good ground will fill the Seven Barrows maestro with plenty of hope. Her stablemate, MISTER FISHER (7/1 William Hill), is much better off at the weights and could rise to the challenge on his first start in handicap company.

Despite losing as the short-priced favourite on his debut over jumps, Mister Fisher established himself as a Supreme horse during the first half of the season. Nico De Boinville produced his mount perfectly to win a hot-race at Ascot on his second start, before James Bowen guided Mister Fisher to a hard-fought victory in the Rossington Main at Haydock.

The rain-sodden ground on Champions’ Day at Cheltenham really didn’t suit Nicky Henderson’s charge. Swamped by a sea of mud and bodies coming down the hill, James Bowen dragged Mister Fisher to the outside entering the home straight, but the five-year-old couldn’t make any inroads in the closing stages, cantering over the line alongside Angel’s Breath back in eighth.

Conditions should be much more favourable this weekend and the flat, galloping track here at Ayr should suit. Nico De Boinville managed to get Mister Fisher settled beautifully at Ascot, something subsequent jockeys have been unable to do and he’s already been confirmed in the 9/1 shot’s saddle. 11-01 is a generous mark to be exploited.

Brain Power is often found wanting at Grade One level, but Nicky Henderson's charge won the International Hurdle earlier in the campaign and could be classy enough to carry the weight. Magic Dancer is an experienced handicapper not to be underestimated, but the one I like at an each-way price is PEARL OF THE WEST (14/1 William Hill)

John McConnell's mare impressed during the summer, handing Willie Mullins' Pakora a ten-length thrashing before finishing behind a trio of smart horses in a Grade Three at Tipperary. Pearl Of The West then ventured to Cheltenham during the Open Meeting and took down a sizeable prize pot, comfortably seeing off Ayr rival Redicean to claim the Mastersons Holding Hurdle.

The form of that race has worked out extremely well, as all five of the horses who were easily beaten have come out and won since. McConnell boasts a 40% strike rate with his runners in Britain this season and Pearl Of The West looks primed for Ayr, having run really well on her prep-run on the flat at Dundalk two weeks ago.

10-4 looks an attractive mark for a horse who should relish the conditions and few jockeys have been riding as well as Sean Bowen this term. Pearl Of The West looks set for a big run.

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2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle tips – 7/1 and 14/1 tips in popular Ayr handicap

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade Two Handicap and highlights two horses for punters to back at Ayr on Saturday 13th April.

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