Jan 31 2018
Irish Champion Hurdle Tips and Betting Offers, 3:30 at Leopardstown, Saturday 3rd February 2018
The pick of Saturday’s racing action comes from Leopardstown, with the Irish Champion Hurdle taking place. The two mile course is set to see a competitive race, with no clear favourite following recent movements in the betting. We always want to see a few contenders for a race this size, but just who will take the crown won by Petit Mouchoir last year?
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Irish Champion Hurdle Betting Tips
Irish Champion Hurdle Betting Preview
The bookies looked to have settled on Faugheen as the clear favourite coming in to this one, but they’ve slightly soured on him, taking the price back to 7/4 with Coral. While that’s not exactly a huge amount, the Willie Mullins’ trained horse has never started a race anything above 6/4, so this is a significant boost for the current favourite.
However, there’s not a great deal between the top two, with Melon coming in to this race priced up at 15/8 with Betfair to come away with glory. Faugheen’s stablemate seems well fancied for success here, but with just one win from four races – starting as the favourite in all – there’s clearly some issues for Mullins to sort out with his alternate pick.
Of the two, we have to plump for Faugheen to take top spot. The 10-year-old was the winner during the 2016 renewal here, dominating in impressive fashion to cruise to victory. While the last two years have been tough for him, Mullins seems confident enough to test the former Champion Hurdle winner in this race.
Faugheen’s falling price started due to doubts over Mullins’ desire to keep him in this field, or leave Melon as the clear favourite. However, the 2016 winner has been confirmed for the race, but that’s not arrested his slump. Part of the problem is his poor showing at his last outing here, as he pulled up during the Ryanair Hurdle at Leopardstown in December. However, we expect him to return to form this weekend, with Mullins clearly confident that he’s ready to return to the top on Saturday.
One other alternative pick here is Defi Du Seuil, who comes here as a 7/2 chance with Ladbrokes. John McManus has entered the five-year-old following an impressive run of seven wins in eight across the hurdles, and as a result we’re backing him as an outside contender here. While there’s clearly some heated competition for the Irish Champion Hurdle, Defi Du Seuil has what it takes to make a challenge. Given that this is his first time around this course, his odds have drifted slightly, but we think he’s more than capable of putting on a show and closing the gap on the current top two here.