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Christmas Hurdle Grade One
Christmas Hurdle tips for Boxing Day’s Grade 1 race. This is always run at a proper clip, something that makes this more of a test than is often the case on a sharp track. Yanworth won last year despite being off the bridle a long way from home, speed helps but it isn’t everything. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.
Unbeaten in five starts last season including the Champion Hurdle, Buveur D’Air holds a strong hand in the two mile hurdling division this season, with only one from last seasons novice ranks looking capable of putting up any kind of threat. He didn’t make it into action until December last season, with nothing pencilled in for the early weeks this season so perhaps he won’t be seen until at least the Fighting Firth if not here. Having not really taken to fences, Nicky Henderson looked like a genius switching his charge back to the smaller obstacles and with this once more looking anything but a strong division, he may carry all before him once more.
Another who went through last season unbeaten, representing the same owner as the above horse is Defi Du Seuil. Impressive no matter the ground that he was faced with, he dominated the juvenile division, boasting a high cruising speed. A winner at both Cheltenham and Aintree, it’s been a question for much debate over the summer to see if he would remain over hurdles or be sent towards the Arkle. An entry in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham would suggest that it is the former but sophomore campaigns are not easy and he surely won’t take on his JP McManus owned opponent.
Such is the hold that McManus potentially holds over this division, the ten-year-old My Tent Or Yours is another who has the potential to be Kempton bound at Christmas. Winner of this contest in 2013, he once more ran a monster of a race when behind Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle. Runner-up in further Grade 1’s at Aintree and Punchestown, he is still more than capable of at least making the frame in contests such as this. He doesn’t always find as much off the bridle as looks likely but this track has been to his liking in the past so he is an each way option if there are sufficient runners.
Faugheen hasn’t been seen in competitive action since January 2016 when running riot in the Irish Champion Hurdle. Beaten just a single time in his thirteen race career, he has reportedly been well at home since he was last viewed in public. He is undoubtedly a former star, rated as high as 176 but whether he can be trusted to be able to produce anything close to that sort of level after such a long time off the track and rising ten is a question that only he can answer. For all that the racing public would relish seeing him back to his imperious best (more so in a relatively weak division) he is hard to trust completely until we have seen him first time up.
Winner of the Punchestown Champion Hurdle was Wicklow Brave. Given an incredibly enterprising ride on that occasion, he is a horse who has done some of his best work that way, including beating Order Of St George in the Irish St Leger. He has shown little on the flat this summer which would be a slight concern but he is the type who could bounce back quick easily from nowhere, especially if they allow him to stride on in front. This track may well play to his strengths as well, a well judged ride from the front could have even the best of them on the stretch from some way out.