One of the feature contests at Leopardstown on Tuesday, the Matheson Hurdle has an illustrious roll of honour. Won by the likes of Istabraq, Moscow Flyer, Brave Inca and Hurricane Fly, it takes a smart horse to win this contest.
If history is anything to go by, this is a race for the repeat winners. There have been five repeat winners of the race, sharing 15 renewals between them. That includes three horses who have completed the hat-trick and there’s a horse in 2020 field who bids to join them.
Trained by a master of his craft, he looks a big price on Tuesday and you can find out all of his details below.
Winning the last two renewals of the Matheson Hurdle, Sharjah has made this race his own. Winning at odds of 6/1 and 9/2, he’s been consistently underestimated and it looks as though the case will be the same in 2020. He’s currently an 8/1 shot and there’s a big case to me made that he should be shorter.
As mentioned in the introduction, this is a race for repeat winners, with 15 renewals shared between five horses. That speaks well for Sharjah, who won the 2018 renewal in very comfortable fashion. It was much of the same twelve months ago, where he tanked into the lead approaching the last before pulling clear.
Leopardstown, and this race specifically, really suit him and this year should be no different. He’s been absent since July, but he’s more than capable fresh and ground conditions will be in his favour.
Ridden by his regular partner Patrick Mullins, he’ll be seen travelling strongly at the rear of the field, and there’s plenty to like about his chances at a tempting each-way price.
Matheson Hurdle Trends
9/10 – Won or placed in a Grade 1 over hurdles
7/10 – Course winner
7/10 – No older than six (all exceptions were multiple winners)
7 /10 – Adjusted RPR of at least 163
The trends horse this year is Abacadabras, a dual Grade 1 winner, including over course and distance. He’s a six-year-old whose adjusted RPR is 163 and runs in the first-time tongue-tie today. He’s quirky, but has an obvious chance.