Welsh Champion Hurdle Betting Tips & Betting Preview

Run for the last three years at the start of February over 2 miles 4 furlongs, the Welsh Champion Hurdle has now reverted back to a 2 mile trip to better fit with the Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle, but still remains a handicap.

The aptly named WELSH SHADOW is our tip for the 2016 renewal of this race, having shown plenty of promise in his first season hurdling. An impressive bumper winner, he finished 5th in the Neptune Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival and a mark of 140 for his handicap debut looks very reasonable. It’s worth noting that he is owned by Dai Walters, chairman of Ffos Las racecourse and sponsor of this race, who saw his silks carried to victory by Oscar Whisky back in 2011.

He remains lightly raced, has an excellent strike rate, and will be nicely suited by the ground having won his bumper on Good and run to a close 3rd in a Novice Grade 2 at Kempton back in February. He has plenty of potential for big handicaps this season and our tip should be able to take home the near £19,000 first prize on offer here.

His main danger looks to be the 4 year old Tommy Silver according to the market, an ex French flat horse who also returns from a 6 month summer break. This is his first time racing the oldr horses, having been kept to 4 year old races last year, and trainer Paul Nicholls has won the last two renewals of the Welsh Champion Hurdle. He runs off a mark of 138 here – the same mark he was beaten off at Sandown in a Class 2 handicap for 4 year olds only – and he’ll need to have stepped forward over the summer to win here.

Garde La Victoire was sent off as joint 4/1 favourite for the JLT Novices Chase at Cheltenham Festival and 7/2 second favourite for the Manifesto Novices’ Chase a month later at Aintree, but poor jumping let him down and he fell in both. His jumping was poor throughout at Aintree and while he promises to be well handicapped back hurdling – he won a Listed hurdle at Sandown in January 2015 – this is his first Hurdles start since then and looks sure to just be a confident booster before he returns to chasing.

Hassle is the only horse with the benefit of a recent run, having won the Listed Prelude Handicap Hurdle off a 10lb lower mark exactly three weeks ago. Charlie Hammond rides here again and this ex-100 rated Flat horse clearly has an engine. He’s won three of his five starts hurdling since Julyar andhere was plenty to like about the way he won last time out in similar conditions and he could run a big race at a double figure price.

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