Ayr Racecourse is the venue for the Scottish Champion Hurdle, which forms part of a brilliant supporting card for the Scottish Grand National. Like the English and Irish Champion Hurdles, it is run over two miles, but unlike those grade-one events it is now a handicap.
Scottish Champion Hurdle Trends
The last 10 winners of the Scottish Champion Hurdle have been rated between 130 and 148, with eight of those winners carrying less than 11 stone to victory.
Seven winners had also had their prep-run in March, whilst only three winners had won their previous start. Eight out of the last 10 winners were also aged either five or six, whilst four of the last five winners have been returned at double-figure odds.
Scottish Champion Hurdle 2019 Summary
Five horses are being asked to carry 11-0 or more in the 2019 Scottish Champion Hurdle and the stats suggest the percentage call is to avoid Verdana Blue, Brain Power, Mister Fisher, Leoncavallo, and Redicean.
The stats also suggest history is against those that won last time out, a list which includes Malaya, Pearl Of The West, Dino Velvet, and Captain Moirette.
Caius Marcus also doesn’t look a perfect fit after a 146 day lay-off and he’s aged eight, as is Irish Roe.
If those stats stand up, that leaves us with a shortlist of just four runners, Nube Negra, Anemoi, Equus Amadeus, and Get Out The Gate.
Scottish Champion Hurdle 2019 Shortlist
First-time cheekpieces could be the missing piece of the jigsaw for this strong-travelling five-year-old who has really caught the eye on his last two racecourse appearances. The first of those was at Taunton when he was unlucky to be brought down late on when travelling noticeably well on the heels of the leaders. He then got shuffled to the back at Newbury last time, when he just failed to get up after a thrusting late run. Ayr normally suits horses that can travel strongly, and he looks to have a solid each-way chance at the head of the market off a nice low-weight.
Another five-year-old and this one also contested the race in which Nube Negra was brought down, eventually finishing third. He looked a little one-paced there, as he did when a respectable fifth in a bumper at this meeting last year, but this is his first chance to carry a light-weight in a handicap and he looks to have been targeted at this race. More interestingly, he was just half-a-point bigger than Nube Negra at Taunton yet, despite being 3lb better off at the weights, he’s about six-times the price of his re-opposing rival. He’s also had wind surgery and looks a big price.
This will be his tenth handicap hurdle and, though he’s won off marks of 128 and 131, he looks quite exposed off a mark of 135. First time cheek-pieces offer some chance of improvement, but he didn’t take advantage the last time he had a feather-weight on his back.
Get Out The Gate
Six-year-old that looks more exposed than Nube Negra and Anemoi, especially as the handicapper keeps raising his rating for finishing placed. Has failed to win with less than 11-0 on his back before and he’s 4lb out of the handicap.
Scottish Champion Hurdle 2019 Verdict
There looks to be two very strong stats-fits for this year’s Scottish Champion Hurdle in Nube Negra and Anemoi, two horses that are both unexposed and getting to carry nice light-weights for the first time in a handicap on a course that should suit them.
Nube Negra has caught the eye travelling strongly the last twice and its easy to see why he’s favourite for a stable that won the race in 2016.
However, it’s hard to see why the even more-unexposed Anemoi is as big as six-times the price of the favourite, as he was considered almost his equal two starts ago and is 3lb better off here. That’s why, with lots of big-priced winners in this race’s recent history, Anemoi looks an interesting each-way bet.
Scottish Champion Hurdle 2019 Free Tip:
Anemoi (Each-Way) @ 26.00 Bet365, Coral, BetVictor