Morgiana Hurdle tips and runner-by-runner guide to Punchestown 2.05 on Sunday

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Willie Mullins fires three darts at the Morgiana Hurdle in a bid to win the Grade 1 for the 11th time in 12 years.

The experienced Sharjah defends his crown and goes for his third victory but faces competition from stablemates Saldier, who won this in 2019, and County Hurdle hero State Man.

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Grade 2-winning hurdler Teahupoo is Gordon Elliott’s sole runner while last month’s Horse & Jockey Hotel Hurdle scorer Jesse Evans completes the field.

Morgiana Hurdle odds can be found on the Paddy Power website, Paddy Power app or via our snazzy betting widgets, otherwise a horse-by-horse guide to the runners and betting tips are below.

Morgiana Hurdle runners

Jesse Evans

Trainer: Noel Meade Jockey: BJ Cooper Age: 6 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Smart hurdler. 1 win from 3 runs this season. Rare poor run when nineteenth of 20 in handicap at Naas (16.1f, heavy, 11/2) 14 days ago. Switches to hurdles and the sort to bounce back.

***

Saldier

Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Danny Mullins Age: 8 Weight: 11st 12lbs

2019 winner of this event but he’s been off for 9 months since coming in a well-beaten sixth of 7 to Teahupoo in Red Mills Trial Hurdle at Gowran. Needs to hit the ground running.

***

Sharjah

Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Mr PW Mullins Age: 9 Weight: 11st 12lbs

High-class hurdler who bagged his second success in this event 12 months ago. Landed Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown (16f, good to soft, 5/6) by neck from Zanahiyr 10 months and not taken lightly despite his absence.

****

State Man

Trainer: Willie Mullins Jockey: Paul Townend Age: 5 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Quickly made up into a very smart hurdler last term, following up his County Hurdles success at Cheltenham with win in Champion Novices’ Hurdle here (19.4f) by 7 lengths from Flame Bearer. Has plenty more to offer this season and a most interesting prospect.

*****

Teahupoo

Trainer: Gordon Elliott Jockey: Jack Kennedy Age: 5 Weight: 11st 12lbs

Smart hurdler. Three-time winner last term but he signed off with last of 6 in Punchestown Champion Hurdle at this course (16f, good to soft, 12/1). Off 6 months. Stable in good form and can bounce back.

***

Morgiana Hurdle tips

Timeform: Willie Mullins has farmed this Grade 1 event in recent years and his highly exciting and fast improving STATE MAN is fancied to announce himself at hurdling’s top table by making a winning return here. Stable-companion Sharjah is already a dual scorer in this event so can’t be taken lightly, with Teahupoo appealing as the pick of the remainder for minor honours.

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