Ruby’s Champion Hurdle non runner money back
The Cheltenham Festival 2023 is edging ever closer and, with the off slowly looming in to view, we’ve got jump jockey icon turned tactical guru Ruby Walsh and top pundit Rory Delargy with us every week to hopefully get you more bang for your buck.
The Champions Hurdle is the fourth race on Day 1 of this year’s Cheltenham Festival, and the lads have been looking at the markets to hopefully find you a winner.
Constitution Hill is the odds-on favourite but can he be beaten?
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Ruby’s Champion Hurdle picks
People ask me how does a rival rider get Nico De Boinville and Constitution Hill beaten?
I don’t think there is a huge amount that you can do really – it’s not that there’s mind games, but a lot will depend on how the Champion Hurdle is run. The biggest strength that Constitution Hill probably has in terms of not getting beaten, is Nico De Boinville.
He is incredibly good at keeping things unbelievably simple. He doesn’t ever overcomplicate a ride – we watched him on Shishkin last Saturday and asked would he stay the extra trip in the Ascot Chase.
Nico De Boinville rode him like there was absolutely no doubt and this was all dead normal. That’s what he does time and time again.
He will sit just behind the pace so it doesn’t matter how fast they’re going, If they go slow he’ll sit on the pace, gets upsides three furlongs out at the second or the third last and send Constitution Hill on to win his race off the bend into the straight.
Nico just keeps things unbelievably simple. Paul Townend will be looking at it and thinking ‘well, what will I do’?
If he jumps out and goes to the front, Nico’s going to sit on your tail, if you stand below the start and don’t go, Nico will be just gone.
Nico De Boinville doesn’t ride that way, Nico will get upsides you down to the second last and be gone off the bend because in his eyes, my horse is either good enough or isn’t.
If Paul goes too slow in front, Nico will join him at the top of the hill and sail for home then. He’s riding the best horse and that’s the way he rides them.
Is the Mullins team clutching at straws a little bit that State Man can beat Constitution Hill?
Yeah but Nicky was the same when Willie had Monkfish, what did Nicky call him Fishcake so Willie just called him some horse! State Man has been rock solid, he has done so little wrong since joining Willie, he fell at Leopardstown that’s his only blip. Look he got a lead in the Morgiana, he got a lead at Christmas, he made the running in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
Again he’s versatile as to what way you can ride him but all the figures tell you he has quite a bit to find to beat Constitution Hill. But look the race needs opposition – it is State Man, will he be good enough, who knows, it doesn’t look like he will but that doesn’t mean you can’t try. State Man works with good horses and works the best horse always without being fully extended at home because no horses are – you have to keep something for the racecourse. But look State Man does everything right, he’s improved with every run jumping this season but he has to probably improve again.
Look Constitution Hill just looks different – he’s a horse of his generation and for racing it would be great if he is different. Frankel was different, Constitution Hill looks to be different, to me Kauto Star was always different. Hurricane Fly was too, I mean Hurricane Fly’s record what did he win 23/22 Grade 1’s – he was just different and Constitution Hill looks to be the same.
Could State Man be broken by Constitution Hill affecting his chance in the betting without Constitution Hill market?
Of course he could but it depends then, where when Paul presses the button. Could I see if supposing Constitution Hill makes the running, can I see Paul Townend taking Nico De Boinville on at the top of the hill? No, he’ll follow him down and try to pull out to have a go going to the last so no I wouldn’t think so. I think they’ll be first and second.
What about Vauban?
Rory put a figure on it for you a couple of weeks’ back as to what juveniles have to improve to get up to open horses and Vauban is improving, whether he’ll improve quick enough or not only time will tell, but for me at the moment he looks booked for third.
Who will be the 1-2-3 in the Champion Hurdle?
Verdict: Constitution Hill, State Man, Vauban.
Ruby’s Champion Hurdle Tips:
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