The Challow Hurdle (15:00 Saturday 30 December) is a Grade 1 Hurdle for novice hurdlers aged 4 or older. It is run over 2 miles 4 furlongs and 118 yards at Newbury, and the race’s most famous winner was Denman. Other notable winners who went on to bigger things include Bonanza Boy, Large Action, Bindaree, Wichita Lineman, Diamond Harry, Reve Di Sivola and Taquin De Seuil.
Ben Pauling is the only trainer with a runner to have trained a winner
Five 5-year-olds, three 4-year-olds and two 6-year-olds have won
Winners have been rated between 130 and 149
SP’s have ranged from 1/4 to 8/1
4 of the last 10 favourites have won
Dans Le Vent
4-year-old who won 2 of his 4 starts in bumpers, and placed on his first 2 starts over hurdles before winning at the third attempt. The form of his third in a bumper here at Newbury on soft ground has worked out well, with the second Western Ryder having already won a decent hurdle race at Cheltenham this season. However, his mark of 133 leaves him with 14lb to find on official ratings with Kilbricken Storm and Poetic Rhythm.
Point-to-point winner who has won his last 2 starts over hurdles. The first of those was over 2-miles on soft ground, but he showed he has stamina in abundance when winning over 3-miles at Cheltenham on soft ground. Shorter trip here, but that stamina could prove a useful asset in heavy ground.
Point-to-point winner who won his third bumper before winning his first hurdles race. That was over a similar distance to this race, and he proved he handles testing conditions, but the runner-up has been beaten further since back over the same course and distance.
The most experienced runner in the field having had 4 winless runs in point-to-points, 2 wins out 3 runs in bumpers, and 1 win in 6 hurdle races. The form of his third at Cheltenham last time has been boosted since however, with the runner-up an impressive winner of a handicap back at Cheltenham, and the winner winning even more impressively at Sandown.
Way Back Then
6-year-old trained by Ben Pauling, who has run in 1 point-to-point, 1 bumper and 1 hurdles race, winning the last twice. Highly-regarded, and open to loads of improvement, but collateral form through On The Blind Side leaves him with plenty to find with Poetic Rhythm.
Reversed form with Cap Soleil (stablemate of Poetic Rhythm) under an enterprising ride from Richard Johnson last time, and could go just as well for the similarly aggressive Harry Skelton here. Has an extra half-mile to contend with, but only 3lb to find with the top-2, taking into account her 7lb mares-allowance.
Kilbricken Storm is the only runner that has proven his stamina over further on this sort of ground, and that could win him the day. However, as the form of Poetic Rhythm’s third at Cheltenham last time has worked out extremely well, Fergal O’Brien’s 6-year-old is just preferred.
2018 Challow Hurdle Tip: Poetic Rhythm @ 10/3 Bet365, WilliamHill