Fighting Fifth Hurdle
This is a fascinating renewal of the Fighting Fifth with a hotly anticipated early showdown between 2 time Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air, Samcro and Summerville Boy.
So many unknowns here with the second season novices attempting to take on the Current champion!
We must start off with the current dual Champion Hurdler who really needs no introduction.
Buveur D’Air is a very difficult proposition to oppose. Only been beaten once over obstacles and is undefeated in over 2 and a half years but this is a tough start to his season. SP of evens but that price is likely to be much shorter come race time.
In my opinion Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air had a relatively easy time of things en route to winning the 2018 Champion Hurdle which to be fair wasn’t a quality renewal in my opinion but he battled on tenaciously to fend off the challenge from Melon.
Henderson’s horses have reportedly been sparkling at home but unfortunately have resulted in huge flops recently. Might Bite and Terrefort spring to mind! Could Buveur D’Air be next? He’s no doubt the one to beat.
Samcro’s novice season campaign was up there with the best we’ve seen in recent years and has already been talked up as a potential Gold Cup horse!
Gordon Elliott’s Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle winner destroyed a great field in the Deloitte at Leopardstown before going on to win the Neptune Novices at the Cheltenham Festival in good style beating the gutsy Black Op.
Himself and Melon fell in 3rd last in the Punchestown Champion Hurdle when looking at mounting a challenge but it’s unknown to how they would’ve finished.
His seasonal debut resulted in a huge shock getting turned over at odds on by Bedrock – Many were quick to write him off for it but I think the opposite!
The more I’ve thought about the race the more I respected Samcro, himself and Sharjah took themselves on for the lead and it took its toll and setting it up nicely for Bedrock to steel the show.
Samcro had to give 5lb to Bedrock that day to a horse had crept under the radar and had been on the go all summer mixing it up on the flat and over hurdles. Bedrock beat a good field at Tipperary pretty easily before going on to beat Samcro.
Samcro is sure to improve massively for the run and back now to level weights he should have the better of Bedrock this time.
Also another point that should be noted is that Gordon Elliot trained the Champion Hurdle 3rd Mick Jazz. For Gordon to campaign Samcro down the Champion Hurdle route shows how much better he must think he is to Mick Jazz.
Summerville boy is such a hard one to figure out as it seemed to take him a few runs before he got things together and started to look very good!
He clearly has an engine although his jumping has let him down at times, how he managed to win the Supreme Novices at the Festival I don’t know after making a bad error at the 2nd last which looked to have cost him yet he still powered home to land the spoils.
Great effort, but I just feel his time will shine later on in the season and may need the run if last season is to go by.
Bedrock is as per discussed with Samcro and he’s sure to be tuned up like before and he could be picking up the pieces if any of the big guns decide not to turn up.
Vision Des Flos and Bleu et Rouge are just not good enough and cannot see them playing a part so we can put a line through them.
So I’m going to take a chance on Samcro – that he’s to improve for his recent run which could be decisive this early on in the season and at 2/1 looks the value.
2. Buveur d’air
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