The form of Henry de Bromhead horses over the last few months is influencing the Champion Hurdle price for Honeysuckle, suggested Johnny Ward on Racing Weekly.
The all-round Irish racing expert was a special guest on the third episode of Racing Weekly, a brand-new show fronted by racing broadcaster Rishi Persad and top tipster Sam Turner.
Honeysuckle extends perfect record
Honeysuckle remains a favourable best price 4/7 for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham despite claiming a third consecutive victory in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown. Rachel Blackmore was on board as the 1/5 favourite extended her perfect record to 14 wins from 14 outings.
It’s what she does between the hurdles rather than the slickness of her jumping which makes a successful Champion Hurdle defence next month near enough a “foregone conclusion”, said Turner, with Ward adding that – with the possible exception of Appreciate It – the rest of the field are “nowhere near good enough to beat her”.
Those of you staying on top of the Cheltenham updates via the Road to Cheltenham Blog on oddschecker would have known that Willie Mullins’ Appreciate It was likely to skip the Dublin Racing Festival as early as January 31st, but Turner expressed his surprise at the lack of questions asked.
He said: “There was very little word about why he missed the race - no real questions asked which I find strange given that if it was over in this country and it was Nicky Henderson, for example, he'd be getting both barrels from everybody.”
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The missing piece for Willie Mullins
Sticking with the Mullins yard, our experts debated the chances of Chacun Pour Soi – winner of the Ladbrokes Dublin Chase last weekend - in the Queen Mother Champion Chase at Cheltenham, the only championship race at the Cheltenham Festival that Mullins has yet to win.
To find out whether Ward thinks Chacun Pour Soi can rival Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin, click in here and watch from the 10-minute mark.
Later in the show, trainer Lucinda Russell and former jockey Peter Scudamore drop by to discuss Ahoy Senor, plans for the Festival and what they would change about the sport.
And keep watching to the very end for ‘Turner’s Tip for this week’s racing action – a “split-stake go” on the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury.