Champion Hurdle Outsider Blackstairmountain Kicks Off Season At Down Royal.


Tagged under: 3.20 Stan James Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy (Grade 1)

Down Royal's exciting two day meeting gets under way today with the highlight being the Grade 2 WKD Core Hurdle, featuring Willie Mullins' promising hurdler Blackstairmountain.

A top price 50/1 for the Stan James Champion Hurdle with Ladbrokes, the five-year-old is unlikely to be suited by the soft ground, but the trainer is keen to run saying: " I'm definitely concerned about the ground, but it's very hard to get races for him and I need to get a run into him, so I'm happy to let him run."

Tenth behind Menorah in the Spinal Research Supreme Novices' Hurdle at the Festival, Blackstairmountain ended the season with an easy victory in the Grade 1 Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, with Aintree scorer General Miller a well beaten fourth.

In a recent interview Mullins said of the gelding " You'd like to think he'll progress enough to be considered for the Champion Hurdle.

" When he got beaten at the Fairyhouse Easter meeting Ruby ( Walsh ) blamed himself for hitting the front too soon. I was more inclined to blame the heavy ground and, anyway, he was beaten by a good horse in Luska Lad. He needs goodish ground to be seen at his best."

Today's race conditions very much suit old rival Luska Lad, and whatever the result Blackstairmountain is sure to improve for the run, and while a place in the Champion Hurdle field is still some way off, a promising run could keep the dream alive.

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