Menorah And Solwhit Earn Quotes Of 12/1 For Champion Hurdle.


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

Totesport are a best price 12/1 about both Menorah and Solwhit fot the Champion Hurdle next March, after both horses recorded victories in their respective races at Cheltenham and Punchestown this afternoon.

In winning the Dobbins and Madigans at Punchestown Hurdle for the second year running, Solwhit put up another thoroughly professional performance, even though trainer Charles Byrnes had expressed reservations over the 6 year-olds level of fitness.

After tracking the long time leader Donnas Palm, jockey Davy Russell sent the 11/10 favourite to the front turning for home and Solwhit only had to be pushed out with hands and heels to withstand the late challenge of chief rival Voler La Vedette.

Regarding the geldings next outing Byrnes said: " We'll look at the Hatton's Grace now, I didn't use to like running him again too soon but he's got so relaxed at home that he's taking nothing out of himself."

In contrast to Solwhit's defeat of three rivals, the Philip Hobbs trained Menorah had a much tougher task carrying top weight of 11s 12lb in the ultra-competitive Greatwood Handicap Hurdle.

In giving 24lb and a neck beating to the progressive Bothy the 5 year-old put himself bang in the Champion Hurdle picture, earning quotes as short as 7/1 with Coral and Skybet.

As to the son of King's Theatre's path to the Festival, Hobbs said: " He's only five and I hope there's a fair bit of room for improvement. Lets hope he's up there with my two previous winners of this race, Rooster Booster and Detroit City.

" I suppose the old Bula Hurdle back here might be next, but he'd have a large penalty in that. Otherwise he'd go for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. It will be one or the other."

Even though the Greatwood Hurdle is a handicap, it's influence regarding the Champion Hurdle has, since Celtic Shot's victory in the 80s, been significant, and once again today's race is sure to play a leading role in the outcome of the 2011 championship contest.

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