Monday, January 25, 2010

Solwhit now 3-1 Favourite for Champion Hurdle

The betting for yesterdays Irish Champion Hurdle rightly suggested a close affair between Solwhit and Celestial Halo. The former, Charles Byrnes 6 year old gelding, beaten only once this term in the Fighting Fifth hurdle was 9/10 favourite for the 2 mile, €110,000 Grade 1 event and the English raider, Celestial Halo who was second in last years champion hurdle and won the Triumph hurdle the season before was a general 2-1 chance.

In the end, Davy Russells mount, Solwhit beat Celestial Halo by a convincing 9 lengths and thus put to the sword one of Britains top hurdlers from the most powerful yard in that country. Russell, not normally the showman, even managed to peep through his legs at daylight behind (pictured above) as he passed the winning post almost 5 lengths ahead of the grey Donnas Palm
Solwhit was ridden enterprisingly throughout by Russell, running handily in the slipstream of Donnas Palm and Sublimity. Celestial Halo led for most of the race before coming under pressure two furlongs out, Solwhit responded gamely to a shake of the reigns before the last hurdle where he out-jumped Donnas Palm and strode to his fifth Grade 1 victory.
Davy Russell made other potential Champion Hurdle contenders take note by, quipping "The hill at Cheltenham is tailor-made for him"

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