Wincanton Kingwell Hurdle Preview: Call Me Lord Looking To Book Champion Hurdle Place
With less than four weeks to go before the 2018 Cheltenham Festival betting sensation gets underway, the highlight on day 1 – the Unibet Champion Hurdle looks at the mercy of reigning champion Buveur D’Air, currently as short as 2-5 to record back-to-back victories at the home of national hunt racing next month.
The recent defeats of potential Irish challengers Faugheen and Melon left the championship contest looking decidedly a one-sided affair and with the majority of trials already out of the way it is left to Wincanton’s Betway Kingwell Hurdle on Saturday to breathe some life into the great race first run at Prestbury Park in 1927.
Eleven horses were entered for the two mile Grade 2 event at Monday’s declaration stage with the 33-1 offered by Betbright and Boylesports about the Dan Skelton-trained Ch’Tibello lifting the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday 13th March the shortest quoted about any of the potential runners on Saturday afternoon. Fourth place in Cheltenham’s International Hurdle back in December and runner-up spot behind The New One in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock on his most recent start hardly looks good enough form to pose a threat to Buveur D’Air for the hurdling crown.
One horse however who has yet to prove capable of mixing it at the highest grade but possesses the greatest potential of any runner at the weekend is Buveur D’Air’s stablemate Call Me Lord. Impressive winner of two of his three starts since joining Nicky Henderson from France the five-year-old almost certainly needed his first run of the season at Huntingdon and is better judged on a smooth victory over the in-form Our Merlin under a big weight at Sandown last month.
Our tipping team are divided ahead of the final race at Sandown with @StevoGG going for Our Merlin and Dave Nevison selecting Call Me Lord. Who is your pick for the 3.35?— Racing UK (@Racing_UK) January 6, 2018
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Available at 40-1 with William Hill ( money back if missing the festival ), the son of Slickly could easily turn out to be the Champion Hurdle each-way value if putting up a bold show at Wincanton against a field of well exposed rivals.