The highlight of an exciting jump card at Ffos Las on Saturday is the Ladbrokes Welsh Champion Hurdle at 16:25.
Six classy runners are set to go to post as the new jump season truly kicks into gear.
In what should be a close run contest, Clyne is the early favourite to land the Class 2 Hurdle.
As is the case with five of the six horses declared for the contest, the Evan Williams-trained seven-year-old is making his seasonal reappearance.
However, it’s his good form at the back end of last season that makes him the favourite here.
The son of French-bred raider Hernando was highly progressive last season and was unlucky not to land a Group contest.
He narrowly missed out at Haydock in January and could be set to go one better here.
The New One pipped Clyne at Haydock and is currently second favourite to open the season with a win. Impressively, the hurdler has won first time out in every single one of his season reappearances to date.
He’s a classy gelding who has been in the running in the last four Champion Hurdles and should challenge, despite being top-weight.
Ozzie The Oscar has been regularly outclassed at a higher level but has claims based on a close third in the County Hurdle at Cheltenham in March.
He was narrowly beaten by Arctic Fire that day, a horse who has proved himself at black-type level since. On that basis, Phillip Hobbs’ six-year-old must be considered.
Sire De Grugy hasn’t raced over hurdles since 2012 but has solid chase form to back him up.
The old-timer is a former Champion Chase winner who should be respected on his reappearance over hurdles.
Rons Dream is dropped back in trip for this one after racing over 3m towards the end of last season.
Interestingly, she is a course and distance winner, albeit back in 2014. Tania Stepney’s runner is a solid stayer but may find it difficult up against such classy company.
Remiluc is the only contender to have already had a run this season. He was disappointing when finishing over 3l behind Dashing Oscar at Fontwell a fortnight ago. And on that basis, he’s probably best avoided.
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