Jordan Yates' Ryanair Hurdle Preview. (29/12/2018)

Over to Leopardstown and the Ryanair Hurdle is a Grade 1 contest which i’ll be taking a look at which is race with an illustrious back catalogue of winners and is contested over two miles. This year’s renewal see’s one of the most talked about horses in the game at the minute head affairs and that’s of course Gordon Elliott’s Samcro. He was seen by many as the next big star after his exploits last term however the gloss has now slightly come off following two defeats in his comeback runs this season with the latest coming in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle when getting put in his place by Buveur D’air. He’s been put in as the 7/4 favourite for the assignment that lies ahead here and Jack Kennedy is once again on board.

Its the the Champion Hurdle second Melon that takes his place as the second favourite in the line up, he hasn’t been seen since falling at Punchestown when taking on Samcro as well that day. A very talented hurdler who will likely have a big say throughout this division this term and can be found at a general 5/2 for this contest with Ruby Walsh on board. Willie Mullins also sends Sharjah to take his place here. He was last seen when getting the better of Faugheen in the Morgiana but has a bit to find with Samcro from when they clashed earlier in the season. Patrick Mullins is in the saddle in his case and he’s trading at around 6/1. Jessica Harrington’s Supasundae is a very likeable sort and made a very likeable return to the track with a fine second placed effort behind Apple’s Jade last time in the Hatton’s Grace. It’s likely he’ll be a lot more tuned up for this and it wouldn’t be at all a surprise should a bold showing be had. Bedrock got the better of both Samcro and Sharjah in the WKD Hurdle at the beginning of last month and you’d be fool to completely write Iain Jardine’s raider off again here. The Gigginstown duo of Petit Mouchoir and Tombstone conclude the line up.

Race Verdict:

Samcro certainly looks the one to beat again here however i’m once again going to try and take him and i’m going to do that with the Willie Mullins trained Melon. Despite him not having a recent outing I suspect Willie has got him spot on for this particular assignment and if turning up in anywhere near the same form as his Champion Hurdle effort he’ll put in a bold bid. Supasundae could be one to go well at a bigger price.

MELON – (5/2)

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