Morgiana Hurdle Betting Tips
The National Hunt season is really starting to heat up. This weekend sees some exciting races over fences but winter racing is about more than just the biggest obstacles. We’ve also got top quality encounters over hurdles including, not least with the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown.
This Grade 1 race takes place over two miles and so is a fascinating test of pace, stamina and hurdling ability.
Many of the best trainers in the business use the Morgiana Hurdle to get their star hurdlers back underway for the new season and the big news ahead of the 2017 renewal is that Willie Mullins’ superstar, Faugheen, is set to make his long-awaited return after almost two years out.
Past Five Winners
2016 – Nichols Canyon, aged 6, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
2015 – Nichols Canyon, aged 5, ridden by David Mullins, trained by Willie Mullins
2014 – Hurricane Fly, aged 10, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
2013 – Hurricane Fly, aged 9, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
2012 – Hurricane Fly, aged 8, ridden by Ruby Walsh, trained by Willie Mullins
Can Anybody Stop Mullins and the Machine?
The list of recent Morgiana Hurdle winners tells its own story. Willie Mullins has dominated this race in recent years. When Nichols Canyon defended his title last season he made it six in a row for Mullins.
Nichols Canyon is back for a crack at his third Morgiana Hurdle win but if the bookies’ odds are anything to go by, he’ll have to settle for second place at best given the presence of Faugheen.
Faugheen, the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner at Cheltenham, has not been seen since winning the Irish Champion Hurdle in January of 2016.
The length of Faugheen’s layoff certainly poses many questions, especially at a best price of 8/13 with 888Sport. But we’re talking about a supremely talented hurdler with more than enough class to win this even if not at his best.
Moreover, both Mullins and Faugheen’s owner, Rich Ricci have been talking positively about Sunday’s race. Faugheen’s actually been ready for competitive action for a long time now but upon his return from a stress fracture there simply were no suitable races for him.
Everybody involved with Faugheen has been at pains to ensure that everything’s gone well and that ‘the Machine’ has not been rushed back. On Sunday, we expect to see the nine-year-old win once again in a heart-warming story for racing fans.
Two Experience Long Shots Worth Backing Each-Way
If you’re worried about backing Faugheen on his return or just fancy a complementary angle for the Morgiana Hurdle, you’re in luck.
The standard of competition is very high and includes several experienced hurdlers who have raced at the top level. You can make a case for pretty much every horse in the race but we think the value lies with Apple’s Jade and Vroum Vroum Mag.
Even if Faugheen makes a triumphant return, it’s clear that his time at the top level is coming to an end. The same cannot be said of Gordon Elliott’s mare, Apple’s Jade.
The five-year-old still has room for improvement and she wasted no time this season when she won the Lismullen Hurdle at Navan last week. That run could give her the edge over the competition which makes Apple’s Jade look very well priced at 20/1 with Paddy Power.
Vroum Vroum Mag is three years further down the road than Apple’s Jade but she should still be good enough to challenge come the closing stretch on Sunday.
Not seen since a disappointing showing at the Punchestown Champion Hurdle, Vroum Vroum Mag’s connections are hopeful that she’ll return refreshed and ready to return to the form that’s seen her pick up Grade 1 wins in the past.
At 20/1 with Unibet, Vroum Vroum Mag is another who is surely too big to ignore.
Top Betting Offers
Faugheen to win at 8/13 with 888Sports
Apple’s Jade each-way at 20/1 with Paddy Power
Vroum Vroum Mag each-way at 20/1 with Unibet