Ryanair Hurdle 2018 Betting Tips: Bet Melon With 8/1 Supa
Who is Ireland's top Champion Hurdle challenger? Saturday's Ryanair Hurdle will be the decider as Samcro meets Melon, Sharjah, and Supasundae in the Grade 1.
The trio all have questions to answer, Melon high up in the Ryanair Hurdle betting owing to his second in last season's Champion Hurdle, but easy to back having not run since falling in April.
Samcro is therefore a default favourite at odds no bigger than 7/4, but the Cheltenham Festival winner has much to prove, with two defeats from two runs in open company, leaving 2016 Ryanair Hurdle winner Supasundae and the Galway Hurdle winner Sharjah as the two with the least negatives to ponder.
Is There A Ryanair Hurdle Trends Winner?
The Ryanair Hurdle is a Grade 1 won by an exceptional 2m hurdle with Champion Hurdle class, generally speaking, and thus the trends are skewed slightly by several multiple winners, including the mighty Hurricane Fly.
However, since it became a Grade 1 in 2002 there are clear trends to look out for, that could lead us to this year's winner, in what is a very open renewal of the €125,000 hurdle.
Ryanair Hurdle 2018 Trends
- 16/16 winners last ran no more than 51 days ago
- 15/16 winners had run at Leopardstown before, finishing at least 3rd on one or more outing.
- 12/16 winners had won Grade 1 before
- 11/16 winners had won at Leopardstown over hurdles or on Flat
- 11/16 winners were rated 1st or 2nd highest on official handicap mark
- 10/16 winners were rated 159+
It is unusual for a horse to line up in the Ryanair Hurdle as their first run of the season, but when they do, they invariably fail to win, which poses a big question for second favourite Melon. He also hasn't won a Grade 1.
Samcro would tick every box, if rated 1lb higher on official ratings, while 2016 winner Petit Mouchoir also scores highly, barring his lack of a run. But the winner on trends is undoubtedly Supasundae.
This year's Irish Champion Hurdle winner over course-and-distance, was 2nd to Apple's Jade in the longer Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown last year, and has been beaten already this season over 2m4f.
However, he's won two Grade 1s on his last two starts over 2m, his only wins in 2018 and is 2/3 at Leopardstown. With a rating of 164, only the 165-rated Melon is officially superior, but his lack of a run puts Supasundae to the fore.
Is There Another Bet?
Supasundae is a remarkably reliable bet in the Ryanair Hurdle, but his wins over the minimum trip have come on testing ground, exploiting others lack of stamina. That's not going to be the case on Saturday.
Melon was beaten just a neck by Buveur D'Air in a heavy-ground Champion Hurdle last March, and has won both his seasonal reappearances since joining Willie Mullins, a maiden hurdle win coming after 506 days off, and a Grade 2 hurdle at Down Royal after 192.
His trainer is masterful at producing a horse bang-on for day one (Quevega), so there is little to suggest that the break is a major negative for Melon, it even looks a positive.
The good ground is a positive for the Galway Hurdle winner Sharjah (4/1 BetVictor), who toppled stablemate Faugheen in the Morgiana Hurdle on good ground in November, but his Leopardstown form is brutal, while Samcro has done nothing to suggest he can beat either Supasundae or Melon, despite his own excellent course form.
If you're not backing Supasundae then, the best bet is Melon, who has only won twice in Ireland, both times as an odds-on favourite on his first run of the season.
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