Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle
Grade 2, Limited Handicap,
Ayr 14:25
£100,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus,
2m, Class 1   
Saturday 20th April 2024


1 Favour And Fortune 5/1
2 Bialystok 9/1
3 Cracking Rhapsody 11/1
15 ran Distances: ½l, ½l, nk
Time: 3m 54.38s (slow by 13.38s)

Favour And Fortune, trained by Alan King, displayed remarkable courage as it held off a strong field of contenders to secure victory in the Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle. The six-year-old swept past the Paul Nicholls-trained front-runner Rubaud but faced fierce competition from Bialystok, representing the Willie Mullins Irish raiding party.

Despite the pressure, Favour And Fortune, who finished sixth in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, dug deep under jockey Tom Cannon’s guidance. Their unwavering determination paid off, as they clinched victory by a mere half-length. Bialystok, though unlucky due to a lack of clear passage, settled for second place after a strong challenge at the final flight.

Cracking Rhapsody secured third position, while Afadil, trained by Nicholls, finished fourth. Dan Skelton’s L’Eau Du Sud valiantly plugged on to claim fifth place. Despite being the race favorite, L’Eau Du Sud faced a 9lb penalty for previous runner-up efforts in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the County Hurdle at Cheltenham, which ultimately took its toll

King told Racing TV: “I must say that when Paul (Townend, on Bialystok) headed us halfway up the run-in, I thought we were in trouble, but he battled back very well.

“It’s the first time since the start of the season that he’s been back on better ground, we’ve been running him on heavy and he’s such a good-actioned horse and his jumping was much better on better ground.

“He’s finished for the season – win, lose or draw, we were going to pull up stumps after today. Off the top of my head, I’d like to stay hurdling for another season, but we’ll enjoy today and worry about that in the autumn.

“He will make a chaser, but I think that could be farther down the line.”

Proud Scotsman King added: “I love coming back up here, back home, the place is buzzing and it’s a great atmosphere.

“Having done the three festivals, I felt Cheltenham was a bit subdued, Aintree was brilliant and this nearly tops them, it’s lovely to come back up.”


Coral Scottish Champion Hurdle
£100,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m, Class 1
15 ran
Going: Soft, Good to Soft in places

1    Favour And Fortune 6 11-2 Alan King Tom Cannon 5/1
½ Bialystok 6 11-3 W P Mullins Paul Townend 9/1
½ Cracking Rhapsody 5 10-6 Ewan Whillans Craig Nichol 11/1
nk Afadil 5 10-8 Paul Nicholls Freddie Gingell 10/1
shd L'Eau du Sud 6 11-2 Dan Skelton Harry Skelton 11/4F
6 Rubaud 6 11-12 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 10/1
¾ Petit Tonnerre 6 10-10 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 28/1
1 Florida Dreams 6 10-6 Nicky Richards Danny McMenamin 6/1
Westport Cove 6 11-3 W P Mullins Danny Mullins 22/1
Effernock Fizz 9 10-10 Cian Collins Carl Millar 33/1
½ Ginger Mail 8 10-6 N W Alexander Bruce Lynn 20/1
Salsada 7 10-6 Brian Ellison Dylan Johnston 20/1
7 Benson 9 11-1 Sandy Thomson Ryan Mania 66/1
First Street 7 11-7 Nicky Henderson Nico de Boinville 11/1
FELL Alvaniy 6 10-6 W P Mullins Brian Hayes 50/1