Captain Cee Bee supplemented to Champion Hurdle field
Leading Irish owner JP McManus has stumped up the supplementary fee for Captain Cee Bee in Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle. He could now have three representatives in the race, providing My Tent Or Yours is given the go-ahead after his minor setback.
With Willie Mullins against running habitual front-runner Un De Sceaux, there looked to be a real danger of the race being run at a crawl in the opening stages. Captain Cee Bee made the running in the Ryanair and the Irish Champion Hurdle with Hurricane Fly taking the spoils on both occasions.
The news that there will be a pacemaker will undoubtedly come as a great relief to Nigel Twiston-Davies who runs The New One. The trainer has long argued that his horse is better held up off a strong pace.
Mullins will not be losing any sleep over the news either with Hurricane Fly having benefitted from Captain Cee Bee’s services in Ireland. He has left Un De Sceaux and Annie Power (confirmed for the World Hurdle) in the race and soft ground horses Ptit Zig and Melodic Rendezvous have also held their ground.
Nicky Henderson has reported that My Tent Or Yours was “perfectly sound” on Wednesday morning after sustaining a minor puncture to his near-fore on Monday. McManus also runs Jezki, trained by Jessica Harrington.
Jezki has been slightly disappointing this season and could wear a hood for the first time next week. The move is reminiscent of Rock On Ruby who was fitted with first-time blinkers last season when finishing second to Hurricane Fly.
Jezki was behind Hurricane Fly, Our Conor and Captain Cee Bee at Leopardstown in January but did not settle in the early stages. If all of the leading contenders make it safely to the race, it looks as if it will be a case of who will play their cards last.
The New One just shades Hurricane Fly for favouritism at 5-2 and 11-4 respectively with My Tent Or Yours and Our Conor at 4-1.