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Twiston-Davies talks up Ballyandy ahead of Champion HurdlePosted on Wednesday 26th February 2020 @ 17.20

Traimer Nigel Twiston-Davies says Ballyandy is a real contender ahead of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ballyandy was last seen winning the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock last month, claiming a narrow victory over Pentland Hills who is rated among the favourites for the showpiece two-mile contest.

Ballyandy is generally rated at around 20/1 ahead of the Champion Hurdle, Epatante is the current 3/1 favourite and Pentland Hills is a 5/1 shot.

Twiston-Davies believes the signs are good for his Prestbury Park run and is backing him to shine in the opening day's feature.

"He has beaten one of the favourites in Pentland Hills twice - hopefully he will do it again, and I'm hoping he will run another big race, as it is not the strongest Champion Hurdle," said Twiston-Davies.

"He has done very well and is in top form. The softer ground will help him and the return to the Cheltenham hill will suit him down to the ground.

"The hill brings out the best in him when he is powering on at the end. He was unlucky not to win the International and that is only because he got interfered with, otherwise I'm sure he would have won. He loves the track, which is good.

"The drop back to two miles has suited him down to the ground. He has also got his confidence back, as we did take him over fences and it shook him a bit. Now his hurdling is slick and he enjoys running over them over two miles."

Article Posted on Wednesday 26th February 2020 @ 17.20

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