State Man Glides to Victory at Leopardstown, Eyes Constitution Clash

Sport News : State Man Glides to Victory at Leopardstown, Eyes Constitution Clash

State Man, a classy hurdler, reinforced his status as a leading contender for the Irish Champion Hurdle with a smooth victory in the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown. The win marked his seventh in Grade One races over hurdles out of eight starts. Despite his prowess, he remains a 4-1 chance to avenge his only top-level defeat against the formidable Constitution Hill at the Champion Hurdle in Cheltenham in March.

Constitution Hill's exceptional talent was evident last year when he defeated State Man at the Festival meeting. State Man's recent win against Impaire Et Passe showcased his form, prompting bookmakers to adjust the odds for the upcoming Champion Hurdle. Constitution Hill is now priced at 4-11, while State Man is generally available at 4-1.

Trainer Willie Mullins expressed satisfaction with State Man's performance, highlighting his impressive gears. Mullins hopes State Man will be a strong contender at the Festival, providing competition for Constitution Hill.

Mullins enjoyed further success at Leopardstown, securing victories with Ballyburn and Grangeclare West. Ballyburn's dominant win in the maiden hurdle led to favorable odds for the Ballymore Novice Hurdle. Grangeclare West, an expensive acquisition, won the Neville Hotels Novice Chase, positioning himself as a leading contender for the Brown Advisory Novice Chase.

In other racing news, Nico de Boinville, stable jockey for trainer Nicky Henderson, suffered a suspected collarbone injury in a fall at Doncaster. James Bowen is set to replace De Boinville on significant runners at Newbury.

Looking ahead to Newbury, Captain Teague, trained by Paul Nicholls, is a strong contender in the Challow Hurdle. Nicholls has a remarkable record in the Challow, having saddled the last three winners, including top-class chasers Bravemansgame and Stage Star.