Sutton out to continue winning sequence on first Grade 1 start
Ladbrokes Champion Stayers Hurdle | Grade 1 | 3m, 4yo+ | RTE1/ATR
Mullins v Elliott. The proven performer v the unproven one. The battle-hardened Cheltenham winner v the unexposed six-year-old who is the apple of his trainer's eye. Nichols Canyon v Sutton Place. The stage is set for an epic showdown.
Sutton Place just gets better and better. Not since he took third behind Anibale Fly in a Navan maiden hurdle back in December 2015 has he suffered defeat. He has won five on the trot and there is substance to the form too.
Back at Naas in January he put seven and a half lengths between himself and Supasundae, who has since won the Coral Cup at Cheltenham and finished second behind Yanworth in the Liverpool Hurdle at Aintree. That's top-notch form.
Connections decided to sidestep a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse last week and here we will finally find out just how good Sutton Place is as he steps into a Grade 1 for the first time.
His trainer Elliott said: "This is the first time over three miles for Sutton Place but we have always thought he's a very nice horse and I think he will be a nice chaser for next season."
Elliott has solid back-up too with the ultra-consistent De Plotting Shed, former Grade 1 winner Lieutenant Colonel and useful handicapper Jury Duty also joining the party.
The trainer said of his three other contenders: "Jury Duty will definitely stay the trip, but whether he's up to this class or not I don't know. De Plotting Shed is a brilliant horse who picks up a cheque every time he goes racing, but Lieutenant Colonel has been disappointing."
Pros Has won his last five starts in a row and shapes as though the step up to three miles could bring about further improvement
Cons Yet to prove himself at the highest level and Nichols Canyon has achieved a lot more