Newcastle’s feature hurdle has a line up of seven following the supplements of Identity Thief and Wicklow Brave from Ireland.
The field includes last years winner Irving, who arrives on the back of two good wins already this season including the Grade 2 Elite Hurdle. Last years victory in this Grade 1 contest saw Irving claim a 50th Grade 1 success for trainer Paul Nicholls.
Last time out he beat Top Notch, a horse conceding first run of the season, by 1 3/4 lengths and the pair re-oppose again. The Triumph Hurdle second could easily reverse form if improving upon his Haydock comeback.
Behind Top Notch in the Triumph Hurdle was Beltor, of Robert Stephens, who finished sixth following an extrmeely exciting victory in the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton. Beltor is set to make his first start since the festival in this affair.
The Irish duo added to this race include County Hurdle winner Wicklow Brave who currently heads the market after strong support, and the confirmation of Ruby Walsh on board. WIcklow Brave has strong form and when last seen was only a length behind Nichols Canyon and Faugheen.
Identity Thief represents Henry De Bromhead and Bryan Cooper, and was supplimented following his Grade2 WKD Hurdle win at Down Royal.
John Ferguson sends out Purple Bay, winner of the Elite Hurdle last year. The son of Dubawi will need to bounce back after a disappointing effort behind Bobs Worth in the Betfred Hurdle at Aintree.
At the bottom of the card is the mare Intense Tango who like Wicklow Brave is a dual purpose performer. Karl Burke’s mare performed consistently on the level without gaining a victory and made a pleasing return to hurdling when finishing second to Blue Buttons in the Listed Mares Hurdle.
The winner of this prize nets £63, 585.