Chesterfield was a fine winner of this race 12 months ago, and he will return to Ayr on Saturday to try and retain this coveted crown, but there will be an array of lively contenders bidding for glory and the likes of Verdana Blue, Claimantakinforgan and Beyond The Clouds all sit prominently in the betting.
Flying Tiger failed to land a blow when fancied at the Cheltenham Festival, but he can play a primary role here, with the likes of A Hare Breath and Flashing Glance adding significant depth to a high quality renewal.
14:55 QTS Champion Hurdle Result (2m)
1. Midnight Shadow - D Cook - S Smith 25/1
2. Claimantakingforgan - N de Boinville - N Henderson 11/2 Fav
3. Chesterfield - D Sansom - S Mullins 6/1
4. Charli Parcs - B Geraghty - N Henderson 14/1