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8th December 2021

2021 Champion Hurdle Free Tips and Trends

The Grade One Champion Hurdle is the feature contest on day one (Tuesday) of the Cheltenham Festival and is run over 2m on the old course. 

Here at TQ we give you the key Champion Hurdle trends to help you pick the winner based on past statistics. Use these trends to find the best profiles – including age, trainer, current form etc, of recent Champion Hurdle winners.

The Champion Hurdle is recognised as the most prestigious hurdling race of the jumps season and is currently sponsored by leading bookmaker Unibet.

The 2021 Champion Hurdle looks set-up to be another cracker with the powerful Nicky Henderson yard always a stable to look out for - they've won it eight times in the past.

Willie Mullins is the other handler to note with four wins in the last eight runnings and is sure to be well represented again in 2021.

The Champion Hurdle is currently sponsored by leading bookmaker Unibet – the 2020 Champion Hurdle winner was the Nicky Henderson-trained Epatante, who was giving Henderson his third Champion Hurdle winner in the last four years and his eighth success in the race in total.

Check out the recent winners and we give you the key Champion Hurdle trends to look out for ahead of the 2021 renewal – this year run on Tuesday 16th March.



Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Winners

2020 – EPATANTE (2/1 fav)
2019 - ESPOIR D'ALLEN (16/1)
2018 - BUVEUR D'AIR (4/6 FAV)
2017 – BUVEUR D’AIR (5/1)
2016 – ANNIE POWER (5/2 fav)
2015 – FAUGHEEN (4/5 fav)
2014 – JEZKI (9/1)
2013 – HURRICANE FLY (13/8 fav)
2012 – ROCK ON RUBY (11/1)
2011 – HURRICANE FLY (11/4 fav)
2010 – BINOCULAR (9/1)
2009 – PUNJABI (22/1)
2008 – KATCHIT (10/1)
2007 – SUBLIMITY (16/1)
2006 – BRAVE INCA (7/4 fav)
2005 – HARDY EUSTACE (7/2 jfav)
2004 – HARDY EUSTACE (33/1)
2003 – ROOSTER BOOSTER (9/2)

Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Betting Trends

17/18 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
16/18 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
16/18 – Aged 8 or younger
15/18 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
15/18 – Rated 159 or higher
14/18 – Won last time out
13/18 – Had finished in the top 4 in a Cheltenham Festival race the season before
13/18 – Had won 6 or more times over hurdles before
12/18 – Placed favourites
11/18 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
10/18 – Had won at Cheltenham before
10/18 – Irish-bred winners
10/18 – Irish trained winners
10/18 – Winning distance – 2 1/2 lengths or more
8/18 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
8/18 - Winning favourites (1 joint)
6/18 – Ran in the previous season’s Champion Hurdle
6/18 – Had won a race at the Cheltenham Festival the previous season
4/18 – Trained by Willie Mullins
5/18 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 8 times in all)
The average winning SP in the last 18 runnings is 8/1

Champion Hurdle Stats:

5 year-olds are just 3 from 106 since 1985
31 of the last 37 winners won their previous race
23 of the last 35 winners were placed in the top 4 at the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival
22 of the last 25 winners had a race that calendar year (i.e we are looking for horses that have run in 2020)
27 of the last 30 winners hailed from the first 6 in the betting market
Just 4 of the last 30 Christmas Hurdle winners has gone onto win the Champion Hurdle that season
Irish-trained horses have won 13 of the last 22 renewals

Champion Hurdle – UK v Irish

13/23 – Irish-trained winners
10/23 – British-trained winners

TRAINERS QUOTES VERDICT: A cracking renewal of this day one feature and really it will be a shock if the winner isn’t coming from one of three horses – the current champ, Epatante, last season’s Mares’ Hurdle winner – Honeysuckle – or Goshen, who had the Triumph Hurdle at his mercy last term until unseating at the final flight. Yes, of those at bigger prices the likes of Sharjah, who was runner-up 12 months ago, Silver Streak, who beat Epatante last time out, and Abacadabras are all players of those priced between 10/1 and 20/1 and you feel there is every chance one of that bunch could hit the frame. Anyway, back to the main three. For me, it was disappointing to see the current champ – Epatante – getting beat so easily by Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle last time and even though that was probably not her true running, it would still sow a few seeds of doubt. Her mares’ allowance will be massive again though here against the boys, but the problem she’s got – unlike last year – is that there’s another top mare in the race this time – HONEYSUCKLE – who will also get the handy 7lbs weight pull. She landed the mares’ Hurdle here last season and is now 10-from-10 over the sticks. She couldn’t have been more impressive in winning the Irish Champion Hurdle last time at Leopardstown and of the three main players she looks the most reliable. We also know she stays further than this 2m trip, but also has bundles of pace to cope with this 2m. The hill will bring her stamina into play again and we can expect connections to make full use of that. The other big name in the race is Goshen, who bounced back to his best last time out to win the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton after flopping in the International Hurdle here the time before. Many would deny him the win after what happened to him in the Triumph Hurdle at the Festival last season and his trainer, Gary Moore, reports him in top order. He often likes to get on with things near the pace and if in the same mood as last time (or in the Triumph) it will certainly be interesting to see if the others can reel him in up the hill. Of the three, he’s one that I certainly wouldn’t put you off, but I just keep coming back to the fact he’s got to give a hefty 7lbs away to two classy mares, while at 5 years-old he does have this age trend against him. Yes, Espoir D’Allen defied this stat two years ago, but we’ve only had two winners that age since 1985. Overall, a race to saviour and a clear ‘day one’ highlight, but the reliable Honeysuckle has done nothing wrong so far in her career and I’ll take her winning run to continue here, with Goshen the main danger for me and the likes of Sharjah and Silver Streak the two to play if you are looking for an upset or something each-way against the main trio.




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