County Hurdle Tips: 2023 Betting Preview & Trends

County Hurdle Tips: {{ "now" | date('Y') }} Betting Preview & Trends
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The County Hurdle is one of the most competitive handicap hurdles run all season and takes place on Gold Cup day at the Festival - when Cheltenham offers are in plentiful supply for racing punters.

It’s a race that has a habit of throwing up a big-priced winner and betting for the 2022 edition looks wide open, so County Hurdle tips could vary greatly as we approach the festival.

County Hurdle Runners In Focus

Here's an in-depth look at some of the top contenders in 2022 County Hurdle betting:

Cork The Leading Hope For Skelton

Dan Skelton has won the County Hurdle three times since 2016, so it’s clearly a race he targets. That increases interest in West Cork, who won the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham’s November Meeting.

West Cork suffered an overreach when well-beaten at Ascot in a race won by Tritonic the following month - so he has an excuse for that 16-length defeat. His trainer looks sure to have him in top shape for what has likely long been the eight-year-old’s target.

However, County Hurdle trends show that Prestbury Park winners haven’t fared particularly well in this race this century.

Read More: Check out the best horse racing betting sites

Mullins Squad Strong As Ever

No trainer has won the County Hurdle more than Willie Mullins and State Man looks very much like a horse that could add to Mullins’ four previous winners.

The unexposed French recruit fell on his hurdles debut but he made no mistake at the second time of asking when bolting up in a Limerick maiden. That form is pretty ordinary but State Man is going to be very hard for the handicapper to get a handle on and this five-year-old novice has exactly the right sort of profile for a County Hurdle, which is why he ranks highly in our County Hurdle tips shortlist.

Bandit Knows How To Win

Gordon Elliott has yet to win this prize but he has a host of County Hurdle contenders, not least the prolific novice Top Bandit, who made it three wins from four hurdles starts at Punchestown in February.

He has experience of Prestbury Park - having won a maiden on the Old Course earlier in the season - and has looked well-suited to decent ground.

Read More: Cheltenham Gold Cup Tips

County Hurdle Odds

State Man9/2 with 888sport
Top Bandit7/1 with 888sport
West Cork17/2 with William Hill
Colonel Mustard9/1 with bet365
I Like To Move It11/1 with 888sport
  • Odds correct as of 17/03/2022 - For full latest odds head over to 888sport

County Hurdle Trends

  • Focus on less-exposed runners: 17 of the last 19 County Hurdle winners were either novices or a second-season hurdlers.
  • Age range: Only one horse older than eight has won the County Hurdle this century. Five-year-olds have a particularly strong record, winning it 11 times since 1998.
  • Appeal of flat-racers: 13 of the last 18 winners raced at least once on the flat earlier in their career.
  • Avoid Cheltenham winners: Only one horse with a previous Cheltenham win has won this race since 2000.
  • Henderson hoodoo: Nicky Henderson has a particularly poor recent record in this race despite winning it twice in the 1990s. Just three of his last 25 runners have hit the frame.
  • Avoid market leaders: Saint Roi (2020) was the first winning favourite since 2006 and five of the last 10 winners were 20/1 or bigger.

Recent County Handicap Hurdle Winners

2021Belfast Banter
2020Saint Roi
2017Arctic Fire
2016Superb Story
2015Wicklow Brave
2014Lac Fontana
2013Ted Veale

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