Champion Hurdle Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis
Champion Hurdle Tips
Thankfully from a personal point of view, we finally got the sort of performance from Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle that (hopefully) forces her connections to let her take her chance and pitch her in against the boys in the English version at the Cheltenham Festival.
The mighty Annie Power holds the track record and the girls are trying to win back-to-back Champion Hurdles following Epatante’s slick performance last year, so Henry De Bromheads superstar has big boots to fill. There are however a few other names that come into the mix.
Champion Hurdle Details
The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on Tuesday the opening day of the festival. It’s a Grade 1, two-mile 87yrds contest steeped in history and run on the old course. It’s a real speed test, with the course record currently held by Annie Power at 3m45s.10. Open to Four-year-olds and above, with eight hurdles to be jumped and the winning connections taking home a first prize of £189,911
When & Where To Watch The Champion Hurdle
15.05 Tuesday, March 16 - LIVE ON: ITV Racing, RTE Racing, Racing TV
Horse-By-Horse Champion Hurdle Guide
A rare poor effort at Kempton when last seen behind Silver Streak is worth forgiving, as the mare made a very uncharacteristic blunder mid race where she appeared to land awkwardly and could never get competitive.
Nicky Henderson confirmed post-race that there was unsurprisingly an issue with her back. If that ailment has been rectified and putting in a repeat of her Fighting Fifth display earlier in the season, that puts her firmly back in the Champion Hurdle picture.
There’s a big jump in the market outside of the two mares at the top with the third in Silver Streak currently available at 14/1 with William Hill, he beat the current champion Epatante convincingly under a change of tactics at Kempton at Christmas and apart from an unfortunate episode (carried out) in the Fighting Fith on his return run, Evan Williams grey has looked as good if not better than ever.
He has previously come up short at Champion Hurdle level but was placed behind Espoir D’allen in 2019. His first win at the track as yet still evades him.
I think it's fair to say Gordon Elliots horse has underperformed this season. Slightly unlucky in last year's Supreme, getting done by Shishkin on the line, the winner, who didn’t enjoy a clear passage himself is very good and they were eleven lengths from the third.
Abacadabras was however, in my opinion, a fortunate winner of the Morgania back in November and has since run two ordinary enough races the last twice since the tongue strap was applied.
With Concertiesta looking like going down the Mare's route, Willie first string Sharjah was given a masterful ride by Patrick to chase home Epatante in last year's running of this event. Since then, some very solid runs on the level and had several of these behind him in the Matheson Grade 1 at Leopardstown, but I'm a bit suspect of that form. Although no match for Honeysuckle recently, he should pick up some prize money.
Henry De Bromhead’s Aspire Tower has without doubt not always had the rub of the green. Despite doing so much wrong in last year's Triumph, he still ran a cracker and surely has a big pot in him. At the very top level, his style of racing has been his undoing, so far looking a bit one dimensional. If he can relax and improve his hurdling technique, he would really maximise his chance in being involved in the finish, so he’s probably one for the in running backers.
Song For Someone
This is a horse I have really warmed to this season. He isn't from a so-called big stable and visually he just appears to go about his job without blowing viewers away.
Tom Symonds chestnut son of Medicean is a course winner, and although he isn't your normal robust NH type, he is extremely quick over his obstacles, has pace and has shown real battling qualities in a finish. His most notable performance to date that I was taken by was his win in the Ascot Hurdle in November. Song For Someone has now won his last three, all Grade 2’s and he represents great value at around 20/1.
It's a perfect sky over Cheltenham tonight! 🌙— CheltenhamRacecourse (@CheltenhamRaces) March 2, 2021
In two weeks time, we’ll know our @unibet Champion Hurdle winner 👏🏼 Who do you think will come home in front? 👀 #CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/qBRYKPWyXD
Champion Hurdle Verdict
Providing this year's field stands up, it’s a reasonably good Champion Hurdle without being a vintage I think most would agree. That said, it's one I'm looking forward to immensely, so long as Henry De Bromhead doesn’t break our hearts and not give the racing public what they want and most of all what the great Honeysuckle (currently 5/2 at Unibet), deserves.
If Honeysuckle turns up in March near the level of her recent win in the Irish Champion Hurdle, she will surely be the one they have to beat. Racheal Blackmore has the perfect partner here as she has proved many times that she's a very uncomplicated mare to ride, something that doesn’t apply to a few of her rivals.
It’s a win-win situation for many, as it opens the door for others in the Mares Hurdle and fingers crossed give Kenneth Alexander's superstar her first win in this great race.
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