Champion Hurdle Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis

Champion Hurdle Betting Tips, Odds & Analysis

Champion Hurdle Tips



As the Cheltenham Festival kicks off on Tuesday with the roar of the crowd for the start of the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the muddy waters of this years Champion Hurdle will only be a little clearer than they are right now, with potentially the best two candidates for the race likely to tee off against each other in the Grade 1 Mares Hurdle that follows immediately afterwards.

Should Honeysuckle change path and line up here then she would be a potential favourite with the leading bookmakers for the race, but if they stick to their guns and take on Benie Des Dieux thirty minutes later then we are set for a follow up treat that could be the clash of the Festival.

But let’s stick to the Champion Hurdle, it’s murky completion clear as mud and try and find a likely winner in and amongst the runners that this difficult season has delivered for the connections of the speediest hurdlers across the UK and Ireland.

When & Where To Watch Champion Hurdle

15.30 Tuesday, March 10 - LIVE ON: ITV Racing & Racing TV


Is Epatante A Champion Hurdle Winner In Waiting?

Despite a boil over at last years Festival when Epatante’s trainer Nicky Henderson was of the opinion that his mare was his best chance of the meeting in the Mares Novices Hurdle there is lots to like about her chances in such a weak looking renewal. Her performance at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle smacked of class and whilst JP McManus might have considered her a third string behind the injured Buveur D’Air and the ill-fated Espoir D’Allen should they have been available it’s Epatante that lines up and bids to give him another famous winner of the race.



She would usually need to improve on the effort at Christmas to win a Champion Hurdle, but this is not a normal running of the race and despite reports of a cough in the week or so running up to the race she sets a standard on form this season and that may be enough to win. The price has drifted a touch due to the reported ailment but regardless it’s still a little tight to be considered value.


The #Racehour Cheltenham Festival Preview Night.


Pentland Hills Aims To Deliver Another Cheltenham Fairytale

Last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner hasn’t gone forward, at least visually this season, in two runs so far but lines up for a plethora of excited owners and based on the betting is the clear second string of Nicky Henderson in a race where he will line up with five runners.



In both runs, at Haydock and prior to that at Cheltenham there is a case to make that he was the best of the runners, travelling well and looking a likely winner until fading close to the finishing post. Heavy ground would not have been ideal at Haydock and only getting pipped at the post would have been a blow to his rider Nico de Boinville, but the way he bounded up the hill in the Triumph last year does make you wonder if an ailment has led to this softness in the finish this season so far.

If so, then Nicky Henderson may well have tweaked something to correct this and should he travel as well as he has shown he can and apply himself all the way to the line then he is clearly a potential winner.

That said there were some quirks displayed on the flat prior to turning attentions to the jumps sphere and perhaps Pentland Hills is just cleverer than us and has worked out how to not bother as much as his rider wants when the chips are down now he has had the sight of 8 hurdles more times than he likes! If he puts it all in and it’s not too soft then Pentland Hills can win, but that is not guaranteed.



The Irish Challenge For The Champion Hurdle

Starting with Sharjah who was one of the unlucky ones in last years race being brought down at the third in Espoir D’Allen's eventual romp, connections will rightly feel there is unfinished business to complete. He was superb at Leopardstown dispatching a solid yardstick in Petit Mouchoir and then something was clearly amiss at the Dublin Racing Festival behind Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle where the 7yo could only muster a lacklustre 6th of 9 finishers when conditions ought to have suited ideally. That poor run can be excused, but supporters will clearly want decent ground and at the time of writing that seems unlikely for day one of the Festival. On his best form he should be a lot shorter in the market and is a lively contender if the ground comes right on the Tuesday.

Darver Star is a remarkable tale for last year’s winning trainer Gavin Cromwell. Rated in the low 100s only last year this rise to prominence has been accelerated with the departure of leading contenders from both sides of the water and even as a novice cannot be ruled out of taking a seat at the top table in the Champion next week.

Second in the Irish Champion hurdle was eye-catching, in fact he would have possible won with a few more yards added on to the race distance and a super effort behind Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse in December also looks very strong now in the context of the field he faces here. Whilst it would be a fairy-tale win and appease the loss of Espoir D’Allen for the Cromwell team it’s not a chance that seems fairly reflected in the odds and there will need to be stark improvement again to come out on top against more hardened campaigners.

Coeur Sublime would win this years Champion Hurdle for Gordon Elliott if he could stage it on the Cullentra gallops where he trains. Apparently one of the best work horses you will ever see but that has yet to materialise on the racecourse proper bar fleeting moments including a huge run in last years Triumph Hurdle behind Pentland Hills.

If that race was run again maybe he could have won that day but since he has only threatened to step forward into a true Champion Hurdle horse winning a Grade 2 at Down Royal and then letting supporters down behind Sharjah at Christmas. One for a leap of faith and at a fair price, there is a touch of the Labaik’s about his chances, he might just do it when it’s least expected and it wouldn’t surprise many a clever soul from the yard of a high class trainer.

Supersundae Can Trump Them All In The Champion Hurdle

Under the radar perhaps but slowly seeing support in the market as the race gets nearer is the Jessica Harrington trained 10yo Supersundae. Reaching the twilight stages of a wonderful career it’s back to basics this season for the classy type that had Grade 1 wins on the CV from Punchestown, Aintee and Leopardstown where he has taken the scalps of Buveur D’Air, Wicklow Brave and Faugheen since 2018.



A repeat of any of those runs would win this race, soft ground will be important and this former Festival winner, the Grade 3 Coral Cup in 2017 and second in a Grade 1 Stayers Hurdle in 2018, looks to have one last crack at a big Cheltenham contest saved up for this year. He will relish the hill, has mixed it with the best for so long and prepped better than expected when fourth behind Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion, a race that will only have been a stepping stone to the Spring Festivals.

Connections are delighted with him, jockey Robbie Power at pains to stake his mounts claims are much stronger than the layers prices in recent weeks and whilst the betting markets have reacted there is still value in the double figures available for this old stager to upstage the young guns.

It's easy to keep saying it’s a weak renewal of the Champion Hurdle and maybe something else will step forward from a big field of hopefuls and prove to be a true champion with claims at true longevity in the division, but we haven’t seen it yet and Supersundae will definitely set the bar higher than they have jumped before, under his ideal conditions and at a track he excels at. 10/1 with BetVictor looks excellent value.

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