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Guide to the
Cheltenham Festival

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Champion Hurdle 2019 Racecard

The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race which takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March, and is the feature race on day one of the meeting, which is also known as Champion Day. Open to horses aged four years or older, the Champion Hurdle is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about two miles and half a furlong (2 miles and 87 yards), with eight hurdles to be jumped.

3:30

Tuesday 12 March

Distance: 16f 87y Age: 4yo + Prize: £450000 Going: Soft

FORM SILKS HORSE AGE ODDS
ENTRY JOCKEY & TRAINER WGT
jockey silks BRAIN POWER (IRE)
22 stars
8 11-10
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1 J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
Dogged by jumping errors over fences but showed the engine is very much still there when making successful return to hurdling in Grade 2 International here in December. This a whole lot tougher.
jockey silks BUVEUR D'AIR (FR)
44 stars
8 11-10
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2 J: Barry Geraghty
T: Nicky Henderson
Seeking a hat-trick of wins in this race. Suffered rare reversal when chinned by stablemate Verdana Blue at Kempton over Christmas but back on track with ready win at Sandown since. Bold bid assured.
jockey silks ESPOIR D'ALLEN (FR)
33 stars
5 11-10
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3 J: M. P. Walsh
T: Gavin Patrick Cromwell, Ireland
Made most of a good opportunity when taking hurdle record to 7 wins from just 8 starts in Naas Grade 3 in January. Buveur d'Air clearly owner's main hope but this one is well worth his place.
jockey silks GLOBAL CITIZEN (IRE)
22 stars
7 11-10
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4 J: David Bass
T: Ben Pauling
Front runner who took Grade 2 Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock last time but had been put in his place by Verdana Blue and Buveur d'Air in Christmas Hurdle at Kempton prior to that.
jockey silks MELON
33 stars
7 11-10
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5 J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Top-class hurdler at best (neck second to Buveur d'Air last year), but below par on both starts this term, finishing remote fourth to Apple's Jade in Irish Champion latterly. Cheekpieces added.
jockey silks SHARJAH (FR)
44 stars
6 11-10
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6 J: Mr P. W. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Little better than a useful novice last term but different proposition this time round, seeing off Faugheen in the Morgiana before showing that was no fluke with a defeat of Supasundae in the Ryanair.
jockey silks SILVER STREAK (IRE)
22 stars
6 11-10
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7 J: Adam Wedge
T: Evan Williams
Most consistent, including excellent runner-up efforts in Greatwood and International here before Christmas. Another good run behind Global Citizen at Haydock latest but not quite up to this level.
jockey silks APPLE'S JADE (FR)
55 stars
7 11-3
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8 J: J. W. Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Tenth Grade 1 win of outstanding career when slamming Supasundae (Melon well back in fourth) in Irish Champion at Leopardstown. This front-runner will take plenty of pegging back if in similar form.
jockey silks LAURINA (FR)
44 stars
6 11-3
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9 J: R. Walsh
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
Easy winner of Dawn Run at last year's Festival and barely broke sweat when making it 6-6 for this yard in Punchestown listed event 3 weeks ago. This demands more but she's capable of better.
jockey silks VERDANA BLUE (IRE)
33 stars
7 11-3
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10 J: Davy Russell
T: Nicky Henderson
Strong traveller who improved again to edge out stable-companion Buveur d'Air in Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Probably best to ignore a short-priced defeat on Flat since but easy ground a worry.

Analyst's Verdict

After easy wins on all 4 outings this term, including most impressively back at 2m in the Irish Champion latest, APPLE'S JADE is taken to thwart Buveur d'Air as that one bids to become the first since Istabraq to complete a hat-trick in the race. Laurina, who burst on to the scene with her Dawn Run success last year, has yet to taste defeat for Willie Mullins and is another fascinating contender.

Horse racing betting offers

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    Non-Runner-No-Bet offer applies to Grand National 2019. Applies to bets placed from 10am on March 22nd: If you placed your bet after we went 'non-runner no bet' you will receive your money back as soon as your non runner is declared. If you have placed an Accumulator and your bet is not Ante Post, the line related to the non runner will be void but the rest of the lines on the Accumulator will still stand.

    Non-Runner-No-Bet offer applies to Grand National 2019. Applies to bets placed from 10am on March 22nd: If you placed your bet after we went 'non-runner no bet' you will receive your money back as soon as your non runner is declared. If you have placed an Accumulator and your bet is not Ante Post, the line related to the non runner will be void but the rest of the lines on the Accumulator will still stand.

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    Place a single bet in any live selected races. If your horse wins at SP odds of 3/1 or greater (Racing Post decision final), you will receive a free bet to the same value of your stake, up to 25.

    Read Betfair Review →
  • Grand National NRNB

    Applies to bets placed from 08:00 on Monday 18th February 2019. Applies to the 2019 Grand National Steeple Chase. Bets placed using free bet funds do not apply. Tote bets do not apply.

    Applies to bets placed from 08:00 on Monday 18th February 2019. Applies to the 2019 Grand National Steeple Chase. Bets placed using free bet funds do not apply. Tote bets do not apply.

    Read Betfred Review →

The first Champion Hurdle was run in 1927, and its inaugural winner, Blaris, was awarded prize money of £365.

In comparison, the 2019 renewal of the Champion Hurdle had a total prize money of £450,000, with over £250,000 going to the connections of the winning horse.

The Champion Hurdle was cancelled twice during World War II, but the following years saw a golden period for the race, with National Spirit, Hatton's Grace and Sir Ken among the greatest ever hurdlers.

Indeed, the first two horses have races named after them, at Fontwell and Fairyhouse, respectively.

The 1970s featured the third Champion Hurdle triple winner Persian War and the exploits of double champions in Night Nurse, Monksfield, Bula and Comedy of Errors, who was the first horse to win two non-consecutive titles.

The 1984 winner, Dawn Run, became the second mare to win the Champion Hurdle.

In the same year she also won the Irish and French versions of the event, and two seasons later she won the most prestigious chase in National Hunt racing, the Cheltenham Gold Cup. She remains the only horse to have completed the Champion Hurdle-Gold Cup double.

From 1985 to 1987 the Champion Hurdle was dominated by See You Then, who became the event's fourth three-time winner.

The most recent triple winner of the Champion Hurdle was Istabraq , whose successes came in 1998, 1999 and 2000.

After the following year’s Cheltenham Festival was called off due to foot-and-mouth disease, Istabraq attempted to become the first horse to win four Champion Hurdles, but was well beaten in the 2002 renewal.

The fourth and most recent mare to win the race was 2016 victor Annie Power , who became the first mare to win the race since Flakey Dove’s success in 1994. Annie Power was retired in 2017 having won all but two of her 17 appearances on the racecourse.

In terms of Timeform ratings this century, Annie Power’s winning performance was one of the lesser efforts, though her four and a half length beating of the 2014 runner-up My Tent Or Yours was still a high-class effort.

It was on a par with Katchit’s 2008 success, which was the first for a five-year-old since See You Then’s 1985 victory.

The best Champion Hurdle performance this century – perhaps surprisingly - was produced by Rock On Ruby , who had two-time Champion Hurdle winner Hurricane Fly back in third, and 2010 Champion Hurdle winner Binocular back in fourth, when putting in a clear career-best effort in 2012.

Rock On Ruby’s performance was the best in the race since Istabraq in 1998. Willie Mullins’ four Champion Hurdle wins have all come this century, thanks to Hurricane Fly (2011 and 2013), Faugheen (2015) and Annie Power, but he still has some way to go to catch up with Nicky Henderson who is the leading Champion Hurdle trainer with seven wins.

As well as the three-time winner See You Then, the wins of Punjabi (2009) and Binocular (2010) have since been added to by Buveur d’Air who was victorious in both 2017 and 2018.

Buveur d’Air is owned by J.P. McManus, who, like Henderson, has seven wins in the race, while Ruby Walsh is the leading Champion Hurdle jockey despite having ridden none of the McManus or Henderson horses.

The most successful Champion Hurdle trainer in recent times is Nicky Henderson, who has won it seven times, with: See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987), Punjabi (2009), Binocular (2010), and Buveur D'Air (2017, 2018)

The most successful Champion Hurdle jockey in recent times is Ruby Walsh, who has won it four times, with: Hurricane Fly (2011, 2013), Faugheen (2015), and Annie Power (2016).

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Champion Hurdle 2019 FAQs

What is the distance of the Champion Hurdle?

2 miles and 87 yards

How many fences are jumped in the Champion Hurdle?

8

What day of the festival is the Champion Hurdle?

Day 1

What time is the Champion Hurdle?

15:30

What weights are carried for the Champion Hurdle?

11 st 2 lb (4-year-olds). 11 st 10 lb (5-year-olds +). 7 lb allowance for fillies and mares.

What is the purse for the Champion Hurdle?

£450,000 (2018)

Who is the leading jockey in the Champion Hurdle*?

Ruby Walsh

Who is the leading trainer in the Champion Hurdle*?

Nicky Henderson

Who won the Champion Hurdle?

You can check out our Champion Hurdle results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Champion Hurdle?

Click the link to visit our Champion Hurdle Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1927

Horse racing betting offers

  • Get NRNB on Grand National, paying 6 places each-way!

    Non-Runner-No-Bet offer applies to Grand National 2019. Applies to bets placed from 10am on March 22nd: If you placed your bet after we went 'non-runner no bet' you will receive your money back as soon as your non runner is declared. If you have placed an Accumulator and your bet is not Ante Post, the line related to the non runner will be void but the rest of the lines on the Accumulator will still stand.

    Non-Runner-No-Bet offer applies to Grand National 2019. Applies to bets placed from 10am on March 22nd: If you placed your bet after we went 'non-runner no bet' you will receive your money back as soon as your non runner is declared. If you have placed an Accumulator and your bet is not Ante Post, the line related to the non runner will be void but the rest of the lines on the Accumulator will still stand.

    Read Paddy Power Review →
  • UP TO £25 FREE BET WITH EVERY WINNER AT 3/1 OR MORE ON ITV & SELECTED RACES

    Place a single bet in any live selected races. If your horse wins at SP odds of 3/1 or greater (Racing Post decision final), you will receive a free bet to the same value of your stake, up to 25.

    Place a single bet in any live selected races. If your horse wins at SP odds of 3/1 or greater (Racing Post decision final), you will receive a free bet to the same value of your stake, up to 25.

    Read Betfair Review →
  • Grand National NRNB

    Applies to bets placed from 08:00 on Monday 18th February 2019. Applies to the 2019 Grand National Steeple Chase. Bets placed using free bet funds do not apply. Tote bets do not apply.

    Applies to bets placed from 08:00 on Monday 18th February 2019. Applies to the 2019 Grand National Steeple Chase. Bets placed using free bet funds do not apply. Tote bets do not apply.

    Read Betfred Review →

Horse racing free bet offers

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Football betting offers

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    Place a pre-event football acca with 5 or more legs, and if just one selection lets you down, we'll refund your stake up to £10 to place another. Can only contain Match Betting or Both Teams To Score selections; must have combined odds of 4/1 (5.0) or greater; selected leagues and tournaments only. Free bets credited shortly after your bet is settled; must be used within 3 days; can only be received once per customer per day; can be used as one whole bet or a number of smaller bets; will only return profit exceeding your total stake; cannot be cashed out; and can only be placed on Football 5 Folds and higher on any market. 18+, full T&Cs apply.

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2020

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Horse racing free bet offers

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    New customers only, place a min £10 bet on any Sportsbook market at odds of at least 1.2 (1/5) and we’ll give you £30 in free bets. Only deposits made using Cards or Paypal will qualify for this promotion. See below for full T&C's.

    Read Betfair Review
  • Bet £10 Get £40 - £30 in sports free bets plus get a £10 free bet for in-play horse racing

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

3 J. S. Bolger's number of winners in past 9 runnings. (saddles FEMINISTA)

LATEST RACING RESULTS