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 JUICESTORM 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 Stan James.
The 2019 renewal looks set-up to be another cracker with the current champ – Buveur D’Air – looking to become the first horse since Istabraq to win the race three years on the spin and if he can he’ll also give the champion trainer – Nicky Henderson – his eighth win in the contest.
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 2019.
Check out the recent winners and we give you the key Champion Hurdle trends to look out for ahead of the 2019 renewal – this year run on Tuesday 12th March.
Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Winners
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
15/16 – Finished in the top 3 last time out
15/16 – Had raced at Cheltenham before
14/16 – Had raced within the last 7 weeks
14/16 – Aged 8 or younger
13/16 – Rated 159 or higher
13/16 – Had finished in the top 4 in a Cheltenham Festival race the season before
12/16 – Had won 6 or more times over hurdles before
12/16 – Won last time out
11/16 – Placed favourites
10/16 – Had won at Cheltenham before
10/16 – Aged 6 or 7 years-old
10/16 – Irish bred winners
9/16 – Irish trained winners
8/16 – Winning distance – 2 1/2 lengths or more
7/16 – Came from outside the top 3 in the betting
7/16 – Winning favourites (1 joint)
6/16 – Ran in the previous season’s Champion Hurdle
6/16 – Had won a race at the Cheltenham Festival the previous season
4/16 – Trained by Willie Mullins
4/16 – Trained by Nicky Henderson (has won the race 7 times in all)
The average winning SP in the last 16 runnings is 8/1
Champion Hurdle Stats:
Champion Hurdle Stats:
5 year-olds are just 2 from 102 since 1985
29 of the last 35 winners won their previous race
23 of the last 33 winners were placed in the top 4 at the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival
21 of the last 23 winners had a race that calendar year (i.e we are looking for horses that have run in 2019)
25 of the last 28 winners hailed from the first 6 in the betting market
Just 3 of the last 28 Christmas Hurdle winners has gone onto win the Champion Hurdle that season
Irish-trained horses have won 12 of the last 20 renewals
Champion Hurdle – 20 Year Trends
12/21 – Irish-trained winners
9/21 – British-trained winners
Willie Mullins (Ire) has trained 4 of the last 8 winners
Nicky Henderson (UK) has trained 4 of the last 10 winners
JUICESTORM VERDICT: One of the best renewals for some time and really it looks between three – the winner of the race for the last two seasons – Buveur D’Air – plus the two classy mares – Apple’s Jade and Laurina. All three are very much respected and the trio will all have their supporters – you really can make a case for them all. One is the current champ so has to be respected, Laurina has won all her starts since coming over from France, while Apple’s Jade was a very impressive winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle last time. The two mares also get a handy 7lbs allowance off Buveur D’Air and with that help brings all their official ratings very close. There is a case to say that Buveur D’Air has probably won two below-par Champion Hurdles and he only just got home last year by a neck. Connections did offer a few excuses for that below-par run but he’s still got the job done twice now and it’s hard to knock him. However, this will be his toughest task in this race and having to give 7lbs to two classy mares won’t be easy – especially two that are both proven Festival winners too. Laurina will want the rain to come, so we’ll have to see if it does. Should the ground be soft or worse then expect to see her price come in – she still could be anything and it’s no secret that the Mullins camp like here an awful lot. She is rated 7lbs lower than APPLE’S JADE though and it’s hard to crab her recent Irish Champion Hurdle win. Yes, her form at Cheltenham is a bit patchy – but she’s yet to finish out of the top three (3 runs) and landed the Mares’ Hurdle here in 2017. She looks a better and stronger horse this season and if allowed to get into a rhythm up top then her proven stamina might just get her home. For me, her pace up front will be a big asset if the ground is on the quicker side and she’ll be hard to peg back – if the rain comes then even though she’s won in soft conditions I just feel this might blunt her pace and she might not be able to get away from them. All-in-all, a fascinating contest that is certainly one of the Festival highlights. Finally, of the rest, if you are looking for some bigger-priced each-way value then last year’s narrow runner-up Melon looks the obvious shout. Yes, he’s not fired this season but does seem to save his best for Cheltenham and it would be no shock to see this this Willie Mullins-trained runner fill one of the places.
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