Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy is the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, starring the fastest two-mile hurdlers in the land.

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Day

Jump to: Tips and Predictions | Betting Odds | Recent Winners

DateTuesday, March 15, 2022
Start Time15:05
Where to WatchCheltenham live stream
Horses’ Age4+ Years.
Cheltenham Festival Day 1: Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and is a test of raw speed and fast, nimble hurdling ability. Perhaps more so than in any other race at Cheltenham, the ability get from A-to-B quickly over the obstacles and without losing momentum is hugely important.

No trainer knows more about winning this contest than Nicky Henderson, with Britain’s champion handler now boasting a record eight wins after the mare Epatante scored in 2020, following hot on the heels of wins for Buveur D’Air in 2017 and 2018.

The Seven Barrows maestro sees his tally bettered by the leading owner, JP McManus, who appears to favour this race above all others. Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000) began his odyssey and McManus runners have won the last four Champion Hurdles.

Hurricane Fly and Faugheen are amongst other recent greats to win, while Annie Power’s redemptive score in 2016 was amongst the sweetest in many years, the Willie Mullins-trained winner becoming the first mare since Dawn Run in 1984 to beat the boys.

2022 Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Tips and Predictions

Last season’s Champion Hurdle winner Honeysuckle was very impressive on her seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse and she remains unbeaten over hurdles. She is currently the 8/11 ante-post favourite for the feature race on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. Sharjah is the 8/1 second favourite in the ante-post market and he also got off to the perfect start this season, winning the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown. Epatante sits just behind him at 9/1 in the market and she dead-heated with Not So Sleepy in a thrilling renewal of the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle.

Epatante could be the value in the race at this stage as she was not at her best last season, but Aidan Coleman was bullish after the race and thought her jumping was a lot better than it had been for most of last season. You also can’t forget how good Appreciate It was in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle last March, winning the race by 24 lengths and he will surely play a big part in this year’s Champion Hurdle.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Betting Odds

Event finished - Check out the latest markets

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Recent Winners

2021HoneysuckleRachael BlackmoreH de Bromnead
2020EpatanteBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2019Espoir D’AllenMark WalshGavin Cromwell
2018Buveur D’AirBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2017Buveur D’AirNoel FehilyNicky Henderson
2016Annie PowerRuby WalshWillie Mullins
Source: Wikipedia
Dave has worked in the horse racing industry for over 7 years. He has worked with some of the biggest names in the racing world, including Sir AP McCoy, Sam Twiston-Davies, Emma Spencer, Aidan Coleman, and Nick Scholfield to name a few. Dave has worked at all the major racing festivals in the UK and Ireland, including Royal Ascot, the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National.
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