Champion Hurdle Betting Tips 2021 – Trends, Odds and Preview (Day 1 3.05pm)

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race of day one at the festival, providing a test of just over two miles and eight hurdles to be jumped.

Nicky Henderson has enjoyed success in recent years in the Champion Hurdle with Epatante and Buveur D’air winning three times between them in the last four years.

Epatante was superb at the last festival, she waited patiently under jockey Barry Geraghty before igniting the burners and winning the race up the home straight.

 

Champion Hurdle Odds 2021

HorseOddsBookies
Epatante9/4bet365
Sharjah8/1bet365
Silver Streak11/1bet365
Sain Roi14/1bet365
Aspire Tower14/1William Hill
Honeysuckle16/1William Hill
Buveur Dair14/1bet365
Song For Someone20/1William Hill
Abacadabras20/1bet365

 

2021 Champion Hurdle Preview

The first Championship race of the week is the Champion Hurdle and there have been countless memorable renewals. 2018 saw Buveur D’air retrain his crown ahead of Melon and Mick Jazz, to the delight of punters who backed the strong 4/6 favourite. In 2019 Espoir D’Allen caused a shock to take the win and then last year we saw a brilliant performance from Epatante to win. She is back to defend her crown in the 2021 renewal. The hill is normally where the race changes as horses who come off the pace come into their own.

 

Champion Hurdle Main Contenders

  • Epatante
  • Silver Streak
  • Sain Roi
  • Sharjah
  • Asspire Tower
  • Abacadabras
  • Beveur Dair

 

Epatante

Epatante is still the best horse in the race but this season has shown that the top hurdlers fancied for the Champion Hurdle can show significant weakness.

Having won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle superbly at Newcastle in November, she was made a short-priced favourite for the Champion Hurdle.

But the mare was beaten by the reliable Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton after a bold ride from Adam Wedge.

Despite being beaten, Epatante is still mightily impressive. Henderson’s mare will always have that electric turn of foot and the ability to breeze past top-class opposition.

 

Silver Streak

It is important not to overlook Silver Streak, who became the first horse to overcome Epatante since the mare finished ninth in the Mare’s Novices Hurdle at the 2019 Cheltenham festival.

Silver Streak was narrowly beaten by Song For Someone in the Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham, after a great ride from Adam Wedge.

The grey finished third in the 2019 Champion Hurdle at big odds, this horse is reliable and his current price of 11/1 for the Champion Hurdle is a tempting one.

Trainer Evan Williams has a plucky and gritty hurdler here with plenty of form at Cheltenham and the horse will hope for dry ground when next appearing in the Champion Hurdle.

 

Saint Roi

Owner JP McManus has a strong hand in the Champion Hurdle with Irish-trained Saint Roi also a leading fancy.

But Saint Roi has been disappointing this season, he was well beaten by Sharjah in the Matheson Hurdle last time out, the horse couldn’t find anything extra when shaken by jockey Mark Walsh.

Walsh said that he wanted to sit a bit longer before asking Saint Roi for an effort but the horse went for it too early.

Saint Roi still has plenty of class and much like Epatante, this Willie Mullins-trained six-year-old has form at Cheltenham, having won last season’s County Hurdle.

 

Sharjah

Sharjah was sublime in the Matheson Hurdle last time out at Leopardstown, winning the race for the third time in a row.

Jockey Patrick Mullins gave the horse a superb ride when finishing second in last year’s Champion Hurdle, having come from the back of the field.

Patrick Mullins loves riding this horse which has experienced much misfortune in the Champion Hurdle, he was brought down in the race in 2019.

This could be the year Sharjah finally gets it right at Cheltenham and the Irish Champion Hurdle could be the next time we see this eight-year-old, who is a member of the impressive list of horses owned by the Ricci family.

 

Aspire Tower

Aspire Tower is another interesting contender from Ireland who has proven he can mix it with the sport’s top hurdlers.

Trained by Henry De Bromhead, the five-year-old won the WKD Hurdle at Down Royal in October, beating Abacadabras by four and a half lengths.

This form was backed up by finishing second to Sharjah in the Matheson Hurdle, beating more top horses and proving his competitive credentials.

Aspire Tower is younger than most of his potential rivals here, which could mean that even if this is not his year at Cheltenham, his day could be soon around the corner.

 

Abacadabras

Abacadabras is a mercurial horse, his form suggests both that he can take on top hurdlers but also be blown away by them.

The horse and its rider seemed to have last year’s Supreme Novice’s Hurdle wrapped up before Shishkin ground out an incredible victory.

But Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old hung on to beat Saint Roi and Jason The Militant in the Unibet Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown this season, which was the horse’s second Grade One honours over hurdles.

Despite being a dual Grade One-winning hurdler, Abacadabras then finished 24 lengths behind Sharjah in the Matheson Hurdle last time out.

The ups and downs of his form make Abacadabras a difficult horse to back but his career has shown there is great ability to be unleashed.

 

Buveur D’air

It was announced that dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’air holds an entry in this year’s renewal, providing great excitement for race fans.

Henderson recently commented on how good he looked at home and he will be looking for a Champion Hurdle hat-trick in March.

 

Champion Hurdle Betting Tips 2021

Epatante is the best horse in the Champion Hurdle entries and despite the setback at Christmas, the mare is still a clear favourite to retain her crown.

If Sharjah can get a better running position in the field this year, he could pose a serious threat but the rest of the top contenders need to iron out their inconsistencies to rival Epatante’s pace and precision.

WIN BET – Epatante: 9/4 with bet365.

DANGER – Sharjah: 8/1 with bet365.

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Champion Hurdle Trends

  • Age – 10 of the last 12 winners were aged between 6 and 8
  • Price – 6 of the last 12 winners were favourites/joint-favourites, 7/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
  • Last Run – 11/12 winners won or placed on their last run before the Champion Hurdle, 9/12 won on their last run, 9/12 ran within the last 51 days
  • 3/12 winners ran in the Irish Champion Hurdle (Leopardstown) on their last run, 2 of the 3 won, 0 placed
  • 3/12 winners ran in the Christmas Hurdle (Kempton) on their last run, 2 of the 3 won, 1 placed
  • 3/12 winners ran in the Contenders Hurdle (Sandown) on their last run, 3 of the 3 won
  • Previous Course Form – 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 5/12 had at least 1 previous win at Cheltenham
  • Previous Distance Form – 10/12 winners had at least 7 runs over 15-17 furlongs, 10/12 had at least 5 wins over 15-17 furlongs
  • Previous Hurdle Form – 10/12 winners had at least 6 previous runs over hurdles, 11/12 had at least 4 wins over hurdles
  • Rating – 10/12 winners were rated 162 or higher
  • Grade 1 Wins – 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous grade 1 win
  • Season Form – 11/12 winners had at least 2 runs that season, 12/12 had at least 1 win that season

 

Champion Hurdle Last 10 Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Punjabi Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2010 Binocular A P McCoy Nicky Henderson
2011 Hurricane Fly Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2012 Rock On Ruby Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls
2013 Hurricane Fly Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2014 Jezki Barry Geraghty John Harrington
2015 Faugheen Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2016 Annie Power Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Buveur D’Air Noel Fehily Nicky Henderson
2018 Buveur D’Air Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2019 Espoir D’Allen Mark Walsh Gavin Cromwell
2020 Epatante Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson

 

Champion Hurdle 2020 Result

1st – Epatante (2/1)

2nd – Sharjah (16/1)

3rd – Darver Star (17/2)

4th – Cilaos Emery (7/1)

 

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2021 Cheltenham Festival Tips