Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle 2020 Odds – Who will win the day 1 feature?
Following the sad death of the 2019 winner Espoir d’Allen and the injury to Buveur D’Air, the 2020 Champion Hurdle odds are wide open and we’re sure to have a newly crowned winner – but who will it be?
Dual winner Buveur D’air was ruled out for the season early on in the campaign and recently, last year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle winner Klassical Dream and Saldier were also ruled out of the Festival. This has left the market looking wide open and people are questioning the quality of Tuesday’s Championship race.
Who will win the 2020 Champion Hurdle?
With two of the ante-post favourites now missing from the market, that has left Epatante at the head of the betting at odds of 11/4 with bet365. She was beaten in the Mares Novices Hurdle at the Festival last year, finishing 9th, but has won both starts this season at Kempton (Christmas Hurdle) and Newbury. That had pushed her towards the head of the Champion Hurdle 2020 odds and with Klassical Dream now injured, she’s the current favourite.
There are still some unknown entries for the race, most notably Dublin Racing Festival winner Honeysuckle and Mare’s Hurdle favourite Benie Des Dieux. If either of these horses ran you’d have to think they would have a great chance in what looks like a weak Champion Hurdle.
The 2019 Triumph Hurdle winner Pentland Hills is the second favourite at odds of 5/1. he was beaten 5 lengths by Call Me Lord around Cheltenham in December and then got nosed by Ballyandy at Haydock.
It may be worth looking deeper into the field to find some value for a Champion Hurdle tip this year (depending on the declarations). Ballyandy beat Pentland Hills in the trial and at odds of 25/1 with William Hill, he could run into a place in what looks a weak renewal.
He is a 9-year-old now and if he can replicate anything like what his former stablemate did in his twilight years, he will have a chance of a place in the Champion Hurdle. If one of Honeysuckle or Benie Des Dieux take their chance in this race then I’d be backing either of them in the Champion Hurdle win odds but for now, keep an eye out for some value in what looks like a weak renewal.
2020 Champion Hurdle Odds:
- Epatante: 11/5
- Benie Des Dieux: 9/4
- Envoi Allen: 4/1
- Honeysuckle: 9/2
- Pentland Hills: 5/1
- Sharjah: 10/1
- Thomas Darby: 16/1
- Fusil Raffles: 16/1
- Supasundae: 20/1
Odds correct as of Wednesday 12th February.
Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Trends
The past five Champion Hurdle winners have all been unbeaten in that season going into the Cheltenham Festival.
Epatante, Saldier, Envoi Allen and Honeysuckle all have unbeaten records this season.
Since 2009, the winners have had the following ratings 163, 163, 167, 165, 172, 165, 169, 162, 157, 169 and 162. It is worth noting that the highest-rated horse in the 2020 Champion Hurdle is Call Me Lord (33/1 Betfair), who is rated 160. That illustrates how bad this Champion Hurdle is!
Horses in first-time blinkers tend to do well in this race, most recently Melon last year when finishing second at odds of 20/1, and in 2014 Jezki was a surprise winner of the race in first time blinkers.
Will Honeysuckle run in the Champion Hurdle?
After winning the Irish Champion Hurdle, there were calls for Honeysuckle to be allowed to take her chance in the Cheltenham Festival day 1 feature. Connections have always said the Mares Hurdle is her target but after winning in Ireland, they must be tempted to go for the big prize. Benie Des Dieux is the strong favourite for the Mares Hurdle and looks set to be difficult to beat, so ideally Honeysuckle connections should keep her away from whichever race Willie Mullins puts Benie Des Diuex in.
We learnt a lot from her Dublin Racing Festival win – most importantly that she had no trouble going left-handed for the first time in her career. Once again she jumped well and the drop back in trip was no problem for her. Her proven stamina will be perfect for the gruelling Cheltenham hill and she would stand a fantastic chance in this 2020 renewal.
However, the owners racing manager spoke after the Leopardstown win saying:
“Nothing is set in stone but we’re still leaning towards the Mares’ Hurdle with Honeysuckle.
“The main reason is that two and a half miles is her optimum trip. She’s top-class over two and a half miles and we want to do what’s best for the mare at Cheltenham.”
Champion Hurdle 2020 Tips
Honeysuckle to win (NRNB) – 9/2 with bet365.
Ballyandy (each-way) – 25/1 with Bet Victor.
Cheltenham Festival 2020 – NRNB and Best Odds Guaranteed
If you are betting on any Cheltenham Festival ante-post bets this year, get over to bet365 who are already offering best odds guaranteed, and non-runner no bet for the feature races of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival.
This means if you bet on Honeyuckle and he doesn’t run you get your money back.
If she does run and goes off shorter than her current price of 9/2, you will get paid at the better odds.
Champion Hurdle 2020 Entries
3️⃣1️⃣ entries for the £450,000 G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle @CheltenhamRaces, Tuesday, March 10
🏇🏻 Pentland Hills
🏇🏻 Coeur Sublime
🏇🏻 Cornerstone Lad
🏇🏻 Envoi Allen
🏇🏻 Silver Streak
🏇🏻 Fusil Raffles
🏇🏻 Not So Sleepy
🏇🏻 Apple’s Jade pic.twitter.com/dWjgkwt37x
— Racenews (@RacenewsService) February 12, 2020
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