Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

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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.

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

DateTuesday, March 16, 2021
Start Time15:05
Distance2m½f
TypeHurdle
Prize£450,000
Where to WatchCheltenham live stream at MansionBet
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.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Tips and Predictions

Epatante faces a tough battle to hold onto her crown and will need to be better than ever before seemingly. She was turned over at Christmas by Silver Streak and this looks a stronger renewal than last year.

Goshen would be a popular winner after last year’s Triumph Hurdle heartache and his Kingwell win last month was encouraging, but that Wincanton form might be unreliable.

Abacadabras is a place contender but was no match for HONEYSUCKLE in last month’s Irish Champion Hurdle. Rachael Blackmore’s mount is a 10-10 thus far, including the Mares’ Hurdle on this card a year ago, and that most recent Leopardstown win was probably her most polished thus far. She will take some stopping.

Enda McElhinney‘s Selection: Honeysuckle

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Betting Odds

Check the Cheltenham Results page for details of the race result.

Race finished - Check out the latest Horse Racing odds

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy: Recent Winners

YearHorseJockeyTrainer
2020EpatanteBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2019Espoir D’AllenMark WalshGavin Cromwell
2018Buveur D’AirBarry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2017Buveur D’AirNoel FehilyNicky Henderson
2016Annie PowerRuby WalshWillie Mullins
Source: Wikipedia
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