CHAMPION HURDLE

The Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdling event of the year and highlight of Day 1 of the Festival.

Champion Hurdle Trophy
Grade 1 | 4yo+ | Tuesday 15.30
2 miles ½ furlong | 8 hurdles | Old Course  
Weight: 11st (4yo) / 11st 10lb (5yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for fillies & mares
Prize money (2022): £450,000 | 1st: £253,215

Former winners include many legends of the sport such as multiple winners Persian War, Bula, Night Nurse, Sea Pigeon, See You Then and Istabraq. 

Mares have won the last three runnings (4 of the last 7)
9 of the last 14 winners were trained by either Nicky Henderson (5) or Willie Mullins (4)
The last 8 winners were unbeaten that season
28 of the last 33 winners won last time out
14 of the last 24 winners had won at the Festival previously
6 of the last 13 winners were owned by JP McManus
10 of the last 14 winners were aged either 6 or 7
8 of the last 12 favourites won
Updated to include 2022 renewal

Unless the ground is riding very soft, the race is a real speed test with runners needing to travel strongly and jump well to still be in contention up the hill.

Three consecutive wins for mares (in addition to Annie Power in 2016), suggests their 7lb weight allowance is a significant factor.

Indeed, there were only two mares in the race in 2022 and they finished 1-2.

It is another race that has been kind to Willie Mullins and Nicky Henderson in recent years, with the pair accounting for all but five of the last 13 winners. 

It has also been good to leading owner JP McManus, who has won the race 9 times.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
8
165
11-3
2021
7
161
11-3
2020
6
159
11-3
2019
5
162
11-10
2018
7
169
11-10

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Honeysuckle
Rachael Blackmore / Henry De Bromhead
8/11f
2021
Honeysuckle
Rachael Blackmore / Henry De Bromhead
11/10f
2020
Epatante
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
2/1f
2019
Espoir d'Allen
Mark Walsh / Gavin Cromwell
16/1
2018
Buveur d'Air
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
4/6f
2017
Buveur d'Air
Noel Fehily / Nicky Henderson
5/1
2016
Annie Power
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
5/2f
2015
Faugheen
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
4/5f
2014
Jezki
Barry Geraghty / Jessica Harrington
9/1
2013
Hurricane Fly
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
13/8f
2012
Rock On Ruby
Noel Fehily / Paul Nicholls
11/1
2011
Hurricane Fly
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
11/4f
2010
Binocular
Tony McCoy / Nicky Henderson
9/1
2009
Punjabi
Barry Geraghty / Nicky Henderson
22/1
2008
Katchit
Robert Thornton / Alan King
10/1
2007
Sublimity
Philip Carberry / John Carr
16/1
2006
Brave Inca
Tony McCoy / Colm Murphy
7/4f
2005
Hardy Eustace
Conor O'Dwyer / Dessie Hughes
7/2jf
2004
Hardy Eustace
Conor O'Dwyer / Dessie Hughes
33/1
2003
Rooster Booster
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
9/2
2002
Hors La Loi III
Dean Gallagher / James Fanshawe
10/1
2001

Festival Cancelled

2000
Istabraq
Charlie Swan / Aidan O'Brien
8/15f

In 2022 defending champion Honeysuckle proved that she is one of the greatest jumps horses of the modern era.

The unbeaten mare has now won a remarkable 11 Grade 1's, including three straight at the Cheltenham Festival, all with Rachael Blackmore for trainer Henry de Bromhead:

‘RACHAEL IS BRILLIANT. SHE HAD SO MUCH HORSE UNDERNEATH HER AT THE SECOND-LAST, THEY ARE JUST A DREAM TEAM’

Rachael Blackmore was the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle in 2021:

Epatante was an eighth Champion Hurdle winner for Nicky Henderson in 2020:

Espoir d'Allen left the field, including market leaders Apple's Jade and Laurina, trailing in 2019 after Buveur d'Air fell early:

Buveur d'Air retained his crown in 2018, albeit the odds-on shot was made to pull out all the stops to beat Melon by a neck:

He had started the 2016/17 season in novice chases, before being switched back to hurdles by Nicky Henderson:

Annie Power was only supplemented into the 2016 renewal a month beforehand, after her stablemate Faugheen was injured.

A beaten favourite at the two previous Festivals, including an infamous fall in the Mares' Hurdle, it was third time lucky:

'The Machine' Faugheen led home a 1-2-3 for Willie Mullins in 2015:

Jezki saw off My Tent Or Yours in a 1-2 for JP McManus in 2014:

The winner in 2011 and then third in 2012, Hurricane Fly regained his title in 2013:

CHAMPION HURDLE FAQ's