,

Tips For The Champion Hurdle 2022 – Has Honeysuckle Got It In The bag?

Champion Hurdle Tips

The main event on day one, the Champion Hurdle, attracts some of the best two milers around. It is open to horses aged four and over and the field take in eight hurdles on their way to possible glory.

Six of the last ten winners of the race have been Irish trained and eight of the last ten winners all won on their previous start.

Mares have taken two of the last ten renewals and they look set to play another pivotal role this time as Honeysuckle and Epatante fight it out for favouritism at the head of the market.

The winner usually comes home well within four minutes, and they are usually well found in the market.

Only Espoir D’Allen and Rock On Ruby have won at double figure prices within the past decade.

Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins are the trainers to follow in this race having won the race no fewer than nine times between them.

Punjabi, Binocular, Buveur D’Air (2017 & 2018) and Epatante have all scored for the master of Seven Barrows, whilst Hurricane Fly (2011 & 2013), Faugheen and Annie Power have all won for the Closutton based handler.

Horses who perform well at Leopardstown and Sandown in their prep races tend to have a better chance of winning this race.

Previous Winners of the Champion Hurdle

Runners To Watch

Below are selected runners who hold entries for Champion Hurdle 2022.

Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.

HONEYSUCKLE – HENRY DE BROMHEAD

Honeysuckle is the undisputed queen of the current crop of two mile hurdlers and she remains undefeated after fourteen career starts.

She warmed up for this by taking the Irish equivalent at Leopardstown last month during the Dublin Racing Festival.

She is two from two at this track and those two wins both came at this Festival in the Mares Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle respectively.

Back to defend her crown and with Rachael Blackmore in the saddle she will be given every assistance.

The current form of the yard is a massive concern, but she is a superstar and could well cause something of a resurgence with the team this week.



GET £60 IN BONUSES WHEN YOU STAKE £10



Joining is easy and only takes two minutes – Register using the promo code BETFRED60.




New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 10 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org. #ad.

 

APPRECIATE IT – WILLIE MULLINS

Appreciate It finds himself chucked in at the deep end on what will be his seasonal reappearance for Willie Mullins.

The yard are clearly confident that he can dethrone Honeysuckle despite being off the track for 364 days.

On bare form alone he has a couple of pounds to find with Teahupoo and Honeysuckle and to do that on his first run of the campaign is a lot to ask.

He did win the Supreme here in breath-taking fashion last year, although all of his rivals have a fitness edge over him here.

TEAHUPOO – GORDON ELLIOTT

Teahupoo has done nothing wrong this year and extended his unbeaten run to three for the season when landing a Grade 3 at Gowran Park last time.

Despite only being beaten once in his short career, this is his first foray into Grade 1 company and he may well struggle against proven performers.

Five-year-olds have a dismal record in this race and it may well be a year too soon.

He does at least have race fitness on his side and if he were to finish second to Honeysuckle, connections would undoubtedly be delighted.

EPATANTE – NICKY HENDERSON

Epatante won this a couple of years ago and has hinted at a return to form this season.

She dead-heated for the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle before comfortably winning the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

She obviously has some excellent track form to fall back on and she will be there to pick up the pieces should any of the main protagonists fail to fire.

Nicky Henderson has a fantastic record in this race and she may well be the forgotten one.

ZANAHIYR – GORDON ELLIOTT

Zanahiyr has proven that he is certainly worth his place in this line-up having finished as the proverbial bridesmaid on his last three starts in Grade 1 company.

He got to within six and a half lengths of Honeysuckle at Leopardstown last time and may well be capable of getting closer here.

It should be borne in mind that he was a disappointing favourite when last seen contesting the Triumph here last season and he may well have to settle for minor honours here.

ADAGIO – DAVID PIPE

Adagio has been beaten in lesser grades than this so far this season so it is difficult to see him getting involved.

David Pipe has also been struggling for form and despite a relatively light campaign, Adagio may find this all a bit much.

Whilst he does have winning course form, the record of five-year-olds in this particular race is abysmal. Another who could find this happening a year too soon.

Ticks The Right Boxes?

2022 Champion Hurdle Tips & Key Trends

HONEYSUCKLE is taken to maintain her unbeaten run and can cement her victory in the Irish equivalent just last month.

She is clearly at the top of her game right now and is now a multiple Cheltenham Festival winner in her own right.

She has continued to improve with age and her relationship with Rachael Blackmore could well prove key here.

Appreciate It has been absent since the Festival last year where he won the Supreme Novices’ in a canter.

It would take some performance for him to dethrone the queen of the hurdling world on his seasonal reappearance, especially with her coming here fully race fit.

Epatante arrives in much better form than last year and connections can be hopeful of a decent run given that she is a previous winner of this race and will be there to pick up any pieces should anything happen to the main protagonists.

Key Trends

  • 9 of the last 11 winners were unbeaten during the current season
  • 9 of the past 13 winners were trained by Willie Mullins or Nicky Henderson
  • 13 of the past 23 winners had won at the festival previously

Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication

  • 4/7 Honeysuckle
  • 4/1 Appreciate It
  • 10/1 Teahupoo
  • 16/1 Epatante
  • 18/1 Adagio
  • 22/1 Zanahiyr
  • 33/1 Tommys Oscar
  • 50/1 Saint Roi
  • 100/1 Glory And Fortune
  • 100/1 Not So Sleepy



BET £20 AND GET IT BACK AS CASH IF IT LOSES




New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+ begambleaware.org. #ad. Please bet responsibly.