Tips For The Champion Hurdle 2024 – Will The Odds On Favourite Win?

The primary attraction on the first day draws some of the finest two-mile racers around. It also attracts most of the betting on day one so keep reading for our tips for the Champion Hurdle in 2024.

The is open to horses aged four and above, navigating eight hurdles en route to potential victory.

Historically, Irish-trained horses have dominated, with six of the last ten winners hailing from Ireland, and nine of the last ten victors winning their previous race.

Mares have claimed four of the last ten victories. Winners typically finish in under four minutes and are usually well-supported in the betting market.

Only Espoir D’Allen and Rock On Ruby have won at double-digit odds in the past decade.

Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins stand out as the trainers to watch, having collectively won the race eleven times.

Henderson’s successes include Constitution Hill, Punjabi, Binocular, Buveur D’Air (2017 & 2018), and Epatante, while Mullins’ notable winners include Hurricane Fly (2011 & 2013), Faugheen, and Annie Power.

Horses performing strongly in prep races at Leopardstown and Sandown tend to have enhanced chances in this event.

Previous Winners of the Champion Hurdle

Runners To Watch

Below are selected runners who hold entries for Champion Hurdle 2024.

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

STATE MAN – WILLIE MULLINS

Adaptable to varying ground conditions, State Man demonstrated his prowess by clinching victory in the County Hurdle at this venue two years back.

Since then, he has displayed dominance at Grade 1 level, except for when he faced the exceptional Constitution Hill in this very event last year (though he performed admirably to secure second place).

Showing exceptional form in his most recent outing, he convincingly triumphed in the Irish Champion Hurdle at Leopardstown for the second time.

Known for his reliability, he currently holds the highest rating amongst these, especially with Constitution Hill absent from the race.

IRISH POINT – GORDON ELLIOTT

Showing class, adaptability, and ongoing improvement, Irish Point has emerged victorious in his past four outings, which included Grade 1 races spanning distances of two-and-a-half to almost three miles.

His most recent triumph in the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown, where he comfortably lived up to his status as the favourite, solidified his position as a front-runner for the Stayers’ Hurdle.

However, with Constitution Hill missing from the line-up and connections pinning their hopes on Teahupoo for the three-mile race, he has opted to compete in this event instead.

Despite the significant drop in distance of nearly a mile, he appears to be a formidable contender and a major threat in the race itself.

IBERICO LORD – NICKY HENDERSON

Supplemented just last week at an expense of £18,000, despite disappointing performances in both previous attempts on good ground.

However, he has shown significant progress on soft or heavy ground, particularly evident in his victories in major 2-mile handicaps at this course in November and at Newbury last month.

The form from those races is proving to be highly competitive, indicating his potential to excel in even more challenging competitions.

There’s a strong likelihood of further improvement from him, and under favourable conditions, he could produce a noteworthy performance at this elevated level.

ZARAK THE BRAVE – WILLIE MULLINS

Having not yet competed on heavy ground, Zarak The Brave appears to perform well on any other type of surface.

In the previous season, he put in commendable performances, finishing closely behind the highly regarded stablemate Lossiemouth on two occasions.

His recent victory in a Grade 3 race at Naas, following his success in the Galway Hurdle two starts prior, further solidifies his credentials.

Although he currently falls short of the standard set by stablemate State Man, there is still potential for him to achieve a higher rating.

LUCCIA – NICKY HENDERSON

Twelve months ago, she fell short on soft ground when she was the favourite for the Dawn Run on the New course here. However, her recent performances in significant handicaps have been noteworthy.

She secured a third-place finish behind Iberico Lord over the same course and distance, followed by a victory at Ascot where she led from start to finish, maintaining her unbeaten record on a good surface (3 out of 3).

Demonstrating her utility and overall consistency, she is a mare to consider for a place, especially with a 7-pound weight allowance against her male counterparts.

NEMEAN LION – KERRY LEE

It seems that Nemean Lion performs best on ground conditions softer than good. Showing a steady improvement, he has secured several significant victories over the past year.

His recent triumph in the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton, where he defeated Colonel Mustard, demonstrates his progress.

Despite finishing fifth to Iberico Lord in a major handicap over the same course and distance back in November, his performance has proven to be competitive.

With an appealing track record, he is expected to deliver a decent performance.

NOT SO SLEEPY – HUGHIE MORRISSION

Shows versatility on any ground and remains a highly capable dual-purpose competitor, maintaining his skill and vigour despite his advancing age.

His recent victory in the rescheduled Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Sandown, three months ago, underscored his enduring ability.

However, it is worth noting that he has been unsuccessful in this particular race for the past four years, with form figures of P555.

Now at the age of 12, it seems likely that he will once again play a minor role in the competition.

COLONEL MUSTARD – LORNA FOWLER

He has put in commendable performances in races where State Man and Nemean Lion emerged victorious in his last two attempts over hurdles.

Nevertheless, it appears highly improbable for him to reverse the outcome, given his extensive racing experience as a nine-year-old, coupled with a relatively modest success rate.

Returning to Grade 1 level presents a more challenging task, and he will likely require assistance from blinkers, which he will wear for the first time.

Ticks The Right Boxes?

Tips For The Champion Hurdle 2024 With Key Trends

When it comes to tips for the Champion Hurdle, STATE MAN really ought to take the world of beating here.

He has always been held in high regard and the style of his most recent victory at the Dublin Racing Festival suggested that he would have played a massive role here, despite the absence of Constitution Hill.

Willie Mullins knows exactly what type of horse it takes to win this and hopes are high that he can follow in the footsteps of the likes of Annie Power and Faugheen.

Despite being a 12 year old now, Not So Sleepy is likely to set off at a blistering pace. The ground is expected to be plenty soft enough and if he is let loose, he could well prove difficult to catch, particularly if he gets into his own rhythm.

He is still capable of landing a Grade 1 as he did when winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and booking his ticket for this in the process.

Key Trends

  • 11 of the past 13 winners were unbeaten during the current season
  • Nicky Henderson (6) or Willie Mullins (4) trained 10 of the past 15 winners
  • Mares are 4-9 during the past 9 years
  • 29 of the past 34 winners won last time out

Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication

  • State Man 4/11
  • Irish Point 11/2
  • Iberico Lord 10/1
  • Nemean Lion 18/1
  • Zarak The Brave 20/1
  • Not So Sleepy 33/1
  • Luccia 40/1
  • Colonel Mustard 40/1



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