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2025 CHAMPION HURDLE

ODDS & RUNNERS

The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in the Cheltenham Festival. It is run on the Old Course over a distance of two miles and 110 yards (3,319 metres) with eight hurdles to be jumped. It will take place on Tuesday 11th March 2025 | Time 15:30

Odds Provided by Betfred - Updated 17/05/2024
9/4

Constitution Hill

7/2

Lossiemouth

7/2

State Man

6/1

Ballyburn

8/1

Sir Gino

12/1

Mystical Power

25/1

Irish Point

25/1

Majborough

33/1

Absurde

Antepost odds: No horse is guaranteed a position in the race until the final declaration stage. Check the odds with your Bookmaker before placing a bet, as fluctuations occur. Full Terms and Conditions for the promotional bet offers can be found on the respective websites – read them before you sign up. Important to Remember: Please be aware that when you place a bet on a horse in the ante-post market and your chosen horse is subsequently withdrawn from the race for any reason, your ante-post bet is considered lost. In such cases, the bookmaker will retain your stake.
CHAMPION HURDLE

RACE GUIDE

Sometimes referred to as the Unibet Champion Hurdle due to sponsorship, this race is 2 miles and half a furlong long.

It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham Racecourse and for runners who are aged four years or older. The race is always on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

It is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race and is the biggest hurdling event of the year. Some of the sport's greatest-ever hurdlers have won the Champion Hurdle.

On top of this, it makes up the final part of the Triple Crown of Hurdling. The other two races are the Fighting Firth Hurdle and the Christmas Hurdle.

The race has been going since 1927, and once in 1932, it had a field of just three horses, the smallest it's ever had.

The shortest-ever priced winner of the Champion Hurdle used to be Sir Ken who won the race three times in the 1950s. He went off in 1953 priced at 2/5!

However, in 2023, Constitution Hill went off on odds of 4/11, which is marginally shorter than Sir Ken.

PRIZE MONEY

When the race was first run back in 1927, Blaris was the winner at 11/10 and was rode by George Duller. Winning this race earned them £365, which is way off now but still a fantastic amount then.

Horse owner JP McManus won his first Champion Hurdle back in 1998 with three-time winner Istabraq. They went into the race as the 3/1 favourite and won by 12 lengths. This landed him a staggering £137,420.

With this being the most prestigious hurdle event in the racing calendar, it brings it a big purse. The 2019 total prize fund was £450,000 and £253,215 of that went to the connections of the winner, Espoir D'Allen.

Owned by JP McManus, he notched up his fourth consecutive win in the race with Epatante in 2020. The prize money had increased slightly with the winner taking home £264,609.

However, the prize fund was reduced in 2021 due to racing being held behind closed doors. It totaled £337,500 from which the winner, Honeysuckle, earned £189,911.

With the prize pot back up to £450,000 in 2022, Rachael Blackmore guided the legendary Honeysuckle to victory for trainer Henry De Bromhead. The yard took home £253K for the win.

The pot remained unchanged for the 2023 race which was won by Nicky Henderson's Constitution Hill, ridden by Nico De Boinville.

FAMOUS WINNERS

Hatton's Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq are all notable winners. They have each won the race three times, a feat the all achieved in consecutive years. As a result they will go down in history as some of the greatest hurdlers ever.

Faugheen is another notable winner. He won the Christmas Hurdle twice as well as the Champion Hurdle. They are two huge hurdle races, showing just how good Faugheen was at his peak. He was also voted the Irish Horse of the Year in 2015.

Another well-known winner of the Champion Hurdle is Hurricane Fly. He won this race twice in 2011 and in 2013. Hurricane Fly was the first horse in 38 years to regain his Champion Hurdle title. He held the record for the most Grade 1 wins until 2019 when Winx overtook him.

More recently, Honeysuckle won back-to-back races in 2021 and 2022, under the guidance of Rachael Blackmore.

CHAMPION HURDLE RECORDS

As this race is one of the biggest at the Cheltenham Festival there are lots of records. Owners and trainers like to bring horses back to try and win the race multiple times as it is the pinnacle of the hurdling calendar.

In terms of the most successful horse, that's split between five different horses. All have won the race on three consecutive occasions. Hatton's Grace was the first to win in 1949-1951. The most recent three time winner was Istabraq in 1998-2000.

The leading jockey is another shared accolade in this race. Tim Molony won it four times, once with Hatton's Grace and three times with Sir Ken. Ruby Walsh is the other four time winner. He won it with Hurricane Fly twice, Faugheen and Annie Power.

Nicky Henderson is the leading trainer. He has won it a staggering NINE times with See You Then (1985, 1986, 1987), Punjabi (2009), Binocular (2010), Buveur D'Air (2017, 2018), Epatante (2020) and Constitution Hill (2023.

His first win came in 1985 and his latest in 2020, spanning a period of 38 years.

As mentioned before JP McManus has won it nine times, including three times with the legendary Istabraq. This firmly puts him as the leading owner.

He also owned the wonderful Espoir d'Allen, who took the race in 2019. His 15-length victory in the Champion Hurdle was the widest winning margin in the history of the race. He was also only the second five-year-old in 33 years to take the hurdling showpiece at the festival.

CHAMPION HURDLE

COURSE

CHELTENHAM DAY ONE

RACE SCHEDULE

Time Race Distance Type
13:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle Race 2m abt ½f Hurdle
14:10 Arkle Challenge Trophy Chase abt 2m Chase
14:50 Ultima Handicap Chase 3m abt 1f Chase
15:30 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2m abt ½f Hurdle
16:10 Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle 2m abt 4f Hurdle
16:50 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Abt 2m ½f Hurdle
17:30 National Hunt Challenge Cup 3m 6f Chase

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