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Cheltenham Key Trends: Champion Hurdle

| 14.03.2017

We take a look at the key trends for the Champion Hurdle in the hope we can find you the winner…

So, “What are the trends?” I hear you ask. You can find some of the key trends below, we’ll then take you through each and see which runners eahc of the stats points to.

Champion Hurdle key trends

25 of the last 30 winners won their final prep race before the Champion Hurdle

This particular stat applies to seven of the 12 runners this year. Of those seven, Buvuer D’Air is one who has sent shockwaves through the hurdling world this season, landing a fourth consecutive win at Sandown in February. If the ground goes soft, he’d be the one to keep an eye on. Yanworth is another who can’t go unmentioned and although his win in the Kingwell last month wasn’t breathtaking, he has plenty of experience under his belt and will be popular with punters.

10 of the last 16 winners were Irish trained horses

The field is dominated by British runners this year, so if you’re keen on following this stat, you’ve got three horses to choose from. Willie Mullins sends Footpad, who has won Graded hurdles in France, and Wicklow Brave, who returns to obstacles for the first time since his Fighting Fifth third back in 2015. Those two will have plenty to find with fellow Irish raider Petit Mouchoir though, who has saw off Footpad in his last two runs and looks to have been prepped nicely for this by trainer Henry De Bromhead.

18 of the last 25 winners had won a race at Cheltenham before

If you’re looking for course form at Cheltenham, which many punters do for the Festival, then that will narrow things down to just five runners. Sceau Royal and Wicklow Brave are at the foot of the market, so if you’re looking for a big outsider with this stat, look no further. Moon Racer has won all three of his runs at Cheltenham, including the trial for this race back in November, so has to be in with a shout, while The New One is a consistent sort who should be there about and represents each-way value. The one with standout form at the course though, is Yanworth. Alan King’s seven year old won a Grade 2 hurdle at Cheltenham last January, before finishing a close second in this race 12 months ago and connections are confident he can go one better this time around.

1 of the last 25 winners of the Christmas Hurdle won the Champion Hurdle in the same season

That one horse to achieve this prestigious double was Willie Mullins’ Faugheen, who is missing this year’s Festival due to injury. The horse in this race looking to emulate that is Yanworth, who admittedly isn’t of the same quality of “The Machine”, but is a top hurdler nonetheless. He heads to this Champion Hurdle renewal 5lbs lower than Faugheen was when he won it, but on the official ratings, he’s one of the top horses this year.


Yanworth looks the one to be on for you shrewd punters out there, having won his prep run for this race and possessing substantial course form. It’s by no means a foregone conclusion though and the likes of Buvuer D’Air, Moon Racer and Petit Mouchoir will make like difficult for the market leader.

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Daniel McKeown