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2024 County Hurdle Tips - Key trends and tips on Gold Cup day

jon-vine
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Last updated: 08 Mar 2024
Jon Vine 08 Mar 2024
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  • Free guide to the 2024 County Hurdle
  • This handicap takes place on day four of the Cheltenham Festival on Friday 15th March
  • Lisnagar Fortune and Favour And Fortune feature in our verdict
Expired
county hurdle
Bridget Andrews on board Faivoir(L) on their way to winning the McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle during day four of the Cheltenham Festival 2023. (Getty)

The opening handicap on Gold Cup day at Cheltenham is the County Hurdle. This 26-horse cavalry charge has been won by plenty of future Grade One winners down the years and we look set for another thrilling renewal in 2024.

Here's our free guide to the 2024 County Hurdle, which includes some key ten-year trends and our best betting tips in the verdict.

2024 County Hurdle Key Ten-Year Trends


  • 10 of the last 10 winners were no older than eight-years-old
  • 10 of the last 10 winners had won either zero or one handicap hurdle
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had run no more than four times that season
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had won or placed on their previous start

2024 County Hurdle Tips


King Of Kingsfield brings Grade One-placed form into this year's County Hurdle. Gordon Elliott's novice finished second to stablemate Farren Glory in the Royal Bond and was last seen finishing third behind Ballyburn at the Dublin Racing Festival. Elliott thinks a fast pace over two miles will suit his six-year-old and the British handicapper's decision not to up his Irish mark of 140 raised plenty of eyebrows.

After Nicky Henderson and JP McManus opted to supplement Iberico Lord for the Champion Hurdle, Betfair Hurdle runner-up, L'Eau Du Sud will come into second-favouritism. Dan Skelton has won four of the last eight renewals of this handicap and, on favourably soft ground, L'Eud Du Sud has to be in with a big chance.

Pied Piper was beaten a head by Dan Skelton's Faivoir in this race 12 months ago and Gordon Elliott's six-year-old will again carry top-weight off a two-pound higher mark. Six-time winner, Willie Mullins holds a whole host of entries, including six-year-old Bialystok and the novices, Absurde and Lisnagar Fortune.

Henry De Bromhead will be hoping for good ground for Magical Zoe, who has to be a big player, despite that three-pound rating hike by the British handicapper. Fellow mare, Under Control would want a bit of decent ground too, with Impose Toi another dangerous runner for Nicky Henderson and JP McManus.

Defending champion Faivoir is one of a whole host of runners who can be backed at prices between 16/1 and 25/1. Willie Mullins could run classy mares Zenta and Risk Belle on day four of the Cheltenham Festival. Gordon Elliott has handed further entries to Magic Tricks and Jigoro, while Alan King's novice, Favour And Fortune has Grade One form to his name this season. 

Harry Fry's Altobelli is better than what he produced on heavy ground in the Betfair Hurdle, but could run well if he was to sneak into the field at the bottom of the weights. Party Central, Nusret and Zannabad are also worth noting at lengthy prices.

Verdict

I've missed the boat with King Of Kingsfield in regards to his price. Gordon Elliott's novice has the ideal profile for this handicap and he's certainly well-treated. Favourites have obliged in only three County Hurdle this century, but King Of Kingsfield clearly has an excellent chance.

I like the look of Lisnagar Fortune, who ran in two maiden hurdles over staying distances last season. Willie Mullins' novice has run over the minimum distance twice this term, losing out by a head to Grade One-winning stablemate Readin Tommy Wrong, before an effortless victory at Punchestown. Off a decent mark of 142, he could be a player.

Good going is important for Magical Zoe and she might feature in my final tips if the ground was to firm up. Alan King has said he's like decent ground for Favour And Fortune, who was only beaten two lengths in the Grade One at Aintree over Christmas and followed a Willie Mullins raider home on his latest outing at Exeter. Both pique my interest at longer prices.

Best Bet1: Lisnagar Fortune 2024 County Hurdle Tip 1 @12/1 at bet365 - 10 Units
Lisnagar Fortune
2024 County Hurdle Tip 1
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