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County Hurdle 2023 Tips - Odds, trends and final tips

Last updated: 16 Mar 2023
Jon Vine 16 Mar 2023
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  • Tips, odds and predictions for the 2023 County Hurdle
  • This handicap hurdle takes place at 2:10pm on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Path D'oroux and Petit Tonnerre are our two against the field
County Hurdle Tips Odds Trends
Paul Townend (L, yellow kit) on State Man approach the finish line to win The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle. (Getty)

The first handicap race staged on Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival is the County Hurdle. This two-mile handicap hurdle has been won by many classy horse down the years and always provides a tremendous amount of entertainment.

We won't be finalising any of our handicap tips until the final fields have been confirmed. In this article, you'll find the latest County Hurdle odds, key recurring ten-year trends and a shortlist of possible selections.

Cheltenham 2023 Tips - County Hurdle Handicap 2023 Guide

County Hurdle 2023 Odds

Filey Bay5/1
Gin Coco10/1
Hunters Yarn10/1
Winter Fog12/1

County Hurdle Key Trends

  • 10 of the last 10 winners are eight-years-old or younger
  • 10 of the last 10 winners had won either once or twice over two miles
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had won either zero or one handicap race
  • 9 of the last 10 winners finished 1st, 2nd or 3rd on their most recent start
  • 8 of the last 10 winners had previously run in a Graded race
  • 8 of the last 10 winners were rated between 134 and 141

Filey Bay was beaten into second in the Betfair Hurdle off a British rating of 133. In Ireland, Emmet Mullins' charge was rated 129 and had his mark pushed up to 137. The British assessor has added a further four pounds to that rating, meaning Filey Bay will run off 141 at Cheltenham. That seems like a stiff enough mark to me.

With Hunters Yarn and Il Etait Temps pencilled in to run in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Willie Mullins could be represented by Sharjah and Winter Fog

Winter Fog will run off a 16-pound higher mark following that romp at Leopardstown over Christmas. In comparison, Sharjah looks very well-handicapped off this reduced mark of 155. However, it's been 54 years since a horse older than nine has won this handicap. The County Hurdle is clearly a race for younger horses.

County Hurdle Tips Shortlist

Willie Mullins usually sends one of his best novices to the County Hurdle and I'd be surprised if Hunters Yarn wasn't backed into favouritism. Unlike Saint Roi and State Man, who were smaller and more nimble, Hunters Yarn is a lovely big chaser in the making and he might not be suited by the hustle and bustle of the County.

The progressive novice I like is Gavin Cromwell's PATH D'OROUX, who thrashed some decent rivals when winning a maiden at Galway back in October. 

Following a couple of defeats in Grade One company, Gavin Cromwell's six-year-old got back on-track with an impressive penalty-carrying victory in an incident-packed race at Navan in January. Cromwell has had Path D'oroux laid out for the County Hurdle since then and he'll be delighted by the state of the ground at Cheltenham.
At a longer price, I'll chance my arm with PETIT TONNERRE, who's won three of his four starts on ground described as soft or worse.

Jonjo O'Neill has been trying to get Petit Tonnerre to stay two-and-a-half miles this season. Although he has run well in defeat on a number of occasions, O'Neill's five-year-old has never quite seen out that distance. A quickly-run race over two miles should be ideal for Petit Tonnerre and Jonjo Jnr's mount is handicapped well enough to run a huge race.

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