2019 Champion Hurdle Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips

Date: Tuesday March 12, 2019 
Track: Cheltenham 
Distance: 3,298m 
Status: Grade 1 
Prize Money: £400,000 
Age: 4YO+ 

The Champion Hurdle is the feature race on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival and it’s one of the two biggest races during the week. 

The showpiece hurdle features the best two-mile jumpers in Europe and it is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham in front of a massive crowd. 

It’s the most prestigious hurdle event on the National Hunt calendar and the past winners’ list features many thoroughbreds which have had races named in their honour.

Champion Hurdle Date & Time 2019

The Champion Hurdle is the fourth race run on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. That falls on Tuesday March 12, 2019 and the official starting time is 3:30pm. 

The Day 1 card also includes the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, Arkle Chase and David Nicholson Mares’ Hurdle. 

2:10 – Arkle Chase 
2:50 – Ultima Handicap Chase 
3:30 – Champion Hurdle 
4:10 – Mares Hurdle 
4:50 – National Hunt Chase Cup 
5:30 – Close Brothers Novices Chase

Champion Hurdle 2019 Betting Tips

We have 2019 Champion Hurdle tips available.

2019 Champion Hurdle odds

Two-time winner Buveur d’Air is the current market leader and given his odds of 1.65 to win in 2018, his current odds are good value.
Behind the favourite is an even field, looking to add their names to the champions’ list and bettors are getting good Champion Hurdle odds throughout. 

Below are the top 20 runners in the market. 

  • Buveur d’Air - 2.25 
  • Laurina – 4.50 
  • Melon – 9.00 
  • Sharjah – 9.00 
  • Apple’s Jade – 10.00 
  • Verdana Blue – 11.00 
  • Supasundae – 13.00 
  • Min – 15.00 
  • Samcro – 17.00 
  • Brain Power – 17.00 
  • Faugheen – 21.00 
  • Petit Mouchoir – 21.00 
  • Getabird – 26.00 
  • Mengli Khan – 26.00 
  • If The Cap Fits – 26.00 
  • Global Citizen – 26.00 
  • Saldier – 26.00 
  • Labaik – 26.00 
  • Espoir D’allen - 26.00 
  • Stormy Ireland – 34.00

2019 Champion Hurdle field

The field hasn’t been confirmed but we will post an updated 2019 Champion Hurdle field when it is released.

Champion Hurdle winners

Many of the recent Champion Hurdle winners have been expected to win, including the likes of Buveur d’Air, Annie Power, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly. 

Prior to those wins, there were plenty of upset winners with four consecutive winners from 2007-2010 paying 10.00 or more.

2018Buveur d’Air
2017Buveur d’Air
2016Annie Power
2013Hurricane Fly
2012Rock On Ruby
2011Hurricane Fly
2006Brave Inca
2005Hardy Eustace
2004Hardy Eustace
2003Rooster Booster
2002Hors La Loi III
2001no race

Champion Hurdle history

One of the oldest Cheltenham Festival races, the Champion Hurdle is stepped in history since its first running in 1927 when Blaris took the honours for trainer Bill Payne and jockey George Duller. 

Since that time there have been many champion winners and an incredible five horses to win three Champion Hurdle races. All five horses won the Champion Hurdle in consecutive years, making the feat even more incredible and the most recent champion was Istabraq in 2000. 

Istabraq was the odds-on favourite to win his fourth unprecedented Champion Hurdle but the foot-and-mouth outbreak of 2001 caused history to halter. Unfortunately, he raced in 2002 but was pulled up after the second hurdle when jockey Charlie Swan felt his action go. 

Istabraq’s subsequent retirement left the door open for another champion and although there hasn’t been another like him since, Hardy Eustace, Hurricane Fly and Buveur d’Air have all won the Champion Hurdle twice. 

Nicky Henderson has scored seven wins as a trainer and those wins came with four horses. He trained See You Then to score three consecutive Champion Hurdle’s from 1985-1987 and current champion Buveur d’Air. 

Jockeys Tim Molony and Ruby Walsh share the top honours with four wins a piece. Ruby Walsh’s most recent win came with Annie Power, which was subsequently only the fourth mare to win the Champion Hurdle. That win also gave Willie Mullins his fourth win in a six-year span. 

The biggest margin of victory in recent times belongs to Rooster Booster when scoring by 11 lengths in 2003. The nine-year-old spaced his rivals, which included Westender in second and race favourite Rhinestone Cowboy in third.

2018 Champion Hurdle replay

The 2018 Champion Hurdle was taken out by Buveur d’Air for trainer Nicky Henderson and jockey Barry Geraghty. 

See below for the 2018 Champion Hurdle replay.