Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2021 Trends

As with the majority of Cheltenham Festival races, there are certain trends that can help punters to find the winner. Our horse racing experts at Bookmakers.co.uk have taken a look at the most important pointers from the last 10 years which will help you find the best horse to follow in the 2020 renewal of the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2021 Trends

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2021 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2021 edition of the Unibet Champion Hurdle? Well, look no further because our team of experts at Bookmakers.co.uk have done the hard work for you by pinpointing the most critical trends and pointers from the last ten renewals in order to help you find the winner of the festival’s hurdling showpiece.

The last 10 winners:

  • Aged between 6 & 9
  • Had won within the last 3 runs
  • Taken part in a Grade 1 contest
  • 5 or more lifetime runs over hurdles
  • Last run between 26 and 78 days ago
  • Had run at least twice that season - winning at least once

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had finished 1st, or no more than four lengths behind, in their start before this
  • Won on their last start
  • Had previously run at Cheltenham
  • Had no headgear

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Won on their last start
  • Were aged eight or under
  • Were officially rated 162 or better (Buveur D’Air in 2017 and Epatante in 2020 the exceptions)
  • Had won a Grade 1 going into the race (Espoir D'Allen & Rock On Ruby were the exceptions)

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Key Trials from the last 10 years

  • The Christmas Hurdle at Kempton has thrown up five winners in the last 10 years (Epatante, Buveur D'air, Faugheen, Rock On Ruby & Binocular). Silver Streak won this race in in the 20/21 season, defeating heavy odds-on favourite Epatante.
  • The Irish Champion Hurdle has thrown up two winners in the last 10 years (Hurricane Fly & Jezki). Honeysuckle won this in 2020.
  • The Matheson Hurdle, run at Leopardstown over the festive period, is also a strong Grade 1 hurdle and it’s been won for the past three seasons by Sharjah who went on to finish second in the 2020 Champion Hurdle (brought down mid race in 2019).
  • The Limestone Lad Hurdle at Naas was used as a springboard for Espoir D'allen to go on to win the 2019 Champion Hurdle.
  • The Haydock Champion Hurdle trial (Ballyandy) and the Fighting Fifth (Cornerstone Lad) were traditionally Champion Hurdle trials, but neither of these races featured the winner in the last 10 years.
  • The previous season’s Supreme Novices’ hurdle should, in theory, throw up a top class hurdling prospect that could go on to be a champion hurdler, but the last Supreme Novices’ winner to become a Champion Hurdle winner was Brave Inca who completed the final leg of the double in 2006.


Trainer Trends

  • Nicky Henderson is the man to follow in this having won it eight times in his career, most recently with star mare Epatante who is once again favourite for the 2021 edition.
  • Willie Mullins has won the race four times and has saddled the runner-up in the last three years.
  • Gavin Cromwell, Jessica Harrington and Paul Nicholls are the other trainers to have won the race in the last 10 years. Cromwell won the race with Espoir D’Allen in 2019 and his Darver Star hit the frame in 2020.
  • Ireland has had 11 of the past 18 winners.

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Jockey Trends

  • Top owner J P McManus has won the last four editions of this famous race (nine in all) so it goes without saying that his number one rider needs to be kept on side. Aidan Coleman is the man aboard the McManus-owned Epatante.
  • Paul Townend, who has taken over as stable jockey at Willie Mullins all-powerful yard, will get first choice on that yard’s biggest chance. Townend has yet to win the race but that will likely change soon.
  • Mark Walsh rode his first Champion Hurdle winner in 2019 with Espoir D'allen, the owner’s supposed second-string.

How did the trends do last year?

Epatante very much hit the trends lines having won the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle (a key Champion Hurdle pointer) en route. As a mare, she gets 7lb from the boys which enhanced her chances significantly, as it will again in 2021. She represents the race’s winning-most trainer and owner.



Who Fits The Trends Best In 2021?

Reigning champion Epatante fits the bill once again despite defeat at Kempton over Christmas. The weight allowance she gets off the boys makes a peak-form Epatante hard to beat.

Sharjah is the other major player on the trends. A Grade 1 winner at Leopardstown over Christmas, where he took some notable scalps, he represents top connections and is proven at Prestbury Park. He is always ridden by Patrick Mullins.


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2020 Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stEpatante2/1Nicky HendersonBarry Geraghty
2ndSharjah16/1Willie MullinsMr P W Mullins
3rdDarver Star17/2Gavin CromwellJonathan Moore

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