Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2022 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 2022 renewal of the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle.

Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2022 Trends
Cheltenham Champion Hurdle 2022 Trends

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2022 Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2022 edition of the Cheltenham 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 10 renewals in order to help you find the winner of the festival’s hurdling showpiece.

The last 10 winners:

  • Aged 5-9
  • Had won within the last 3 runs (majority won last time)
  • 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
  • Had previously run at Cheltenham
  • Had no headgear

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Aged 6-8
  • Won on their last start
  • Were officially rated 161 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 and 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 four winners in the last 10 years (Epatante, Buveur D'Air, Faugheen, Rock On Ruby). Epatante won this in 2021, having been defeated in 2020 before finishing third in the 2021 Champion Hurdle.
  • The Irish Champion Hurdle has thrown up three winners in the last 10 years (Hurricane Fly, Jezki and Honeysuckle). Honeysuckle won this with ease in 2022.
  • 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 four seasons by Sharjah who went on to finish second in the 2020 and 2021 Champion Hurdles (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 (dead-heat Epatante and Not So Sleepy) 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 a record eight times in his career, most recently with star mare Epatante who is once again in contention for the 2022 edition.
  • Willie Mullins has won the race four times and has saddled the runner-up in the last four years.
  • Henry De Bromhead, 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. He's considering entering novice My Mate Mozzie this year.
  • Irish trainers have saddled 11 of the past 18 winners.

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Jockey Trends

  • Top owner J P McManus has won four of the last five 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 his current pilot.
  • 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.
  • Rachael Blackmore became the first female rider to win the event in its 94-year history and is again booked for favourite Honeysuckle.

How did the trends do last year?

Winner Honeysuckle very much hit the trends lines in 2021 having won the Grade 1 Irish Champion Hurdle (a key Champion Hurdle pointer) en route. As a mare, she got 7lb from the boys which enhanced her chances significantly, as it will again in 2022.



Who Fits The Trends Best In 2022?

Reigning champion Honeysuckle fits the bill once again, this season taking her unbeaten record to 14 and adding an eighth Grade 1 win to her CV.

Sharjah and Epatante are the other major players on the trends, with the latter in far better form than she showed last season. She should prove a tougher opponent this time around as she bids to regain her crown.


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2021 Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stHoneysuckle11/10fHenry De BromheadRachael Blackmore
2ndSharjah11/1Willie MullinsPaul Townend
3rdEpatante4/1Nicky HendersonAidan Coleman

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