County Hurdle 2020 Trends

Race trends are the best place to start when looking for the winner of a tricky Cheltenham Festival handicap. So we've taken a look at the most important County Hurdle trends from the last 10 years, and used them to find you the best horses to follow right now for the fascinating 2020 running.

County Hurdle 2020 Trends

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2020 County Hurdle Trends


The last 10 winners:

  • Had won no more than four hurdle races
  • Had won no more than two handicap hurdles, five winning none
  • Had won a hurdle race with a distance of 2m-2m1f
  • Had run in at least one handicap hurdle
  • Had an average official rating of 138, with only two rated more than 139
  • Were not favourite in the betting
  • Were aged 5-8

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Carried 11st 5lbs or less
  • Had won at least two hurdle races
  • Had run 2-4 times that season
  • Last made the top three no more than three runs ago
  • Last ran more than 32 days ago


Key Trials in the last 10 years

  • The main trial over the past 20 years has been the Betfair Hurdle with four County Hurdle winners coming from there. This years was another typically competitive renewal with Pic D'Orhy finishing ahead of the well back Ciel De Nerge.
  • Another to watch is the Grade 3 Imperial Cup at Sandown, the last Graded run of 2015 winner Whiskey Sour, and Arctic Fire, before placing in 2014. The 2020 running is on March 8.
  • Traditionally, the Grade B Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown was a terrific County Hurdle trial, producing three winners from 2010-2013, but it hasn't achieved even a placing since then. The 2020 renewal was won by Thosedaysaregone.

Trainer Trends

  • The last 12 winners were either trained either in Ireland, or by Paul Nicholls or Dan Skelton
  • Dan Skelton has saddled only eight runners, with three winning to give him a 38% strike rate. If you put £1 on all his runners, you would be up £48!
  • Willie Mullins is 4/29 in the last 10 years, with another six of those 29 runners making the top four. He is £50 in profit to a £1 stake!

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Jockey Trends

  • With trainer Dan Skelton doing so well, it's not surprising brother Harry Skelton has ridden two of the last four winners.
  • Paul Townend, now first jockey to Willie Mullins, has ridden two in the last five years.

How did the trends do last year?

Winner Ch'tibello was too highly-rated at 146, and hadn't won for more than two years, so really didn't hit the trends radar for the County Hurdle in 2019 - even though he was trained by Dan Skelton.

Having said that, he did fit a number of experience and exposure trends, having only won three hurdle races, including just one handicap. The thing was, the only horse in the last 12 years to win rated more than 139 was Grade 1 winner Arctic Fire.

For that reason, Grade 1-winning five-year-old We Have A Dream, who finished second at 14/1, was the most on the trends short-list. They also picked third Countister, rated just 133, who had won two hurdle races that weren't handicaps.

The two best fitting the traditional County Hurdle trends, Capitaine and Monsieur Lecoq, unfortunately finished down the field, in an unusual year, where seven of the first eight home were rated in excess of 139.



Who Fits The Trends Best In 2020?

Few Cheltenham Festival races are as tricky as Gold Cup Day's County Hurdle, but there are a few contenders hitting trends already.

Ciel De Nerge is sure to be popular now he has performed so admirably in the Betfair Hurdle. He has the right trainer, has Cheltenham Festival experience and remains on an attractive mark.

Others who catch the eye at this early stage are Stolen Silver, Zanza and Oakley.

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2019 Triumph Hurdle Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stCh'tibello12/1Dan SkeltonHarry Skelton
2ndWe Have A Dream14/1Nicky HendersonDaryl Jacob
3rdCountister18/1Nicky HendersonBarry Geraghty
4thWhiskey Sour5/1fWillie MullinsRuby Walsh

Cheltenham Festival 2020 Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day One Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Two Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Three Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Four Trends


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