County Hurdle 2021 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 2021 running.

County Hurdle 2021 Trends

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Need some help finding the winner of the 2021 edition of the Randox Health County Handicap 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 this cavalry charge.

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 an average official rating of 138, with only two rated more than 139
  • 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
  • Were not favourite in the betting
  • Had run in at least one handicap hurdle
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Traditionally, the Grade B Ladbrokes Hurdle at Leopardstown was a terrific County Hurdle trial, producing three winners from 2010-2013, but it hasn't done well since then.

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Trainer Trends

  • The last 13 winners were either trained either in Ireland, by Paul Nicholls or Dan Skelton. Skelton has only saddled nine runners, but has saddled three of the last five winners (from just nine runners), giving him a tremendous 33% strike-rate.
  • Willie Mullins has been responsible for five of the last ten winners and he even had the 1-2 for good measure in 2020.

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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 five winners (Bridget Andrews rode the other Skelton-trained winner).
  • Paul Townend, now first jockey to Willie Mullins, has ridden two winners in the last six years.

How did the trends do last year?

Saint Roi was an unusual winner in that he had not previously contested a handicap and, while the market was clearly positive about his chances, favourites don’t have a great recent record in this race. He was the first winning jolly since Desert Quest back in 2006.

Runner-up Aramon was a Grade 1-winning novice and he went into the County Hurdle on the back of finishing fifth in Irish Champion Hurdle behind Honeysuckle.



Who Fits The Trends Best In 2021?

Willie Mullins isn’t afraid of running horses with Grade 1 form in this race although the obvious downside to that is that they are sure to be carrying somewhere near topweight. That didn’t stop the 158-rated Arctic Fire who conceded weight all round in 2017.

Saldier, a dual winner at the top level, heads ante-post lists for the County Hurdle but he dropped right out in the Irish Champion Hurdle in February so will need to do much better even though this would represent a big drop in class.

Stablemate Blue Lord has performed very respectably in two Grade 1 novice hurdles so far this year and he’s another high-class option for Mullins.

Dreal Deal, trained by Ronan McNally, is much more exposed but he’s done nothing but progress this season, winning two handicap hurdles and a Grade 2 novice event at Punchestown. He fits the five trends that applied to the last ten winners and could easily still not have reached the ceiling of his ability.


Check out latest Cheltenham ante post odds.


2020 County Hurdle Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stSaint Roi11/2W P MullinsBarry Gerraghty
2ndAramon8/1W P MullinsPaul Townend
3rdEmbittered14/1Joseph Patrick O’BrienJ J Slevin

Cheltenham Festival 2021 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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