The standout race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is undoubtedly the Champion. This page will discuss everything that there is to know about the famous race, including Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Betting in 2021, runners and riders and previous winners.

TOP Horse Racing Betting Sites (January 2021)

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Page Contents

General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Stats & Trends

Betting Offers

Past Winners

CHAMPION HURDLE INFO

RECOMMENDED BOOKIES FOR CHAMPION HURDLE 2021

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Date: March 16, 2021

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle Race

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Distance: 2 Miles ½ Furlongs
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Age Of The Horse: 4 Years Old and Older

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2019 Past Winner: Espoir d’Allen

With many of the 2021 Champion Hurdle Entries having performed well in trial races, the Champion Hurdle once again promises to be one of the most exciting races of the Festival.

Best Champion Hurdle Betting Sites

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2021 Champion Hurdle General Info

The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 horse race that takes place on the Cheltenham Day One, open to runners aged four or older. Taking place on the Old Course at Cheltenham, the Champion Hurdle is run over a distance of just over 2 miles, with a total of eight hurdles to be jumped also. The Champion Hurdle is also well-known for being the last leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling, with jockeys including Tony McCoy and Ruby Walsh having come out on top in the past.

Tuesday 16 March 2021 brings the curtain up on the Cheltenham Festival and the first race, as is always the case, will be greeted by the famous roar from the stands of Prestbury Park. We have an action-packed opener ahead with several Grand 1 races included.

Standout of the afternoon, without any doubt, will be the last running of the popular Champion Hurdle. Followers have enjoyed some memorable renewals over the years and the early field listed for this March tells us to expect another thriller.

We look at the 2021 Champion Hurdle in detail below, taking in everything from the current betting odds available on the antepost market to past winners, trends and there’s even a 2021 Champion Hurdle betting guide designed to help in your quest to beat the bookies.

When is the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle? The 2021 Champion Hurdle will take place on Tuesday 16th March 2021 at 15:30, with reigning champion currently being the firm favourite in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle betting with major online bookmakers. 

Champion Hurdle 2021 Entries (Updated 13/01)

There are 27 early closing entries for the Champion Hurdle this year; 12 of those are Irish with five trained by Willie Mullins and three hailing from the Henry De Bromhead stable. Nicky Henderson is the handler with the most horses engaged here with six. There is even an American entry in the Champion Hurdle 2021, so check out the list in full below:

  1. Abacadabras (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  2. Aspire Tower (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
  3. Ballyandy (Nigel Twiston-Davies)
  4. Beacon Edge (Noel Meade, IRE) ~
  5. Buveur D’Air (Nicky Henderson)
  6. Buzz (Nicky Henderson)
  7. Call Me Lord (Nicky Henderson) ~
  8. Coeur Sublime (Gearoid O’Loughlin, IRE)
  9. For Pleasure (Alex Hales)
  10. Goshen (Gary Moore)
  11. James Du Berlais (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  12. Jason The Militant (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
  13. Not So Sleepy (Hughie Morrison)
  14. Petit Mouchoir (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  15. Ribble Valley (Nicky Richards)
  16. Saint Roi (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  17. Saldier (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  18. Sceau Royal (Alan King) ^
  19. Sharjah (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  20. Silver Streak (Evan Williams)
  21. Song For Someone (Tom Symonds)
  22. Winston C (Keri Brion, USA)
  23. Concertista (Willie Mullins, IRE) *M
  24. Epatante (Nicky Henderson) *
  25. Honeysuckle (Henry De Bromhead, IRE) *M
  26. Marie’s Rock (Nicky Henderson) *
  27. Verdana Blue (Nicky Henderson) *M

~ Also has an early closing entry in the Stayers’ Hurdle

^ Also has an early closing entry in the Queen Mother Champion Chase

M Also has an early closing entry in the Mares’ Hurdle

* Receives a 7lb sex allowance as a mare

2021 Champion Hurdle Ante-Post Tips

The 2021 Champion Hurdle may still be some time away but that hasn’t stopped traders going up with their thoughts on the winner of the race. The odds makers at all major bookmakers have made available antepost betting on Champion Hurdle 2021 and that has captured the attention of shrewd backers who like to get in early and secure a better price about their preferred runner.

The earlier you bet the more risk involved. This is because you could back a selection to win the Champion Hurdle only for it to run at Cheltenham Festival in another contest. Your pick could suffer an injury between now and the off and miss the festival entirely. In both instances you would lose your stake money without getting a run.

That’s the reason why many backers prefer to wait until firms make their non runner money back promotions available. With this promo you get the safety net of knowing your funds will be returned in full if your horse doesn’t compete in the race. This doesn’t come into play until much closer to race month, however.

Antepost betting may carry a risk but that is balanced out by the rewards offered by bookies. The odds available in the antepost market are usually much better than what is available to backers betting on the day of the race. Let’s take a closer look at the current betting and how traders expect the 2021 Champion Hurdle to play out.

Sharjah (8/1)

Sharjah

Last year’s Champion Hurdle runner-up Sharjah made a winning return over obstacles at Christmastime when landing the Matheson Hurdle at Leopardstown. Although he has won that festive feature contest in Ireland twice before, he did so here first time up in the jumps season with his previous successes coming off the back of a prior run.

With last year’s Champion Hurdle heroine Epatante being beaten at Kempton by Silver Streak who was only sixth when they previously met at Cheltenham, that will give handler Willie Mullins hope that Sharjah can turn the tables on her too. With the yard’s other hope Saint Roi disappointing after stepping into open company, this looks like being the Irish champion trainer’s first string for the Festival. Sharjah is currently an 8/1 shot in the ante post Champion Hurdle betting and it will be fascinating to see how he gets on in the Irish equivalent in February.

Song For Someone (20/1)

Tom Symonds may not be one of the high-profile racehorse trainers in the British Isles but, in three-time Grade 2 winner Song For Someone, he has a live contender for the Champion Hurdle in 2021. After wins in the Kingwell Hurdle and Ascot Hurdle, this horse finally turned up at Cheltenham and just prevailed in a battle up the hill with Silver Streak in the International Hurdle.

As the runner-up has come out and won the Christmas Hurdle, Song For Someone would have to have a chance in the Champion Hurdle 2021 if reproducing that form. He too could be in action again before the Festival with a prep run in the official trial for the race at Haydock Park. Should he win a fourth Grade 2, then odds of 20/1 for Song For Someone in the ante post Champion Hurdle betting won’t be there. He looks great each-way value.

Champion Hurdle Betting Offers

A large number of online bookmakers introduce generous and potentially lucrative betting offers that can potentially help punters to both maximise winnings and minimise losses. While such promotions will range between platforms, the most popular offers come in the form of non runner no bet, faller insurance, enhanced odds and best odds guaranteed, with all being available surrounding the Champion Hurdle.

Cheltenham Money Back Specials

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Bookmakers Paying Extra Places On 2021 Cheltenham Festival

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Bookmakers Offering Non Runner No Bet On 2021 Cheltenham Festival

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William Hill Non Runner No Bet
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bet365 Non Runner No Bet
2021 NRNB - Awaiting Confirmation
Bet365 was Non Runner No Bet on EVERY Cheltenham Festival race in 2021. We are expecting their Cheltenham 2021 offer to be released in January.Bet up to a year in advance on the biggest races and get non runner money back earlier than most of the competition.

Bookmakers Offering Best Odds Guaranteed On 2021 Cheltenham Festival

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Enhanced Odds Promotions

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Champion Hurdle Stats & Trends

One way to pick your horses for the Cheltenham Festival and, in particular, the Champion Hurdle, is by researching the stats and trends associated with the contest. This will take a little more time than reading reviews, taking Champion Hurdle 2021 tips or simply going with the race favourite but it will be time well spent if it returns a profit.

The Champion Hurdle trends can prove quite useful when cutting down the field. Let’s look at some of the trends associated with the Champion Hurdle.

  • There’s a five-way tie for the most successful horse in this race with each of the horses mentioned sitting on three titles. The names in the frame are Hatton’s Grace who won in 1949, 1950 and 1951, Sir Ken 1952, 1953 and 1954, Persian War 1968, 1969 and 1970, See You Then 1985, 1986 and 1987, Istabraq 1998, 1999 and 2000.
  • There’s also a tie for the leading jockey and we have two riders locked on four wins. That is Tim Molony and Ruby Walsh. The latter won on Hurricane’s Fly in 2011 and 2013, Faugheen in 2015 and, most recently, on top of Annie Power who scooted to victory in 2016.
  • There’s simply no doubting who the leading trainer is with Nicky Henderson responsible for no less than seven past champions. See You Then accounts for three of those, Punjabi 2009, Binocular 2010 and Buveur D’Air in 2017 and 2018 filling in the blanks.
  • Champion Hurdle leading owner, with a bit to spare, is JP McManus on eight wins, achieved between 1998 and 2019. He had the champion last year and will want more of the same in 2021 when the festival returns.
  • Age doesn’t seem to count for too much in this race, although two of the last five champions have been seven years old at the time of landing victory.

Champion Hurdle Betting Guide

A huge number of options are available to punters when it comes to betting on the Champion Hurdle, including a range of bookmakers, markets, odds and promotions. The following are among the most important factors to consider when looking to place a bet on the Champion Hurdle:

Read Reviews

The first thing to consider is undoubtedly the platform in which you will use to place your bets. Here, it is important to read bookmaker reviews in order to get a better feel of what they offer, as this will potentially have an impact upon how easily bets are placed, as well as the potential winnings in which you take away. The more you read on the form the better chance you will have of landing a winner. Read interviews, expert previews, form, trends, Champion Hurdle tips and even gossip columns. Arm yourself with as much info as you can before risking your cash on this year’s race.

Check Odds

The prices offered by a bookmaker are perhaps the most important thing to consider when looking for a new betting platform, as this will determine the amount of cash that you take away when placing winning bets. Do research on which bookies are offering market best price on your chosen horse. Any price comparison website will make this clear. Simply choose the race you want to bet on, and you’ll see a full list of prices offered on your pick by different bookies. The top offer will be highlighted, that’s the bookmaker you should bet with.

Check Promotions

As previously mentioned, bookmaker offers can also help to ensure that punters come out on top when betting on the Champion Hurdle, whether it be a money back special or additional place for each-way bets.

Check for Live Streaming Options

Many bookmakers now offer the ability to watch the action as it unfolds via desktop or mobile, with streams of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival helping to add to the excitement.

Bet on Antepost Markets

All major online betting firms have gone up with their antepost books for the Cheltenham Festival races, including the Champion Hurdle. This allows you to get in early and secure a better price about your pick than the one that will be available to those betting on the day. If you are confident in your selection it would be wise to back it antepost.

Get Access to Live Streaming

Many of the most popular and advanced online betting sites and apps offer live betting and live streaming on major sports, including horse racing. At the likes of Coral, you are able to watch the Cheltenham Festival through an HD quality stream on your desktop computer or mobile app at no extra cost. Bet on the race and cheer your selection home to victory.

Champion Hurdle Past Winners

Punters eager to get a clue as to how the 2021 Champion Hurdle may pan out will pour over the stats and past runnings of the race. Last year’s event was won by Espoir D’Allen who beat off Melon into second with Silver Streak making up the major places when finishing third.

  • 2015 – Faugheen (Ruby Walsh)
  • 2016 – Annie Power (Ruby Walsh)
  • 2017 – Buveur D’Air (Noel Fehily)
  • 2018 – Buveur D’Air (Barry Geraghty)
  • 2019 – Espoir D’Allen (Gavin Cromwell )

2020 Champion Hurdle Recap

Epatante enhanced the fabulous Champion Hurdle records of trainer Nicky Henderson and owner JP McManus by justifying favouritism and a 2/1 starting price with an easy victory in the feature race on day one of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Despite a slight mistake at the third last, she was always travelling well and tracked the leaders menacingly approaching the penultimate flight.

Barry Geraghty then produced Epatante to lead over the final hurdle and she quickly asserted on the run-in, putting the race to bed with a three-length victory over 16/1 shot Sharjah from the Willie Mullins stable. The runner-up turned the tables on Darver Star, who represented the best of the Irish Champion Hurdle form for Gavin Crowmell at odds of 17/2. He was a further 3 3/4 lengths behind in third, but 2¾ lengths ahead of Mullins’s supplementary entry Cilaos Emery.

Front-running Gigginstown House Stud owed horse Petit Mouchoir faded to be fifth and beaten 11½ lengths under Rachael Blackmore from the Henry De Bromhead yard at 25/1. The next best British runner in the Champion Hurdle was 20/1 chance Silver Streak, a further half-length down in sixth and finishing three places worse than the previous year for Welsh trainer Evan Williams and his regular jockey Adam Wedge.

What Happened in 2019?

 The 2019 champion came good against the expectations of traders and continued the trend of recent losing favourites in this race. Espoir D’Allen was weighed in as a 16/1 SP victor for Gavin Cromwell and JP McManus. Melon was a 20/1 second with Silver Streak placing at a chunky 80/1.

Espoir D’Allen’s victory ended the dominance of Buveur D’Air who had won each of the previous two runnings of the Champion Hurdle and many, in the antepost markets, expected him to go and complete the hat-trick. It wasn’t to be and, on race day, the champion secured a convincing victory that saw him cross the line unchallenged with none of the main finishers able to land a glove on Espoir D’Allen. That will go down as one of the most convincing wins of this test in recent times.

Champion Hurdle Results 2018

  1. Buveur D’Air – Noel Fehily – Nicky Henderson – 5/1
  2. My Tent Or Yours – Aiden Coleman – Nicky Henderson – 16/1
  3. Petit Mouchoir – Bryan Cooper – Henry de Bromhead – 6/1

Buveur D’Air claimed a relatively easy win in 2017, with My Tent Or Yours making it a one-two for trainer Nicky Henderson. In a race with few major talking points, it was a comprehensive win for the French horse.

Champion Hurdle Results 2017

  1. Buveur D’air – B Geraghty – N Henderson – 4/6
  2. Melon – P Townend – W Mullins – 7/1
  3. Mick Jazz – D Russell – G Elliott – 25/1

Reigning champion Buveur D’Air came out on top after a thrilling battle with Willie Mullins’ Melon, winning by just a neck after a fantastic comeback. Former winner Faugheen was unable to keep up with the duo, with Mick Jazz eventually finishing in third.

Key Trials

In the run up to the Cheltenham Festival you will see a number of trial races take place, including trials for the Unibet Champion Hurdle. These are important as they give vital clues on form and the fitness of the main runners in the frame for entry. Study the results and race times here before making your final bets on the Prestbury Park festival of horse racing.

Past Champion Hurdle Trials

Conclusion

For those looking to back their favourite for the Champion Hurdle at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, this page should undoubtedly help you along the way. Whether it be an ante-post or each-way bet, using a price boost or faller insurance promotion from your favourite bookmaker, there has never been a better time to bet on one of the most anticipated Grade 1 race at the upcoming Festival. Be sure to make a note of the race date, before backing your favourite runner and rider.