Christmas Hurdle Date is 26th December 2019


Type: Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle (2 miles)


Trial race for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival

Christmas Hurdle 2019 Key Runners

Runners have not yet been announced for the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park but as soon as they are, we’ll have details of all the main contenders.

Christmas Hurdle Tips

Once initial entries and Christmas Hurdle betting is made available, we’ll have some great ante post information for one of hurdling’s showpiece events.

Past Winners

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Christmas Hurdle General Info

Run during the Christmas Festival at Kempton Park, the Christmas Hurdle is one of the top two-mile hurdle races on the calendar. A Grade 1, much like the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle this race is a key prep for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March, in fact the likes of Buveur D’Air and Faugheen have taken this event en route to winning the big one.

Originally a handicap hurdle in the 60’s, after a two-year hiatus the race returned in the guise of the Christmas Hurdle and has been lauded by top trainers ever since. The Christmas Hurdle 2019 will be staged alongside the King George and Kauto Star Novices’ on Boxing Day, Thursday December 26th, with £130,000 up for grabs in prize money.

Christmas Hurdle Stats & Trends

As you can see from our list of winners, those taking the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton almost never go on to win the Champion Hurdle. This could be down to Kempton being flat, and therefore it takes a very different horse to win around Cheltenham.

Despite this, it tends to be the class horse who goes on to score with ten of the last 19 favourites having scored. Despite winners at 7/1 and 10/1 over the years, the average SP of a winner in this event is less than 5/2. So, finding a leading candidate near the top of the market but who looks suited to a flat track specifically and not necessarily Cheltenham, could be the way to.

Nicky Henderson has won no less than eight renewals since the year 2000 and he’s still going very strong in this division, so any runner he throws into the Christmas Hurdle 2019 must be noted carefully.

Ten of the last 19 winners have been aged exactly six, which seems to be the sweet spot, but don’t discount five and seven-year-olds who between them have taken another eight renewals.

Christmas Hurdle Betting

As sponsors of the whole Boxing Day card, offers on the Christmas Hurdle 2019 should be forthcoming from Ladbrokes and their sister company Coral. Should they go heavy on the promos, be sure to take advantage to make your betting pay.

Christmas Hurdle tips will be available when entries are released, so remember to take these and use them alongside the traditional Non-Runner No Bet and Best Odds Guaranteed deals handed out by all the major firms when making your final selections.

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Past Christmas Hurdle Winners

Superstar Buveur D’Air, a previous winner of this race and twice a Champion hurdler, was unsurprisingly sent off a very strong 1/4 favourite for the 2018 Christmas Hurdle with many believing he was a shoo-in.

Verdana Blue however, in receipt of 7lbs in weight and having won at Kempton before as well has having taken that season’s Elite Hurdle, was never seen as a pushover and indeed Nicky Henderson’s mare was to come out on top after running on to catch the favourite right on the line and win by a short-head.

At 11/2 Verdana Blue was good value on the day, one of 9 winners of this race since 2010. Here’s a look at the whole lot of them, along with how well they went on to do at Cheltenham.

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2018 Verdana Blue 6 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson 5th in Champion Hurdle
2017 Buveur D’Air 6 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson 1st in Champion Hurdle
2016 Yanworth 6 Barry Geraghty Alan King 7th in Champion Hurdle
2015 Faugheen 7 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins Did not race
2014 Faugheen 6 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins 1st in Champion Hurdle
2013 My Tent Or Yours 6 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson 2nd in Champion Hurdle
2012 Darlan 5 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson Did not race
2011 Binocular 7 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson 4th in Champion Hurdle
2010 Binocular 7 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson Did not race