Group Horse News

So what is the Champion Hurdle?

The Champion Hurdle is one of racing’s most exciting and exhilarating events. Taking place over 110 yards of track and with eight hurdles to be jumped, it is without a doubt, and as the name suggests, the most prestigious race of the Festival. For those that aren’t in the know, or those who haven’t attended The Cheltenham Festival before, here is a bit of information on this world-famous event. 

The inaugural Championship Hurdle was raced in 1927 and was won by a horse named “Blaris” who’s jockey pocketed a once handsome sum of £365. With a few exceptions over the years such as bad weather, World War II, and the 2001 Foot and Mouth Crisis, the race has been run on an annual basis and often draws the largest crowds of the whole Festival with numbers exceeding 50,000 on some occasions.

Past equine winners include “Hatton’s Grace” in 1949, 1950, and 1951 and the famous “Persian War” in 1968, 1969, and 1970. Most recently the Irish thoroughbred “Istabraq” galloped to victory in 1998, 1999, and 2000 and also holds the all-time record for the fastest completion of the course with a formidable time of 3 minutes and 48.1 seconds in 2000, beating by a sliver the previous record which was held by “Make A Stand” in 1997.

Another interesting fact about this contest is that it has only been won by mares on two occasions throughout its history- “Dawn Run” in 1984, and “Flakey Dove” in 1994 yet it has been won by the female owner Dorothy Paget who’s prodigies “ Insurance” (who won twice), “Solford”, and “Distel” won a total of four times over 14 years.

In order for a horse to qualify for the event they must meet a set of very specific type of criteria such as being aged four years or over and weighing a minimum of 11st 2. The race is run on turf on a left-handed race track and the overall price money put aside for all participants is a rather pleasant £400,000- a far cry from the paltry sum on offer back in 1927.

If you only plan on placing a few bets during the Cheltenham Festival, or even the horse racing season, we advise you consider this race above all others. Not only will it offer you a chance to be involved and feel the rush with one of the racing world’s most famous and knuckle-biting events, but the Champion Hurdle betting odds offer some of the best chances to pocket a pretty penny. Whether you are an amateur flutterer or an experienced and seasoned bettor- the Champion Hurdle is an experience like no other and one we really recommend that you do not miss out on.