*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widgets, while odds in copy are accurate at time of publishing but subject to change
The cream of the hurdling crop will tackle the Champion Hurdle – and the 2021 renewal looks set to be a treat. Quite simply, it’s the big one on a bumper first day of action at Prestbury Park.
Eight hurdles. 2 miles and 87 yards. The Old Course. It’s one hell of a race. Oh, and it’s also the last leg of the Triple Crown of Hurdling, following the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.
A string of legendary horses have landed the race including three-time winners Istabraq, Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War and See You Then. The likes of Annie Power, Faugheen and Hurricane Fly have claimed glory in more recent years – all with our very own Ruby Walsh on board.
Epatante is aiming for back-to-back wins after edging out Sharjah by three lengths last year. The seven-year-old was the antepost favourite with Paddy, despite a shock defeat to Silver Streak in the Christmas Hurdle on Boxing Day, although Honeysuckle has climbed to the top of the betting after winning the Irish Champion Hurdle. Buveur D’Air – the winner in 2017 and 2018 – is also among the entries after returning from a 14-month injury break in January.
A total of 27 runners were initially entered in the race. Not all the horses will make the final cut so thanks to Paddy’s non-runner money back offer, there’s no risk of losing out if your pick pulls out.
CHAMPION HURDLE ODDS
- DON’T MISS OUR BRAND NEW SNAZZY RACECARDS FOR EVERY SINGLE RACE TODAY
- … THEN CHECK OUT ALL THE WINNERS BEFORE ANYONE ELSE WITH OUR FAST RESULTS
CHAMPION HURDLE ANTEPOST TIPS
Brendan Duke: “CONCERTISTA is another worth backing with the non-runner money back concession”
FULL PREVIEW: BRENDAN DUKE’S 5 EARLY FANCIES TO SCORE AT 2021 FESTIVAL
Timeform: “HONEYSUCKLE has a Timeform rating 3lb higher than last year’s Champion Hurdle winner Epatante, who had been a deserving favourite in light of the paucity of credible rivals. However, she now looms large and is the one to beat.”
FULL PREVIEW: 3 THINGS WE LEARNED FROM DUBLIN RACING FESTIVAL
Ruby Walsh: “Before Christmas I would have fancied Epatante but since the Irish Champion Hurdle, I would be all over HONEYSUCKLE”
FULL PREVIEW: RUBY WALSH’S CHAMPION HURDLE BEST BET
FULL PREVIEW: FRANK HICKEY’S CHAMPION HURDLE TIPS
WHEN IS THE CHAMPION HURDLE?
CHAMPION HURDLE WINNERS AT THE LAST FIVE FESTIVALS
2020 – Epatante (Horse), Barry Geraghty (Jockey), Nicky Henderson (Trainer)
2019 – Espoir D’Allen, Mark Walsh, Gavin Cromwell
2018 – Buveur D’Air, Barry Geraghty, Nicky Henderson
2017 – Buveur D’Air, Noel Fehily, Nicky Henderson
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES
March 16 – 13.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 16 – 13.55 – Arkle Chase latest odds and tips
March 16 – 15.05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 16 – 15.40 – Mares’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 17 – 13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 17 – 15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 13.20 – Marsh Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 14.30 – Ryanair Chase latest odds and tips
March 18 – 15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips
March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips
March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips
March 19 – 16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips
CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL DAY ONE SCHEDULE
13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
13.55 – Arkle Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y
14.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
15.05 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y
15.40 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y
16.15 – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y
16.50 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y
*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.
Read More on Cheltenham 2021
- Cheltenham Festival dates, race times and antepost tips from our experts
- Cheltenham Festival fans allowed to attend Prestbury Park?
- Cheltenham Festival: Ruby Walsh reveals what makes a top-class Champion Hurdle horse
- Cheltenham tips: Honeysuckle leads Irish charge in Champion Hurdle
- Cheltenham tips: 6 favourites worth following
- Cheltenham tips: Mick Fitzgerald’s 5 to thrive at 2021 Festival