• Unibet Champion Hurdle


    Nine winning favourites in the last 13

    All bar two winners this century raced at a previous Festival

    14 of the last 16 had already won a Grade 1

    Seven of the last 15 ran in the Kempton Xmas Hurdle. Eight didn't.

    Since 1984 only 6 winners were unplaced in any completed run that season.

    Only two of the last 17 had run more than 12 times over hurdles

    14 of the last 15 won by either Irish trainers or Nicky Henderson.

    All bar four this century won their previous start.

    The last nine winners were all unbeaten that season.

    Mares to win - Honeysuckle x2, Epatante, Annie Power, Flakey Dove, Dawn Run

    Only Flakey Dove of those mares didn't start favourite

    All bar Constitution Hill of the last 16 had all won at least six NH races.

    N Henderson has trained 9 winners including six of the last 15.

    No headgear winners in last 11

    This century only one BF last time has won.



    Race Distance - 2 miles and abt half a furlong. Mares strong recent record. Winner has been placed at least at a previous Festival or hasn't been there before. Aged between 6 and 9 years. Won last time out and over a trip not more than 2m 1f. Has won a Graded race this season, either on the flat or over jumps. Won’t have had last run in a handicap. Has not finished unplaced in any run this season. Was favourite or second favourite on previous run and didn't start bigger than 9/2. Will have a total racing record of at least 10 runs with 6 wins or be unbeaten this season. May not have run more than 12 times over hurdles. Has been out within the last 45 days or ran in G1 at Kempton Xmas. Bula/International double with this race no longer a collector's piece. Favourites on top recently. Has won a G1 or gone very very close. Not blinkered unless placed in previous Festival G1. Not beaten favourite last time out. The winner needs a seasonal prep run. Horses have come back from novice chase careers to win this. If a big field, look for strong graded form in big fields.

  • Honours Board

    Year ||| Form ||| Winner ||| Age ||| Weight ||| OR ||| SP ||| Trainer ||| Jockey ||| Runners ||| Last race (No of days)

    2023 ||| 11 ||| Constitution Hill ||| 6 ||| 11-10 ||| 173 ||| 4/11F ||| N Henderson ||| N de Boinville ||| 7 ||| 1st G1 Xmas Hdle (78)

    2022 ||| 11 ||| Honeysuckle ||| 8 ||| 11-3 ||| 165 ||| 8/11f ||| H de Bromhead (IRE) ||| R Blackmore ||| 10 ||| 1st Leop Irish Champion (37)

    2021 ||| 11 ||| Honeysuckle ||| 7 ||| 11-3 ||| 161 ||| 11/10F ||| H de Bromhead (IRE) ||| R Blackmore ||| 10 ||| 1st Leop Irish Champion (38)

    2020 ||| 111 ||| Epatante ||| 6 ||| 11-3 ||| 159 ||| 2/1F ||| N Henderson ||| B Geraghty ||| 17 ||| Ist G1 Kempton Xmas Hdle (75)

    2019 ||| 111 ||| Espoir d'Allen ||| 5 ||| 11-10 ||| 162 ||| 16/1 ||| G Cromwell (IRE) ||| M Walsh ||| 10 ||| 1st G3 Naas (44)

    2018 ||| 111 ||| Buveur d'Air ||| 7 ||| 11-10 ||| 169 ||| 4/6F ||| N Henderson ||| B Geraghty ||| 11 ||| 1st Listed Sandown (38)

    2017 ||| 111 ||| Buveur d'Air ||| 6 ||| 11-10 ||| 157 ||| 5/1 ||| N Henderson ||| N Fehily ||| 11 ||| 1st Listed Sandown (38)

    2016 ||| 11 ||| Annie Power ||| 8 ||| 11-3 ||| 162 ||| 5/2F ||| W Mullins (IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 12 ||| 1st 12k Pnchstwn Mares 2m 4f (27)

    2015 ||| 111 ||| Faugheen ||| 7 ||| 11-10 ||| 169 ||| 4/5F ||| W Mullins (IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 8 ||| 1st G1 Kempton Xmas Hdle (74)

    2014 |||1124 ||| Jezki ||| 6 ||| 11-10 ||| 165 ||| 9/1 ||| J Harrington (IRE) ||| B Geraghty ||| 9 ||| 4th G1 Leop Irish Champion (44)

  • Evidence


    MARES - Four wins by mares in the last eight. Six mares have now won this in 90 years, Honeysuckle (twice) joins Epatante and Annie Power to be the first since Flakey Dove '94, Dawn Run '84. Epatante was the first mare to run since Annie Power. The four latest were favourites at 8/11, 11/10, 2/1 and 5/2 respectively. Annie Power first mare favourite since Dawn Run at Evens in 1984. 4 from 8 this century. 20 mares have run in Champion Hurdles between 1994 and 2022, only five with an SP under 10/1. Epatante placed in 2021 and 2022. Only Bilboa 14/1 2002 got placed as a five yr old mare. If my memory serves me correctly, she was only placed because of tragedy befalling the brilliant Valiramix. Lossiemouth, Love Envoi


    AGE - 5 yr olds


    2023 - Vauban alone. 16/1 third fav, beaten by Zanahiyr for 3rd.


    2022 - Two contenders, Zanahiyr 3rd, Adagio 8th.


    2021 - Two ran, Aspire Tower a very respectable 4th at 33s, Goshen 8th at 11/2.


    2020 - Three ran, Pentland Hills, Fusil Raffles, Coeur Sublime. Out with the washing.


    2019 - The race seemed to fall into a hole with the Apple's Jade, Buveur D'Air and Laurina underperforming. Nothing, however, should be taken away from the performance of the ill fated Espoir D'Allen who bolted up by 15l at 16/1 under a fine patient ride by Mark Walsh. Tom Segal Antepost 25s. Remember looking at Betfair win book just before the off, Espoir was 25s and even after being present at Naas for his previous win, I thought no, he can't... Only 5 yr old in the field.


    Best other recent performances by five yr olds. 2017, Footpad 4th, 2014 Our Conor 5s tragically fell 2013 Countrywide Flame 3rd. Before Katchit in 2008, only Persian War, Night Nurse and See You Then won as 5 yr olds.


    To summarise, all 75 five yr olds since '85 were beaten, until 2008. Before Espoir D'Allen six of the previous 28 to try, have been placed. Apart from Binocular (2nd in Supreme) the other five finished in the first 4 in the previous year's Triumph. Aspire Tower 4th upheld the honour of the 2020 Triumph. Had finished 2nd in G1 Matheson after winning the G2 Down Royal in November. Since Detroit City '06, the winner of the Triumph has run 7 times in the following year's Champion Hurdle finishing 1/2/3/5/3/F/Last/9th/4th. Lossiemouth


    Katchit and Persian War '68 only two Triumph winners to win this the following year. See You Then was only second in the Triumph '84.
    Espoir D'Allen, through injury, didn't make the Triumph in 2018. The 2007 Triumph with Katchit winning by 9l and Punjabi in 4th is the only one that has ever featured two Champion Hurdle winners. Thank you, @barrydillon79. A lovely fact.


    Last year's Triumph form - Lossiemouth yet to be seen due to WPM trying not to stress 4 yr olds, She doubled up at Punchestown. Gala Marceau won a £110 4 yr old pot at Auteuil, not seen since. Zenta in 3rd, then won the Aintree G1. Blood Destiny, too keen here has since taken a beginners chase. The rest havent done much. 2022 Vauban won at Royal Ascot, finished 2nd behind State Man at Christmas and flattered to deceive in the Melbourne Cup The 2021 renewal read better with Adagio (Greatwood), Zanahyir, and even Tritonic. Apples Jade, Footpad, Lets Dance, Sceau Royal, Who Dares Wins, Clan Des Obeaux and Frodon came from the 2016 vintage.


    Constitution Hill, Penhill, Faugheen, Katchit in 2008, Istabraq and Hardy Eustace are the only winners of Festival novice hurdles since 1984 to have returned to Cheltenham and won any hurdle race the following year. Those likely to try this year are Impair et Passe and Lossiemouth.


    Since 1992, 8 novices competed in this. None of them were five year olds. Ex Flat runners Royal Gait, Alderbrook and Make A Stand won, Rhinestone Cowboy was 3rd, Ashley Park and Self Defense 4th. None ran in last 15 yrs.

    OLDER HORSES - Hurricane Fly was the first since Rooster Booster winner ‘03 to win at aged 9 yrs. Faugheen unplaced 2018 as a 10 yr old. One before that Royal Gait in 1992. This century, four eight year olds and two nine years old have won. Three of the six were returning to win it again. Only 4 winners older than 8 since 1951. To summarise, since 2003 all bar the Fly 2013 aged between 6 and 8 years.


    Sea Pigeon '81, last 11 yr old to win Champion Hurdle. One before that was Hatton's Grace '51. Both also won it as 10yr olds. Not So Sleepy twice finished 5th as a 9 and as an eleven yr old and 6th as a ten yr old. Won the rescheduled Fighting Fifth this season so you would expect to see him back. Those 10 yrs of age or older are 0-31 during the past 40 yrs.


    My Tent Or Yours as a 9 yr old in 2016 finished 2nd behind Annie Power. Not seen since finishing 3rd at evens The Scottish Champion Hurdle previous year. Royal Gait, still a 9 yr old novice won after three runs in 1992. Alderbrook 1995 won the Kingwell on his second run as a hurdler before success here.


    REGAINING CROWN - Hurricane Fly 2013 and Comedy Of Errors in 1975 only ones to regain. The Fly won 22 Grade 1s, three in his final season beating the current champion on each occasion. Up there with the greatest 2-mile hurdlers there have ever been.


    LAST YEARS RACE? - From Matt Tombs. Placed horses from previous years Ch Hurdle are five from the last 19 to run. Since 1990 (and unlike the Gold Cup), eight winners of this had been beaten in the previous year's renewal. Recently Sharjah, Zanahyir and Epatante placed two years in a row. State Man, Zanihyir.

    TRAINERS - Irish - 15 winners from the last 25 and eight of the last 12. Fighting with the Supreme to be the best performing race in the Festival for those from across the Irish Sea. Constitution Hill, Epatante, Buveur D'Air (twice), Rock On Ruby, Punjabi, Binocular, Katchit, Hors La Loi and Rooster Booster since ’97 have won for the home team. Before Hurricane Fly nothing Irish placed in years '08 - '10. Honeysuckle, State Man, Vauban, Impair et Passe et al.


    Irish Champion Hurdle - Honeysuckle 2021, 2022, Brave Inca 2006, Hurricane Fly 2013 and 2011 the latest to do the double. State Man, winner in February, 2nd here to CH. Four mares have won the Irish Champion Hurdle, Honeysuckle x2 and Dawn Run have done the double. Honeysuckle took the Mares option in 2021 and in her final race last year having finished 2nd to State Man in the DRF. Honeysuckle the first mare to win the Irish Champion Hurdle three times.


    Darver Star 20/1 second to Honeysuckle at Leopardstown 2020 rekindled an old stat of novices? running well in the Irish Champion Hurdle. Those like Finnegans Hollow, His Song (One and a half lengths second to Istabraq '98) didn't tend to totally reproduce it next time. But Darver was 3rd at Cheltenham. None in 2022


    GERRY FIELDEN hurdle at Newbury won by Epatante off a 137 rating before winning this in 2020.  Rock On Ruby won the Champion Hurdle the year after winning at Newbury. Large Action did the double in 1994 having already finished third in a Ch Hurdle in '93. In those days the Gerry Fielden was a race of note. Used to be a G2 and not a limited handicap. Hansard won off 138, beaten since.


    HATTONS GRACE - This century 34 horses that ran in that season's Fairyhouse 2m 4f G1 moved up in distance to have a crack at the Stayers. One winner, Sire De Berlais 33s last year having been a distant 66s 4th at Fairyhouse. Nine others had won at Fairyhouse and 11 of them started at single figure odds in March. Teahupoo won last year, 9/4 fav 3rd at Cheltenham. No qualifiers 2022. 2021 Beacon Edge 11/2 third at Fairyhouse, 10s 4th in the Stayers, losing two places on the run in. Against that, since 2010 only six went down in trip to have a go at the Champion Hurdle. None last year. Honeysuckle did it twice, Apples Jade disappointed, Hurricane Fly and Jezki did the double, Mick Jazz, 5th at Fairyhouse, finished 3rd at 25s at Cheltenham. Teahupoo from Impair et Passe.


    JOCKEYS - Mr PW Mullins' two fine rides in second on Sharjah 2020 and 2021, no amateur jockey has won this since Mr Colm Magnier of For Auction in 1982. To be fair, I'm not sure Colm had similar experience of riding in so many G1s or Festival races. Top jockeys in this would be Barry, Ruby and Tim Moloney all on four wins. Barry the only jockey to win on 4 different horses, Punjabi, Jezki, Buveur D'Air and Epatante. Ruby won on The Fly twice, Faugheen and Annie Power. Tim's were on Hatton's Grace and all three of Sir Ken's. With Nicky's recent wins, I was surprised to realise that last year's stroll was Nico's first success in the race.

    M/D Pipe - two winners and two thirds from their 8 runners that started under 16/1 (‘08 Osana 2nd at 9/2). Nothing good enough to compete for at least a decade. Moon Racer 10/1 PU 2017. No Northern trained winner for 35 plus years.


    N Henderson leads Peter Easterby nine wins to five. Constitution Hill. The last eleven winners were trained either by Nicky Henderson or Irish trainers.

    2023 Champion Hurdle - Top BHA Rated beat 2nd top rated. Also in 2021 top official rated beat next two top rated. In the last 24, 11 winners ran in the previous year's race. No winner was unplaced in previous year's race since Fakey Dove 1994. Hard to believe, but that mare ran 11 times flat and hurdles between Champion Hurdles.  Wasn't trained by NH.

    BETFAIR HURDLE/TOTE GOLD TROPHY - Make A Stand 1997 only winner in the last 40-plus yrs to have its last race before Cheltenham in a handicap. Make A Stand joined Persian War '68 as the only winners of both in the same season. Persian War then won the second of his three Ch Hurdles in '69. Nothing came last year, although Falvoir was PU at Newbury before winning the County Hurdle. 2022 Glory and Fortune came here after winning at Newbury and finished a very respectable 5th at 150/1. Previous one to him was Zarkardar in 2012 who went on to finish 5th at 9/1 to Rock on Ruby at Cheltenham. Last Betfair/Tote Gold Trophy winner to run in this 13 months later was '03 Copeland 25/1 who allegedly had 'every chance when fell 3 out' in Rooster's year. In '94 Flakey Dove finished 3rd at Newbury then won here.  


    INTERNATIONAL/BULA HURDLE - Winners are 0 from 13 since Rooster Booster ’03 first Bula/Champion Hurdle double since Comedy Of Errors ’74. Since 1987, 19 winners of the 'Bula' have attempted the double. Apart from Rooster, Valiramix was going to walk home here before the tragedy happened. Four have finished second (including three of the last nine), one was third, one fell and the rest were unplaced (I'm including The New One 3rd in 2014, unlucky hampered by the tragic fall of Our Conor). Rooster is the only one of the 19 who had won at the Festival in the previous year. 2018 Melon finished third in the International before chasing Buveur D'Air home in March.

    Rooster Booster off 144 only horse to do County Hurdle then Champion Hurdle (2003). Rooster came here on the back of four wins including Bula. Arctic Fire was beaten in the County off 141 then finished second to Faugheen. Belfast Banter won an Aintree novice G1 after taking the County off 129. State Man 2nd to CH last year. Falvoir


    Buveur D'Air liked to stroll around the Contenders Hurdle at Sandown. Race no longer in the calendar to Mr Henderson's annoyance.


    Hardy Eustace 2005 last winner to come from success in the Red Mills Hurdle. 2020 Cilaos Emery, supplemented for £22k, got their money back in fourth. 2021 Jason The Militant went to Aintree. U. 2022 Teahupoo well punted here down to 9/1, finished last. Last year Fil Dor 12/1, 19th in the Coral Cup.


    SUPREME NOVICES - The chestnut is no longer with us. Gstats Rule No 2. Constitution Bula first since Bula 1971 to complete the double. And in consecutive years. Browne's Gazette '85 should at 8/13... It's ok, its over.. Since '84, only 11 have tried and only the Gazette, Like A Butterfly and Go Native (all unplaced) came to the Champion Hurdle on the back of a G1 success.  However, both Buveur D'Air 2017 and Jezki 2014 were beaten in the Supreme the year before winning this. 2010 Binocular two years later. 2021 Appreciate It unpl. 2020 Shiskin off to the Arkle. Abacadabras 2nd to Shiskin, 10/1, fell at the third. The 2019 version was not, a classic Klassical Dream inj. Compare 2016. Altior, Min, Buveur D'Air 3rd. The ambulance was placed since, they say. Very much a rival to the vintage of 2013, Champagne Fever, Jezki etc. My Tent Or Yours 2nd in both races in consecutive years. Form of Supreme winner the next year back to 1990 (7P5005302F81). Marine Nationale for Arkle.


    NEPTUNE NOVICE HURDLE - Impair et Passe looks like challenging for 3rd place in 2024. Nothing coming from Sir Gerhard's win in 2022. Not Bob Olinger's nor City Island beating Champ. In 2014 Faugheen won the Neptune by 4 1/2 lengths. Only CH winner from this route since Hardy Eustace '04 and Istabraq '98. Danoli, French Holly, Peddlers Cross and The New One all placed in the Champion the year after winning Neptune. Rock On Ruby won the 2 mile championship the year after his sh hd defeat in the Neptune. It is said that the Neptune is a better guide than the Supreme to Champion Hurdle contenders however Yanworth 2nd to Yorkhill in 2016 is the last horse who ran in a Neptune to come anyway near in this race (fav and 7th). Nichols Canyon was 3rd in each.


    Going back to Istabraq, only 2 of the last 25 did not run at the previous year's Festival.


    Times - Constitution Hill in 3 59 was .3 seconds faster than Marine Nationale. Honeysuckle's 3 50 in 2022 was five seconds slower than Constitution Hill 90 minutes earlier and she carries four lbs less. 2021 her 3 53 was three seconds faster than Appreciate It. 2020 Epatante's 4 07, showed how heavy it actually was. It was the second slowest time this century, after Katchit's 4 mins 8 , but still one second faster than Shishkin an hour earlier. 2019 - Espoir's 3 mins 59 was pretty good for tacky ground. Similar time to Klassical Dream's Supreme. 2018 - Buveur's 4 mins 5 was on heavy going. In the fastest Champion Hurdle time of the last decade or so, 3 mins 45.1 secs, Annie Power 2016 went round one second faster than Altior had done an hour earlier in the Supreme. In contrast Buveur D'Air's first Champion Hurdle at 3.50 was 5 seconds slower than that of Annie Power but three seconds faster than Labaik's Supreme. In 2015 3 mins 47secs in goodish ground, Douvan's 2015 Supreme was 3 secs faster than Faugheen 2 hrs later in the Champion Hurdle. In 2014 Champagne Fever timed in 3 mins 46 secs in goodish ground, one second slower than Jezki. Novices carry 3lb less than the geldings.


    PREP RUN - First run in 1927. No horse has ever won without a prep run that season. Cyborgo, Stayers '96, the last horse to win a Festival G1 having not run since the previous Festival. M Pipe used to do things differently, too. Appreciate It only 6th when 100/30 second fav behind Honeysuckle in 2022. - Like Appreciate It's attempt, Seneca (1941) was having his first run outside novice company when winning this. It was also just his second run over hurdles. But his first ever run was that season. (thank you Mr Delargy). Penhill placed at Punchestown between his back to back successes. Young Spartacus, 2003 Plate, was the last handicapper to win without a prep run that season.



    Fastest times this season -

    State Man Matheson Hurdle Leop 3 56 heavy, same time as in 2022 on soft

    Constitution Hill 3 53 Kempton Good, one second slower than last year on soft.

    Bula -

    Limestone Lad Hurdle Naas -

    Irish Champion Hurdle -


    Only Hardy Eustace and Granville Again have won a Champion Hurdle after losing their last three starts.


    2020's 17 runners, the only one in 14 to have more than 12 runners. Field of seven last year. Punjabi beat 22 others in 2009. In 2009 the 1-2-3 Punjabi, Celestial Halo and Binocular had strong form in big graded fields. 2021 Honeysuckle had won all her 14 races. Has beaten a Fairyhouse G1 field of 15 mares.


    Constitution Hill, Epatante, Buveur D'Air and Faugheen have joined Kribensis ’90 of the last 29 Kempton Xmas Hurdle winners to come to complete the Champion double. The biggest field Constitution Hill has recently faced was the nine in 2022 Supreme. Will be surprised if there is more than that in this year's Champion.

    Up to the introduction of the WBX Million Bonus in '08 it was true to say that anything involved in the Fighting Fifth/Kempton Hurdles had little chance here. Even though the bonus no longer exists the Fighting Fifth now does tend to attract a stronger lineup. Buveur D'Air cantered home 2017 and 2018, in 2018 when only second favourite to Samcro. In 11 of the last 14 years something which featured at Newcastle was placed at least in the Champion. 4 winners, 5 seconds and two thirds. 2015 Arctic Fire 3rd at Newcastle, 2nd here. My Tent or Yours 2nd 2014, Countrywide Flame 3rd 2013, Overturn 2nd 2012, Peddlers Cross 2nd all after winning the Fighting Fifth. Buveur D'Air and Punjabi only ones to do the double. Binocular and Katchit both won Champion Hurdles after being beaten at Newcastle. 2020 Epatante outclassed Sceau Royal. 2021 Epatante dead heated with Not So Sleepy. Constitution Hill took it last year after the ground at Ascot wasn't suitable. Not So Sleepy


    None of the last 22 started at bigger than 9/2 last time out.


    Buveur D'Air, Beech Road 1989 and Morley Road 1991 gave up novice chase careers that season to return to hurdles and win this. All three won trial hurdles between novice chase career and Champion Hurdle. Cilaos Emery, 4th, gave it a fair stab in 2020.

    All bar Constitution Hill,  Epatante, Faugheen and Rock On Ruby of the last 26 winners seen out since the Saturday before AIG Irish Champion Hurdle (26th January - 44 days). All bar those three of the last 27 and 31 from last 37 winners ran since Jan 1. Those four are the first since Granville Again to come straight from the Christmas Hurdle. Constitution Hill. In 2014 N Henderson brought out My Tent Or Yours to win a February jumpers bumper at Kempton to 'try and get the freshness off him'. In 2016 after 703 days away Tent ran second to Annie Power. Impressive stuff from NH.

    Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton has a reasonable record if not recently. Kribensis '90, Alderbrook '95 won both and Punjabi was third in '09 before Cheltenham. Of the last 17 winners of the Kingwell, 13 went onto the Champion Hurdle. Hors la Loi '02 and Katchit both won, 3 others were placed. No Kingwell runner up in the last 19 years has gone on to win at Cheltenham that year. I Like To Move It (RIP) made the running here last year, faded two out, 6th of seven.

    COURSE FORM - 24 of the last 33 were previous course winners. CH obviously, Honeysuckle won the Mares in 2020. Not Epatante, a short priced failure in the 2019 Mares Novice. Not Buveur D'Air (obviously first time) nor Jezki (both 3rd in Supreme), Rock On Ruby (2nd in Neptune), not Binocular (had been 2nd in Supreme Novice and Ch Hurdle), Punjabi (had been 3rd in '08 Champion), Sublimity (4th in a Supreme Novice), Make A Stand (had been beaten in a h'cap). Espoir D'Allen, Royal Gait and Alderbrook had never been here before. The latter two were both Group 2 Flat winners. Hurricane Fly also not been here before his first win. Came here on the back of beating Solwhit in 4 successive G1s.


    No Cheltenham Champion Bumper winner has ever been placed in a Champion Hurdle.

    21 of the last 25 were placed at a previous Festival. 15 from the last 25 were previous Festival winners. (Honeysuckle, Buveur D'Air, Faugheen, Fly, Istabraq three times, Hardy Eustace twice, Rooster Booster, Brave Inca, Hors La Loi and Katchit. Not Annie Power although she would have gone (very) close in the 2015 Mares).

    34 of last 409 won on most recent start, including all bar Jezki and Rock On Ruby of the last 14. Exceptions being Celtic Shot ’88, 2nd in an Agfa Hurdle, Granville Again ’93, 3rd in a Christmas Hurdle, Hardy Eustace ‘04 2nd in a Red Mills, Punjabi 3rd in a Kingwell, Rock On Ruby 2nd in Xmas Hurdle, Jezki last in the 2014 AIG. All the wins last time were over 2m or 2m1f.

    32 from last 35 were favourite or second favourite last time out.


    All bar Espoir D'Allen, Rock On Ruby and Sublimity of the past 18 had already won a Grade 1. Espoir D'Allen only a G3 winner, Rock On Ruby short head 2nd in a Neptune. Rooster Booster came here from winning the Bula G2, Make A Stand from the G3 Tote Gold Trophy. 20 from the last 26 had won a Grade I or 2 Hurdle that season. Annie Power won a G1 at the Punchestown Festival. Sublimity broke both these stats but was a listed Flat winner. Buveur D'Air first time round had only won a Contenders Listed Hurdle at Sandown. 

    Constitution Hill, Honeysuckle, Epatante, Espoir D'Allen, Buveur D'Air, Annie Power, Faugheen, Jezki, Rock On Ruby and Hardy Eustace had run less than 18 times (Flat and Jumps combined) but had won at least 5 times (includes Sublimity). Thats's the last ten. CH unbeaten over five runs, Honeysuckle unbeaten over 14 in yr 2, unbeaten over 10 in yr 1, 10 wins, Epatante 8 runs, 6 wins, Espoir D'Allen 9 runs, 8 wins. Buveur D'Air 15 runs, 12 wins. Annie Power was 15 runs, 13 wins, Faugheen was unbeaten over 9 races, Jezki was 14 and 9, Rock On was 10 and 6, Hardy was 15 and 5 in ‘04. Hurricane Fly was 21 and 11 in 2011, Binocular was 18 and 11 in 2010. Against all that, only Honeysuckle and Hurricane Fly (both second time) of the last 17 had run more than 12 times over hurdles.

    20 from last 26 (not CH (5) Epatante (5), Buveur D'Air (6), Faugheen (7), Rock On Ruby nor Sublimity) had run between 9 and 25 times over hurdles. Constitution now unbeaten over eight. (Yes, I know he was second in a p2p).

    Since 1984 only 6 winners were unplaced in any completed run that season. (Jezki most recent, Binocular 5th in a Fighting Fifth). Only Jezki, Punjabi and Binocular of last 16 unplaced in any of previous 2 runs (latter two in Kempton Xmas Hurdle, Punjabi fell when challenging). Buveur D'Air second of four at Kempton.


    Constitution Hill, Honeysuckle and Faugheen only winners since at least 1993 started racing career in a 4 yr old Irish p2p. To be fair can't think of any other runners from that route. Epatante from French bumpers.

    HEADGEAR - Blinkered runners in last 17 races - 3 wins (Hardy Eustace, great rides from C O'Dwyer, Jezki never in blinkers but straight to first time hood) and 8 placed from 42. 2022 Zanahyir 28s 3rd in first time cheekpieces only qualifier. He was 3rd of seven last year. My Tent always wore a hood. Rock On Ruby won without blinkers but wore them for the first time when second to the Fly in 2013. No qualifiers 2021. Four ran in 2020, best Cilaos Emery in 4th. Two qualifiers in 2019, best Melon 2nd in first time blinkers. Mick Jazz 3rd 2018 in a hood.

    Record of previous years winner P11PR213246932441F31. Hardy Eustace 2005 last before Buveur D'Air to win two in a row.


    Punjabi in 2009 only winner this century having been beaten favourite last time out. No qualifiers last two years, two in 2021, best Epatante in 3rd. 2020, the three Henderson second-stringers Pentland Hills, Call Me Lord and Fusil Raffles disappointed. Only Silver Streak in 2019, third at a huge 80/1.

    PRICE - 27 of the last 31 winners found in first five in the market. Espoir D'Allen returned 16s was the fourth fav of 10. Not Sublimity, Hardy Eustace ‘04, Punjabi or Binocular. Speaking as a clerk and with smallish fields, you would expect that. Nine favourites have won in the last 13. Definitely too many, for my liking, but hard to see that trend stopping in 2024.




    eSimon Rowlands ATR Sectional Spotlight