This year’s Champion Hurdle is set to be one of the most fiercely contested in recent history and we’ve compiled this handy list of trends and statistics to help you pick out your big race winner.
Will Hurricane Fly join the ranks of the great Istabraq and land a third renewal success? Or will one of the young pretenders take the Champion Hurdle crown from Willie Mullins’ stable star?
Here’s what you need to know:
· There have been only been four winners over eight-years-old since 1951. At 10, will Hurricane Fly’s enduring class shine through once again?
· In a similar vein there has been only one five-year-old winner in the last 29 years. Does that rule out Our Conor?
· Nicky Henderson can become the outright leading Champion Hurdle trainer with six wins if he’s successful this year. Can My Tent or Yours deliver the goods?
· However, only once in the last 22 years has the Christmas Hurdle winner gone on to win the Champion Hurdle in the same season. Is that a blessing in disguise for that race’s runner-up, The New One?
· Hardy Eustace and Istabraq both won this race having landed the Neptune Management Novices’ Hurdle the previous year. Will The New One follow in their footsteps?
· 18 of the last 19 winners all ran in the same calendar year. Hurricane Fly, Our Conor and the largely written-off Jezki all fit into that bracket, as does My Tent Or Yours after his win on the Flat at Kempton in February.
· 19 of the previous 29 victors featured in the first four at the Festival in the season before. That box is ticked for a number of these contenders but may be the final nail for anyone thinking about gambling on long-shot Melodic Rendevous.
· 25 of the last 30 winners had been victorious last time out, a killer statistic that potentially rules out The New One and Our Conor. But on the flip side, does this reinforce the case for Hurricane Fly. Or perhaps pave the way for My Tent or Yours to romp home on the drying ground?
Our pick: Hurricane Fly @ 5/2
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All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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