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The_Champion_Hurdle

The_Premier_2_Mile_Hurdle


       

The Stan James Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 Hurdle.

The Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious hurdle race in the whole calendar and is run for the best hurdlers and takes place on the opening day of the Cheltenham festival.

First Run in 1927 this is the top class hurdle race that all top class two mile hurdlers are aimed at all season.

There have been many multiple winners and the last triple winner was Istabraq 1998/1999/2000.

More . .

 



The_2014_Race

A fascinating race in prospect today with Hurricane Fly coming back to defend his title against the young pretender The New One. These two are very much at the head of the market but this is no two horse race. Hurricane Fly has the form at this festival and also has good recent form and therefore comes sure with a great chance today. His trainer states that even at 10 years old this horse seems better than ever this season. His main rival The New One very much the young pretender today is improving all the time, and but for a last hurdle blunder could well have been coming here with an unblemished record this season. The New One looks now as if he may go off as the favourite for the race.
My Tent or Yours is another at the head of the market who comes here in great form. Unbeaten this season, and indeed has never been out of the first two in any race in his life. He is top class and has a good chance here today. Last year's Triumph hurdle winner Our Conor was truly spectacular in that race last year winning by 15 lengths. He came to the Festival last year with great form however this year he has had 2 defeats both to Hurricane Fly. The bare form perhaps suggests that he can't overturn that however his trainer is well known for producing horses that show return to form or improvement on the day of the big event.
With top jockey Barry Geraghty taking the ride on Jessica Harrington's Jezki this horse is now coming in for some firm support in the betting market. Barry has ridden this horse four times and has won on him four times however the horse has been disappointing on his two previous runs at theFestival.
A great race in prospect.

Race Conditions: For 4yo+ which are allotted a rating of 130 or more by the BHA Head of Handicapping following a review of the horses entered and after taking account of races run up to and including March 4th. Horses which are not qualified for a rating in Great Britain, Ireland or France may also be entered. Such horses may be eligible providing the Handicapper is satisfied that the horse's racecourse performances up to and including March 4th would merit a minimum rating of 130. The decision of the BHA Head of Handicapping shall be final Weights 4yo 11st 2lb; 5yo+ 11st 10lb Allowances fillies and mares 7lb



List_of_runners


COLOUR NO. HORSE AGE WEIGHT TRAINER JOCKEY OR RATING
Owner John P McManus 1 13343 Captain Cee Bee 13 11-10 Edward P Harty Mark Walsh 154
A nice hurdler who turned into a good novice chaser winning the Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at the Punchestown Festival in 2010. Now 13 years old it is difficult to see him taking any part in the finish here today, indeed his late supplement to the race would suggest that he is here to ensure a strong pace for the other two J.P. McManus runners.
13 wins from 35 starts (6 hurdle wins from 17 starts) on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance 2 miles and 1 furlong.

Owner McNeill Family 2 4-353 Grumeti 6 11-10 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson 149
Trained by Michael Bell on the flat this horse obtained a flat rating in the mid-80s. Switched to hurdles and trained by Alan King he has done much better. Winner of the Triumph hurdle at the 2012 Festival, this horse is no slouch. All that said his form would suggest that he is not good enough to win this competitive race unless he shows more improvement today. Not without a chance but would be a surprise winner in this top-class field.
7 wins from 21 starts (4 hurdle wins from 10 starts) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

Owner George Creighton and  Mrs_Rose_Boyd_ 3 11-111 Hurricane Fly 10 11-10 W P Mullins R Walsh 154
Absolute top class hurdler and looks to have no flaw in his armour. Only one loss in his last 17 runs and that was at this course in this race in 2012 when he was third to Rock on Ruby. Beats everything with some ease in his home country of Ireland and looks to be one of the best there is. He won this race in 2011 on good ground beating Peddlers Cross and the very Smart Oscar Whiskey. In 2012 he was overturned but made a winning reappearance here last year and winning by some margin. A long-time favourite in the betting market he seems now to be drifting because of the participation of The New One. As he has won all of the big hurdle races in Ireland and in the UK he must demand the utmost respect and hE is from the top class training stable of Willie Mullins who holds him in great regard. His trainer has stated this year that he seems better than ever which is surprising for a 10-year-old horse, but he does have plenty of other really good horses to measure himgainst. The one to beat today, but not unbeatable.
23 wins from 34 race starts (21 wins from 23 hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

Owner John P McManus 4 1-1124 Jezki 6 11-10 Mrs John Harrington Barry Geraghty 165
Another top-class hurdler from Ireland who comes here trying the Champion Hurdle for the first time. Has got great form in Ireland and is a winner of 4 Grade 1 races there. Seems to act on most ground and is generally consistent. He has disappointed on both occasions that he has been tried at the Cheltenham Festival when he could manage only eighth in the Champion bumper in 2012 and 3rd in last season's Supreme Novice Hurdle. That would certainly be in the negative column for this horse however today he will be ridden by top jockey Barry Geraghty and on all of their 4 previous pairings they have been good winner's with the best being in 2013 when in the Champion Novice Hurdle at the Punchestown Festival where he was a winner by 16 lengths on soft ground. There has been good support for this horse since this jockey booking. One of the better outsiders and would not be a surprise winner here today should the horses at the front of the betting market not perform to thr rating for some reason.
9 wins from 14 starts (7 wins from 10 hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.
Owner Cash For Honours 5 1-1511 Melodic Rendezvous 8 11-10 Jeremy Scott Nick Scholfield 154
Another really good, consistent hurdler. A horse with a previous course win and that is always good to see on this course. An improving horse and one that really will have to improve again to be involved in the shake up here today. He won the Tolworth hurdle over 2 miles 1 furlongs in January last year by a good margin and then went on to beat the smart Puffing Billy in the Bathwick Hurdle by 9 lengths. His only real disappointment was in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle earlier this season when he could only manage to finish fifth behind My Tent or Yours and also Grumeti. He is a horse that likes cut in the ground so the good going that day could well have acted against him and the drying ground at Cheltenham today could also do the same. Not without a chance but there Are others with more appeal today.
7 wins from 10 starts (6 wins from 8 hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good to soft through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

Owner John P McManus 6 21-111 My Tent Or Yours 7 11-10 Nicky Henderson A P McCoy 167
A top-class and consistent seven-year old, this horse has never been out of the first two in all of his 12 races so far. A top-class horse who comes hure today with a great chance. If there was a single chink in this horse, it was that he was beaten at last year's festival when strongly fancied in the Supreme Novice Hurdle by the very smart Champagne Fever. He put that run behind him at the Aintree Festival in the following month beating three other rivals by 16 lengths, 6 lengths and 17 lengths in a sparkling run in a Grade 2 hurdle. He has done little wrong this season winning the Fighting Fifth Hurdle, then beating The New One in the Christmas hurdle at Kempton. Looks to have a great chance today especially as he has the champion jockey A. P. McCoy on board today. Sure to make the frame.
8 wins from 12 starts (6 wins from 8 hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

Owner Barry Connell 7 111-32 Our Conor 5 11-10 D T Hughes Danny Mullins 154
Another very fine hurdler coming over from Ireland. He had a great season last year which culminated in him winning a Grade 1 juvenile hurdle at Leopardstown before coming to the Cheltenham Festival and winning the Triumph Hurdle in spectacular fashion coming from off the pace to win by 15 lengths. If he reaches that form today then simply anything can happen and the race would be wide-open. He has not run so well in his races so far this season, however he has improved with every run if not getting his head in front and comes from a stable that is well known to produce horses at their peak at the right time for the Cheltenham Festival. His last two runs were both against Hurricane Fly at level weights (like today) and on the first meeting he was five and three-quarter lengths behind The Fly and most recently only one and a half lengths behind him. Strongly fancied by many good judges he is one of the leading contenders here today .
6 wins from 13 starts (4 hurdle wins from 6 hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good to soft through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 1 furlong.

Owner_Barry_Fulton_Chris_Giles_and_Richard_Webb_ 8 1-2122 Ptit Zig 5 11-10 Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob 159
33/1 shot from the Paul Nicholls yard in the Grade 1 race, not something that you see very often from this master trainer. Consistent and sound this horse would have to improve considerably to take part in the finish here. He is only five years old and is a French import therefore he could easily improve with leaps and bounds in his next few races. He has winning form on heavy ground over 2 1/2 miles so perhaps if the pace here was exceptionally fast he would be one that would stay on at the end when others would have had their stamina sapped from them. That said he really does look like he has it all to do here today and can't really be fancied.
3 wins from 10 starts all hurdle races on ground ranging from good through to heavy and up to a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs.

Owner Mrs S Such 9 12-112 The New One 6 11-10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies 154
Very much the new kid on the block, improving with every run and has won four times at this course including winning the Neptune Investment Novice Hurdle at last season's Festival. His form is rock solid, consistent and he is well fancied by his connections. He has progressed well and back in October he beat the one-time Champion Hurdle winner Rock on Ruby by 10 lengths in a listed race at Kempton. He was second on his very last start at the Kempton Christmas meeting behind one of his rivals today My Tent or Yours. He made a mistake at the last which many think cost him the race that day and therefore he should be able to reverse the form with My Tent or Yours but of course that horse will also have improved since that race. This horse could well go off favourite ahead of Hurricane Fly and looks to be the favourite of many a good judge and it is easy to see why with his last four ins all won by good margins over good horses.
9 wins from 13 starts (6 hurdle wins from nine hurdle starts) on ground ranging from good through to soft and up to a distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs.






The_Full_Result


Finished NO. FORM HORSE AGE WEIGHT TRAINER JOCKEY
1 4 1-1124 Jezki 6 11-10 Mrs John Harrington Barry Geraghty
2 6 21-111 My Tent Or Yours 7 11-10 Nicky Henderson A P McCoy
3 9 12-112 The New One 6 11-10 Nigel Twiston-Davies Sam Twiston-Davies
4 3 11-111 Hurricane Fly 10 11-10 W P Mullins R Walsh
5 1 13343 Captain Cee Bee 13 11-10 Edward P Harty Mark Walsh
6 8 1-2122 Ptit Zig 5 11-10 Paul Nicholls Daryl Jacob
7 5 1-1511 Melodic Rendezvous 8 11-10 Jeremy Scott Nick Scholfield
8 2 4-353 Grumeti 6 11-10 Alan King Wayne Hutchinson
Fell 7 111-32 Our Conor 5 11-10 D T Hughes Danny Mullins












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