Champion Hurdle Betting & Odds 2023


Honeysuckle ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore on the way to winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Champion Hurdle is the most prestigious two-mile hurdle race of the National Hunt season and is the highlight of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. There have been five three-time winners of the hurdling crown, the most recent being Istabraq from 1998 to 2000. He was trained by Aidan O’Brien and was denied a tilt at a record fourth victory when the meeting was abandoned due to the outbreak of foot and mouth disease in 2001.

Over the years, the race has been won by some legends of the sport, including Night Nurse, Monksfield, Sea Pigeon, and Istabraq.  The current champion is the Irish-trained mare Honeysuckle, who won the race in 2022 and 2021. However, she won’t defend her crown this year as connections have chosen to run her in the Mares’ Hurdle this time around.

The race thrived during a golden age of hurdling in the late seventies and early eighties when Night Nurse, Monksfield and Sea Pigeon shared six victories between them. Nicky Henderson trained See You Then to three consecutive victories from 1985 to 1987 and took his Champion Hurdle tally to a record eight victories with Epatante in 2020. She was deposed last year by Honeysuckle who heads the Champion Hurdle Odds 2023 as the 4-7 favourite.

Latest Champion Hurdle odds *

*Best prices correct at time of writing

Constitution Hill 1/3

State Man 10/3

Vauban 14/1

I Like To Move It 16/1

Zanahiyr 66/1

Not So Sleepy 100/1

Jason The Militant 150/1

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Champion Hurdle Odds and Entries 2023

Constitution Hill will face six opponents in Tuesday’s 2023 Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. The six-year-old has won all five of his races, four at the Grade 1 level, including the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at last year’s Festival. Despite not being seen since Boxing Day, when winning the Christmas Hurdle Hurdle at Kempton, Constitution Hill is expected to give Henderson his ninth win in the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and is a short-priced favourite with the bookies.

State Man, trained by Willie Mullins, boasts more experience than Constitution Hill and looks set to be the most significant danger. He is unbeaten in his last six races, four of which were in Grade 1 company, including the Irish Champion Hurdle, and he will line up alongside last year’s Triumph Hurdle winner Vauban, who Mullins also trains. 

Zanahiyr, the Gordon Elliott-trained horse who finished third in the race last year but was subsequently disqualified, will also head to post on Tuesday. Nigel Twiston-Davies will rely on I Like To Move It, who won the Greatwood Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham in November and the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton in his last race. The field is completed by Not So Sleepy for Hughie Morrison and the Phil Kirby-trained Jason The Militant.

Betting on the Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle features the best hurdlers in Great Britain and Ireland and ranks second only to the Cheltenham Gold Cup during Festival week. Ante-post odds are available all-year-round and it is one of the top betting races of the week. The market leader for 2023 is Constitution Hill who could become the shortest priced winner in the history of the race.

Sir Ken started 2-5 favourite when claiming the second of three consecutive victories in 1953. There have been five three-time winners but Honeysuckle will not attempt to join them this year. Henry de Bromhead’s mare has been the toast of the punters for the past two seasons but has been re-routed to the Mares Hurdle following her defeat by State Man in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Favourites have a very good record in the Champion Hurdle in recent years, winning eight of the last twelve renewals. There have been the occasional shock results in this race, most recently with Punjabi at 22-1 in 2009 and Espoir D’Allen at 16-1 in 2019. The longest priced winners in the history of the race were Kirriemuir (1965) and Beech Road (1989), both returned at 50-1.

Champion Hurdle News

Honeysuckle will be attempting to become the first mare to win two Champion Hurdles. Last year’s emphatic success took the pressure off for Trainer Henry de Bromhead and jockey Rachael Blackmore who proceeded to dominate the festival meeting. The stable are well represented again this year as they look to Honeysuckle to get the ball rolling. Nothing we’ve seen on the racecourse this season suggests that Honeysuckle will be beaten and she looks a worthy favourite in the Champion Hurdle odds 2023.

The dark horse of the race is undoubtedly Appreciate It, surprisingly beaten in the 2020 Champion Bumper but a wide margin winner of the Supreme Hurdle last year. It is very rare for any horse to win the Supreme by more than 20 lengths and the margin would have been reduced but for the last flight fall of stable companion Blue Lord. Appreciate It has tumbled from 8-1 to 7-2 in the Champion Hurdle betting odds in recent weeks. It will require a masterful piece of training by Willie Mullins to have him spot on for the race after a 364-day absence.

Teahupoo emerged as a serious contender when emphatically winning the Red Mills Trial. He had struggled to beat Quilixios by half a length at Limerick previously but had that rival 22 lengths back in third. The pair were separated by Darasso who had won a Grade 3 last time out so that looked a much-improved display.

Epatante was not entirely convincing when dead-heating with Not So Sleepy in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in November. She looked much more like her old self when winning the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. At the time, her two and a quarter lengths margin over 140-rated handicapper Glory And Fortune raised concerns. The runner-up came out and won the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury next time so the form looks a lot more solid now.

All eyes will be on Constitution Hill on Tuesday as he aims to maintain his 100% winning record and land back-to-back Cheltenham Festival victories.  The Nicky Henderson-trained horse is the short-price favourite for the Champion Hurdle, with many people believing he could become a Cheltenham great.

He’s been ultra-impressive in both his races this year, seeing off Epatante in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. His main rival on Tuesday will be the Irish-trained State Man, who, in any other year, would be a short-price favourite himself.

State Man is the best two-mile hurdler in Ireland and has been in excellent form this season, winning three Grade 1 races, including the Irish Champion Hurdle last time out.The big question, though, is can State Man get close to Constitution Hill to see if there are any chinks in his armour, and it’s set to be a titanic battle between the two.

It looks like a two-horse race, and with only seven going to post, it’s a race that sadly lacks any real each-way value.