County Hurdle Odds 2023
Cheltenham Festival 2023
The County Hurdle is a two mile handicap on Cheltenham Gold Cup day. It is one of the most competitive handicap races of the season. Saint Roi (2020) was the only winning favourite in the past twelve seasons. There have been numerous shock results during that period including 33-1 outsiders Mohaayed (2018) and Belfast Banter (2021).
Dan Skelton has trained the winner three times in the past six years with Superb Story (2016), Arctic Fire (2017) and Ch’tibello (2019). The County Hurdle betting odds 2023 suggest he has a great chance of saddling a fourth winner with West Cork. Other horses to feature prominently in the betting are Betfair Hurdle runner-up I Like To Move It and Gordon Elliott’s Top Bandit.
County Hurdle Odds and Entries 2023
This race is always heavily over-subscribed and this year was no exception with 82 entries. With a maximum field of 26, a lot of fancied runners will struggle to make the final cut. Second favourite Top Bandit (39), Anyharminasking (44), Gua Du Large (45), Balco Coastal (53), Cormier (59), Shallwehaveonemore (63) and Aucunrisque (64) are among those currently outside the cut-off point.
State Man was installed as ante-post favourite in the County Hurdle Odds 2023 when the weights were announced. Trainer Willie Mullins rates him highly enough to still be considering the top novice events so a rating of 141 could prove lenient. Mullins has numerous other options including Adamantly Chosen, Deploy The Getaway and Ganapathi. The latter has not raced since falling at the last in a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle at Punchestown in April.
The Greatwood Hurdle winner West Cork has been freshened up since finishing fifth to Tritonic at Ascot in December. He suffered an over-reach that day but would be right in this if reproducing his Cheltenham form. The Greatwood has produced numerous future winners including Tritonic (fifth) and Cormier (fifteenth) who also hold entries here.
I Like To Move It failed by only a short-head in the Betfair Hurdle for Nigel Twiston-Davies. He could run here in preference to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. He has been raised 4lbs for that narrow defeat, although a bigger concern might be that he had a hard race at Newbury. Gordon Elliott is responsible for three of the top four in the weights in Call Me Lyreen, Eskylane and Magic Tricks. There is nothing between Call Me Lyreen and Magic Tricks on Leopardstown form, although third-placed Autumn Evening was well beaten at Kelso last weekend.
Cheltenham Festival 2023
Latest County Hurdle odds *
*Best prices at the time of writing
State Man 5-1
Top Bandit 7-1
West Cork 8-1
Echoes In Rain 10-1
I Like To Move It 12-1
Adamantly Chosen 14-1
Colonel Mustard 14-1
My Mate Mozzie 14-1
Slip Of The Tongue 14-1
Balco Coastal 16-1
Call Me Lyreen 16-1
Deploy The Getaway 16-1
First Street 16-1
Jesse Evans 16-1
Magic Tricks 16-1
Party Central 16-1
Broomfield Burg 20-1
Grand Jury 20-1
Gua Du Large 20-1
County Hurdle News
West Cork overcame a 631-day absence to win the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham in November. Although things did not work out for him at Ascot next time, he is one of several key Dan Skelton runners who will go to Cheltenham without a recent race.
The County Hurdle odds are likely to change quite drastically once the powerful Irish stables of Willie Mullins and Gordon Elliott clarify their intended runners. They have eleven of the top 26 in the weights in the original entries. Echoes In Rain could run in the Mares Hurdle but would be an interesting contender after her third behind Honeysuckle in the Irish Champion Hurdle.
Mullins has a bit of a wild card in Adamantly Chosen who romped to a 27 lengths victory at Thurles last month. Despite his huge winning margin, the horse displayed signs of inexperience that day and may not be suited to a fast and furious race such as this. Padraig Roche indicated that Cheltenham was not a likely destination for recent Punchestown winner Slip Of The Tongue. He overcame a last flight blunder to repel another Mullins entry in Deploy The Getaway.
Henry De Bromhead is contemplating running Ballyadam, Irascible and Grand Jury. Ballyadam has been well below his best this season and the latest runs of Irascible and Grand Jury don’t offer much encouragement. Olly Murphy’s Copperless beat Cormier by eight and a half lengths at Haydock in the Swinton Handicap Hurdle in May. He faces a massive 15lbs hike in the weights on his belated seasonal reappearance.