County Hurdle Odds 2024
The County Hurdle is always a big field handicap which can prove difficult to solve, but State Man was well-backed to win last year and finished second in the Champion Hurdle on Tuesday. If there is to be another future Grade 1 winner lurking in this handicap, then it could be another Willie Mullins runner in the shape of Hunters Yarn, who has won two of four starts over hurdles and looks extremely progressive.
Dan Skelton has an excellent record in the race and has won with Superb Story, Mohaayed and Ch’Tibello since 2016. He trains the lightly raced Pembroke, who should appreciate this drop back in trip, having finished second last time.
Filey Bay backers would have been disappointed he could only finish second in the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last month, but he is another lightly raced runner for a shrewd yard who is impossible to rule out. Sharjah has already won multiple Grade 1’s and has some excellent festival form, having finished second in two successive Champion Hurdles. He carries top weight but has the best form in the race.
Latest County Hurdle odds *
*Best prices at the time of writing
Filey Bay 6/1
Hunters Yarn 5/1
Gin Coco 8/1
Pied Piper 14/1
Winter Fog 14/1
Path D’oroux 14/1
First Street 18/1
Magnor Glory 18/1
Petit Tonnerre 22/1
Saint Sam 28/1
Prairie Dancer 33/1
Teddy Blue 33/1
Highway One O Two 40/1
Glory And Fortune 50/1
Anna Bunina 50/1
Highland Charge 50/1
Luttrell Lad 80/1
County Hurdle Odds and Entries 2024
Another race with a strong Irish challenge and another race where Willie Mullins could easily have multiple horses hit the frame. Hunters Yarn and Sharjah have contrasting profiles, but both look to have a solid chance in an open race.
The British challenge could come from Pembroke and Gin Coco. Pembroke travelled strongly over a longer distance last time, but he could cruise into this contest if Harry Skelton can hold his nerve in a race that is usually run at a pace. Gin Coco missed an intended clash with Filey Bay in the Betfair Hurdle but comes here fresh and can go well.
Aucunrisque has been somewhat overlooked in the betting at around 18/1, and he produced a fine display when landing the Betfair Hurdle in February. He may not get his way in front but will run his race again.
An interesting contender at bigger prices is Ballyadam, who finished fifth in the race last year at 50/1 and showed signs of a return to form when third behind Gaelic Warrior last month. He is 4lb higher in the handicap this year but looks to have been campaigned with this race in mind.
Betting on the County Hurdle
The County Hurdle is the big betting handicap on the Gold Cup day at the Cheltenham Festival. Bookmakers usually offer enhanced place terms on this race, paying out down to sixth or even seventh place. The race always attracts a high class of hurdler and notable past winners include Rooster Booster (2002), Wicklow Brave (2015) and Arctic Fire (2017).
A bet on the County Hurdle can be a risky proposition with Saint Roi (2020) becoming the first winning favourite since 2007. State Man was also market leader in 2022 but sandwiched between them was the shock 33-1 win of Belfast Banter. Other long-priced winners include Silver Jaro (2008) at 50-1, Mohaayed (2018) at 33-1 and Wicklow Brave at 25-1. Horses aged five and six have the best recent record, accounting for nine of the last twelve winners.
The Betfair Hurdle at Newbury and the Liffey Handicap Hurdle at Leopardstown have proved to be the best trials. The victory of State Man took Willie Mullins on to a record six winners in the race while Dan Skelton’s entries are always worth noting in the County Hurdle betting. He trained the winner three times in four seasons with Superb Story (2016), Mohaayed (2018) and Ch’tibello (2019).
County Hurdle News
Purchased by JP McManus before the Betfair Hurdle, Filey Bay looked like a well-handicapped horse going into that race and may have lost his chance with a blunder at the final hurdle. He has gone up in the weights but will likely be suited by this race and could gain compensation.
It would be great to see old favourite Sharjah get his first win at the Festival, having finished second in 2020 and 2021. He carries top weight in a competitive handicap, but that may not be enough to stop him.
Pembroke and Gin Coco are both near the foot of the weights but are lightly raced and could have significant improvement to come on the biggest stage of them all.