County Handicap Hurdle Betting Tips

  • 15/03/2019
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We have a complete look at County Hurdle betting tips in this preview for the Cheltenham Festival 2023.

This is a race from the Festival’s final day, and it’s a competitive Grade 3 contest over the timbers.

Our betting experts will be releasing County Handicap Hurdle tips during the build-up to this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

The winner of last year’s edition was State Man, who was well backed and became the second winning favourite from the last three renewals.


County Handicap Hurdle – Overlooked Outsiders

There have been a few examples of long-priced winners coming good in the County Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in the last few editions.

Seven of the last ten race winners have been double-figure odds.

Our betting experts will look at some underdogs who could have claims in this year’s renewal.

Last year’s winner State Man scored from a 11/4 SP, but the runner-up First Street placed at 16/1. 

Recently, there have been some big-odds winners, including 25/1 shot Wicklow Brave in 2015 and Arctic Fire at 20/1 in 2017. The biggest winner in recent years was Belfast Banter in 2021, who won at a huge 33/1!

It is worth digging down through the market to look for overlooked outsiders for some each-way claims.

Look for our best County Handicap Hurdle tips closer to the Festival.


County Hurdle Runners – Friday, 17th March 2.10

The ante-post market for the County Handicap Hurdle odds indicates some of the early entries that could be going into the Festival’s race.

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It is worth casting an eye over as horses can be tracked well ahead of the contest.

While the list of runners is not going to be announced until closer to race day, the ante-post offers some potential long-term horse racing betting prospects.

Like Gaelic Warrior, who was runner-up in last year’s Boodles Juvenile Hurdle and has won both races over the winter, so should be ready for a bold bid if lining up here.

Last years runner-up First Street could be one of the chief hopes for Britain, with a win and a place in his two runs this season, both in Graded company. 

Trainer Willie Mullins could have Il Etait Temps involved in the race along with the aforementioned Gaelic Warrior. 5-year-old Il Etait Temps won on reappearance and was just four lengths behind Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Facile Vega in a Grade 1 in December.

Others in the ante-post market for the County Handicap Hurdle betting include Filey Bay, Winter Fog and Merlin Giant.


How to pick a County Hurdle Winner

Looking at the trends produced from the previous editions of this race can help plan for 2023 County Handicap Hurdle betting.

One of the trends over the last ten renewals has been a lack of favourites winning the fixture. There has been only two winning favourites in that span, Saint Roi in 2020 and State Man last year.

Last 10 County Handicap Hurdle Winners Odds

2022 State Man 11/4F

2021 Belfast Banter 33/1

2020 Saint Roi 11/2F

2019 Ch’tibello 12/1

2018 Mohaayed 33/1

2017 Arctic Fire 20/1

2016 Superb Story 8/1

2015 Wicklow Brave 25/1

2014 Lac Fontana 11/1

2013 Ted Veale 10/1

Over the last twenty renewals, there has almost been an even return of wins from GB and Irish runners in this race. There have been 12 Irish and 8 GB winners in that period.

Also, just one female runner has landed a win from 26 entered in that same timeframe.

A feature of the County Handicap Hurdle is that it is often a race where no one holds back, and it’s just run at a very stiff and exciting pace. 

Looking at some other trends for the County Hurdle betting, none of the last 20 winners had been bigger than 20/1 last time out, and the previous win for each of them had come over hurdles.

Runners with 5lb & 7lb claimers have not delivered a win in the last 20 renewals of the County Handicap, and none had won at a price of bigger than 14/1 during their career.

There are a lot of other fascinating trends that apply to this popular race on Friday’s Gold Cup day.

Look for recommendations for County Handicap Hurdle tips from our experts.


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All About The County Handicap Hurdle: Past and Present

The first edition of the County Handicap Hurdle was in 1920, and it is a Grade 3 hurdle fixture.

It was the race that closed the Cheltenham Festival for many years, but it got moved to its current slot of Race 2 on Day 4 in 2009.

The distance of the County Handicap Hurdle is 2m 1f, and there are eight hurdles in play for the fixture.

The most successful jockey in the history of the race is Ruby Walsh, who rode four winners in the County Handicap Hurdle.

Willie Mullins id the most successful trainers with five wins each, with Paul Nicholls the second most successful on four wins.


How Do Horses Qualify for the County Handicap Hurdle Race?

The race is open to both sexes of five-year-olds and up. It’s a handicap fixture in terms of weights.


What is the County Handicap Hurdle Prize Money in 2023?

The details of the County Handicap Hurdle prize money for 2023 is still to come. But last year’s winner, State Man, took the first prize of £56,270. The other race payouts were 2nd £21,200, 3rd £10,610, 4th £5,300, 5th £2,660, 6th £1,330, 7th £660 and 8th £340.


County Handicap Hurdle Past Winners

One of the most famous winners of the County Handicap Hurdle was Rooster Booster, who took success in 2002. He went on to land the Champion Hurdle the following year.

Some notable recent winners to take the title were Ch’tibello and Saint Roi, along with last year’s winner State Man.

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2022 State Man 11/4 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2021 Belfast Banter 33/1 Kevin Sexton Peter Fahey
2020 Saint Roi 11/2 Barry Geraghty Willie Mullins
2019 Ch’tibello 12/1 Harry Skelton Dan Skelton
2018 Mohaayed 33/1 Bridget Andrews Dan Skelton
2017 Arctic Fire 20/1 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2016 Superb Story 8/1 Harry Skelton Dan Skelton
2015 Wicklow Brave 25/1 Paul Townend Willie Mullins
2014 Lac Fontana 11/1 Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls
2013 Ted Veale 10/1 Bryan Cooper Tony Martin
2012 Alderwood 20/1 Tony McCoy Thomas Mullins
2011 Final Approach 10/1 Ruby Wash Willie Mullins

Other Races on Day 4 of the Cheltenham Festival

The County Handicap Hurdle betting is the second race of Day 4 of Cheltenham 2022. Here are all the races for Friday at the Festival:

13:30 The JCB Triumph Hurdle (Grade 1)

14:10 The McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3)

14:50 The Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1)

15:30 The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeplechase (Grade 1)

16:10 The St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase

16:50 The Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Steeplechase (Grade 2)

17:30 Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle (0-145)