Unibet Champion Hurdle Tips

  • 15/03/2022
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Honeysuckle ridden by jockey Rachael Blackmore on the way to winning the Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Our Unibet Champion Hurdle tips for the 2023 renewal at the Cheltenham Festival deliver the best insights about this Grade 1 headline race for punters. 

Closer to the start of this year’s Festival and when the final declarations are made, the Champion Hurdle tips will be ready for punters to scour through, as we put together a firm picture of this year’s lineup.

Honeysuckle got her nose in front last year for trainer Henry de Bromhead, ridden by the history-making Rachael Blackmore.

(Tips to follow)

Champion Hurdle Tips – Overlooked Outsiders

The Grade 1 Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy has produced a run of three straight favourites taking the glory.

Honeysuckle was the latest to land the win in this top fixture. But while there will naturally be the focus on the front-runners in the Champion Hurdle betting market, our racing tips will also be looking at the longer-priced entrants.

Sometimes they do get their nose in front, as impressive 16/1 winner Espoir D’Allen did in the 2019 edition of the Champion Hurdle. He bolted up to win by 15 lengths in a stunning display.

That was a big year for the underdogs in this particular fixture as well, with Melon taking the runner-up spot at 20/1, while Silver Streak, who was at 80/1, came home third by a neck.

So overlooked outsiders will be part of our Champion Hurdle Tips for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. They can’t be dismissed, even though the Champion Hurdle does trend towards those at the head of the market.

Look out for our Champion Hurdle dark horse recommendations.

A look at this year’s underdogs will be available closer to the race.

Champion Hurdle Runners – Tuesday 15th March 3:30

1 Adagio T: David Pipe

J: Tom Scudamore

2 Appreciate It T: Willie Mullins

J: Paul Townend

3 Glory And Fortune T: Tom Lacey

J: Stan Sheppard

4 Not So Sleepy T: Hughie Morrison

J: Jonathan Burke

5 Saint Roi T: Willie Mullins

J: Mark Walsh

6 Teahupoo T: Gordon Elliott

J: Robbie Power

7 Tommy’s Oscar T: Ann Hamilton

J: Danny McMenamin

8 Zanahiyr T: Gordon Elliott

J: Jack Kennedy

9 Epatante T: Nicky Henderson

J: Aidan Coleman

10 Honeysuckle T: Henry De Bromhead

J: Rachael Blackmore

Champion Hurdle Odds 2023

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds


J:Rachael Blackmore
T:Henry De Bromhead
Appreciate It


J:Paul Townend
T:Willie Mullins


J:Robbie Power
T:Gordon Elliott


J:Aidan Coleman
T:Nicky Henderson


J:Tom Scudamore
T:David Pipe


J:Jack Kennedy
T:Gordon Elliott
Tommy’s Oscar


J:Danny McMenamin
T:Ann Hamilton
Saint Roi


J:Mark Walsh
T:Willie Mullins
Glory And Fortune


J:Stan Sheppard
T:Tom Lacey
Not So Sleepy


J:Jonathan Burke
T:Hughie Morrison

There will be detailed Champion Hurdle betting tips for the Cheltenham Festival arriving when the markets have been thoroughly assessed closer to the time of the race. But there is also some value in scanning the ante-post market in racing odds.

When following horse racing news, you can pick up clues as to which contenders the top yards will be sending to this significant Grade 1 contest. After landing Cheltenham success twelve months ago, Honeysuckle looks set to go again in this one.

It’sIt’s a title defence in the Champions Hurdle that she would be looking for after taking a six and a half-length margin victory over rival Sharjah in 2021. The latter could be targeting another assault on the Champion Hurdle for trainer Willie Mullins.

While the score at Cheltenham evaded him last season, there were a couple of Grade 1 wins for Sharjah at the end of 2021. Epatante had a huge revival in winning the Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle in December. If she’s back on track for trainer Nicky Henderson, then she would rate as a danger.

Be sure to watch out for the latest Champion hurdle betting tips from our experts as we draw ever nearer to the big off on Tuesday, 15th March 2023.

How to pick a Champion Hurdle winner 

If you are pondering how to pick a Champion Hurdle winner for the Cheltenham Festival, then a good place to always start is trends. That, combined with form, are the critical elements of how our experts pull together the top Champion hurdle betting tips. 

While the list of runners for this year’s Champions Hurdle is still to be finalised, previous trends from editions of the race can offer some valuable insights for this top Champion Hurdle 2m trip.

This is one of the Cheltenham Festival races where favourites perform very well. Seven of the last nine renewals of this Grade 1 Champion Hurdle have been won by the favourite.

Within that, there are trends, with no winner bigger than 9/2 having landed the contest in the last 20 editions. Each of the previous 20 winners had all taken a win within the last 180 days and had all competed in a Grade 1 fixture before the victory. 

Last 10 Champion Hurdle winner odds

  • 2021 Honeysuckle 11/10F
  • 2020 Epatante 2/1F
  • 2019 Espoir D’Allen 16/1
  • 2018 Buveur D’Air 4/6F
  • 2016 Annie Power 5/2G
  • 2015 Faugheen 4/5F
  • 2014 Jezki 9/1
  • 2013 Hurricane Fly 13/8F
  • 2012 Rock On Ruby 11/1

Two trainers have pretty much dominated the Champion Hurdle landscape in recent years. Nicky Henderson (5) and Willie Mullins (4) have taken 9 of the last 20 editions between them. Of course, those top yards tend to load the field, but there are clear indicators here from a betting perspective. No other trainer besides those two has won any of the last 20 renewals of the Champion Hurdle more than once.

No jockey has won any of the last 20 Champion Hurdle editions more than once, either. Interestingly, jockey Paul Townend, who often pairs up with trainer Willie Mullins, has failed to win in 10 previous attempts in the Champion Hurdle.

Keep an eye out for the top Champion Hurdle betting tips coming up for the big contest on the Festival’s opening day. We’ll be digging through some of the above trends and many more in our recommendations.

All About The Champion Hurdle: Past and Present

The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 fixture at the Cheltenham Festival. This race is just a tiny shade over 2m on the Old Course turf. The Champion Hurdle has a special place in UK National Hunt racing because it is part of hurdling’s Triple Crown following on from the Fighting Fifth and the Christmas Hurdle.

Bookmaker Unibet currently sponsor the race and has produced some fantastic memories since its inaugural run in 1927. There are eight hurdles in the Champion Hurdle, held on the opening day of the Festival. 

How Do Horses Qualify For the Champion Hurdle Race?

The Cheltenham Hurdle is open to four-year-olds and up, and there is a weight requirement of 11 st 3 lb for 4-year-olds, while any other entrant is set at 11 st 10 lb. Fillies and mares can claim a 7lb allowance for this most prestigious of hurdles races. 

What is the Champion Hurdle Prize Money in 2023?

In 2021 the prize purse for the Champion Hurdle was £337,500, and the lion’s share of that went to the winner Honeysuckle. First past the post collected £189,911.25. The rest of the winning scale went as follows: 2nd £71,550, 3rd £35,808.75, 4th £17,887.50, 5th £8,977.50, 6th £4,488.75, 7th £2,227.50, 8th £1,147.50.

Champion Hurdle Past Winners 

Given that this is such a high profile race, it has produced some legends throughout the years. The last time a horse won the Champion Hurdle three times was the great Istabraq in 2000. 

Some of the Cheltenham Festival greats have shown up in the Champion Hurdle, such as Faugheen, Annie Power and two-time winner Buveur d’Air. 

In 2021 on the back of Honeysuckle, Rachael Blackmore became the first female jockey to win the Champion Hurdle. 

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2021 Honeysuckle 11/10F Rachael Blackmore Henry De Bromhead
2020 Epatante 2/1F Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2019 Espoir D’Allen 16/1  Mark Walsh Gavin Cromwell
2018 Buveur D’Air 4/6F Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2017 Buveur D’Air 5/1 Noel Fehily Nicky Henderson
2016 Annie Power 5/2F Ruby Walsh  Willie Mullins
2015 Faugheen 4/5F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2014 Jezki 9/1 Barry Geraghty Mrs John Harrington
2013 Hurricane Fly 13/8F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2012 Rock On Ruby 11/1 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls
2011 Hurricane Fly 11/4F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2010 Binocular 9/1 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson

Other Races on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival

The Champion Hurdle is the headlining act of the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, and for 2023 it is scheduled for a 15:30 start. Here is the full card for Day 1 of the Festival.

13:30 The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 The Arkle Challenge Trophy

14:50 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

15:30 The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

16:10 The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

16:50 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

17:30 The National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Steeple Chase