3.30 Unibet Champion Hurdle
Tuesday 10 March | Age: 4yo+ | Prize: £470,250
The Champion Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race and is the feature race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, which is also known as Champion Day. Open to horses aged four years or older, the Champion Hurdle is run on the Old Course over a distance of about two miles and half a furlong (2 miles and 87 yards).
THE premium event of the first day is normally the Champion Hurdle but if we're being honest there just isn't the same anticipation and excitement over the race this year.
There isn't an obvious standout candidate and there doesn't appear to be the same strength in depth as there usually would be. We might of course end up being surprised and one or two of these could end up being top class but the current form would suggest not.
Epatante is likely to be favourite and rightly so – she has a bit of class and has only been beaten once over hurdles, when she didn't perform in last year's mares novice hurdle.
She gets a mares weight allowance which makes her the clear pick on ratings but I suspect the race won't be run to suit her turn of pace and will end up being a real test of stamina.
For that reason I am siding with DARVER STAR as a tentative each way selection at 12-1. Quite a few bookies are paying 4 places each way so make sure you get that. He will enjoy the test of stamina and the ground will be no problem for him.
His two defeats this season have come at the hands of Honeysuckle who would surely be favourite here if she was lining up and Envoi Allen (and Abracadabras) in the Royal Bond at Fairyhouse. He wouldn't need to improve much at all from those performances to be involved here in my opinion.
It would also be fantastic to see a horse owned by a syndicate winning the biggest hurdle race of all.
I wish them all the very best.
PENTLAND HILLS has been a weak finisher on desperate ground this winter and Henderson’s decision to opt for a soft palate operation suggests he is looking for an extra edge in the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
Pentland Hills won last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with plenty of authority and the fact that no previous Champion Hurdle winner goes to post this season gives the race an open look.
His second at Haydock last time doesn’t read particularly well but he pulled like a train sitting off a moderate pace. This bigger field/stronger gallop is what Pentland Hills has been crying out for this season.
Epatante has been all the rage since running away with the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton and reinforces Henderson’s strong hand.
Her mares’ allowance could prove invaluable but she did flop here 12 months ago, which raises doubts about her effectiveness on an undulating circuit.
Call Me Lord’s stamina could kick in on a deep surface and he looks a lively each-way outsider.
In what appears to be a weak renewal, we have got ourselves a very competitive race with no horse with the one piece of outstanding form separating them from the rest.
You’d probably have to say Epatante has the best form, with her good win at Kempton in the Christmas Hurdle. At the prices she’s currently at (10/3) I’d like to find value elsewhere, as she was favourite for the Mares Novice Hurdle last year and she bombed out.
I have a small EW Antepost bet on Coeur Sublime, and I wouldn’t put anyone off backing him EW for the race tomorrow. He’s had a wind surgery after his below par run last time out.
I probably got over excited when he hosed up in the Grade 2 at Down Royal before Christmas, where he won by 15 lengths. The softer the ground, the better his chances become. Gordon has said he’s been working well at home, and he’s pleased with where he’s at.
My selection for the Champion Hurdle would be SUPASUNDAE. They are going to go a good clip in this race, and with the ground being on the soft side it will find out the horses who don’t have the stamina.
Supasundae stays 3m, and is a Grade 1 winner over 2m 4/5f, so he will definitely be staying on when others are feeling sorry for themselves. He doesn’t lack pace, he’s beat Faugheen over 2m in the past.
His recent return in the Irish Champion Hurdle was a quality run, where he finished 4th after 274 days off the track, and he’ll strip fitter for this. 10/1 with 4 places on offer looks a nice EW bet.
ITV Racing 4/1 Offer at Bet365
Back a winner at 4/1 or more and get a risk free bet on the next live ITV race (up to £50).
Only available to new and eligible customers. Bet restrictions and T&Cs apply.
T: N J Henderson
T: W P Mullins
T: N J Henderson
T: Mrs J Harrington
T: G P Cromwell
T: G Elliott
T: W P Mullins
T: N J Henderson
T: N A Twiston-Davies
T: N J Henderson
T: Evan Williams
T: Micky Hammond
T: H Morrison
T: H De Bromhead
T: J P O'Brien
T: P J Hobbs
T: Dr R D P Newland
Simply open a new account, make you first deposit and Bet365 will match that deposit with up to £100 in bet credits.
New customers only – £10 deposit using promo code “RACING” – First bet must be placed on any market – Minimum stake £10 at odds of 1/2 (1.5) – Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days – Free bet stakes not included in returns – Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time. General deposit method & withdrawal restrictions apply & Full T&C’s apply.
Place a £/€20 sports bet on the first race at 13:30 (Supreme Novices' Hurdle) Tuesday, 10th of March. Get a £/€5 free bet for every other race on the card.
Place a single £20 (or £10 e/w) Sports bet on the first race Cheltenham
Tuesday 10th March and get a £5 free bet for each of the subsequent
races on the Card.. Deposits using Cards, ApplePay or PayPal only. Free
bets are only valid for the specified race and are awarded when the
qualifying bet has been settled. Free bet stakes not returned with
winnings. T&Cs Apply.
Place your first bet of £10 or more at odds of evens (2.00) or greater and get £30 in Sports Free Bets, a £20 Casino Bonus + 50 Free Spins.
New Customers, register and place your first bet of £10 or more at odds of evens (2.00) or greater; excludes cashed out bets. Get £30 in Free Bets, plus a £20 Casino Bonus, wager 40x to withdraw winning 7 day expiry and 50 free spins on Scudamore’s Super stakes 3 day expiry. Offer Valid 10:00GMT Monday 2nd March 2020 until 23:59GMT Friday 13th March 2020. Credit/Debit Card deposits only. Geographical Restrictions and T&C's Apply. Please Gamble Responsibly.
New customers only. 18+. BeGambleAware.org. Minimum deposit £10. Place a £10+ bet on The Cheltenham Festival of odds 1/1 (2.0) or greater. A £10 Free Bet will be given by 11:00 (GMT) each day of the festival. You will receive the free bets regardless of whether your qualifying £10 bet wins or loses. Free bets will expire at the end of each day given. Casino bonus wagering 25x. Bonus will be granted the next working after you have deposited.
Use promo code: 20FREE to claim £20 in Free Bets when you open a new account and bet £5 at Ladbrokes.
18+ Eligible UK+IRE players. Paypal & some deposit & bet types excl. Min first £5 bet within 14 days of account reg at min odds 1/2 = 4x £5 free bets. Free bets valid for 7 days, stake not returned. No cashout, restrictions + T&Cs apply.
Mobile users can use promo code: P30 to claim £10 in Free Bets at William Hill when you open a new account and place a first bet of £10.
New customers using Promo Code P30 only, min £10/€10 stake, min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15 (30 days expiry), free bet/payment method/player/country restrictions apply. By entering the Promo code in the box above you agree to the full terms and conditions of this promotion as displayed below. See full terms on William Hill website.
Grab a £20 risk-free bet on the brand new betting app from SBK. They'll give a £20 risk-free bet when you open a new account and deposit £20.
New customers only. Deposit £20 by card. Trustly or bank transfer only, for a refund of your first £20 of losses. T&Cs apply. 18+. BeGambleAware.org
New customers can claim up to £50 as a welcome bonus at Mansionbet.
New customers only. Min Deposit £10. Deposit & bonus amount must be wagered 6 times (min odds 4/5) prior to withdrawing bonus funds and any winnings. Wins from real money bets withdrawable at any time. Bonus on sports betting only. T&Cs apply.
New to horse racing? Check out our horse racing abbreviations guide as well as racebets for a fantastic welcome offer.