Irish Champion Hurdle

The Irish Champion Hurdle is Ireland’s answer to the famous Champion Hurdle run at Cheltenham each year. The race precedes that event in the racing calendar, taking place every January.

The Irish Champion Hurdle carries a Grade 1 rating, and is open to horses aged 4-years-old and above. The event covers a distance of 2 miles, and entries are required to clear 8 hurdles during the course of the race.

The Irish Champion Hurdle tends to draw fields comparable in quality to the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham, and top hurdlers will often compete in both races in a season, and it is not unusual for the foremost hurdlers to win both these races in the course of their careers.

Irish Champion Hurdle Betting Tips

  • Winners aged 4 or 5 are unusual in this race and can be scratched from the card unless other indicators suggest they’re strong contenders. This consideration aside, the majority of winners are between 6 and 10 years of age.
  • The Irish Champion Hurdle will often produce short odds favourites priced under the evens mark. Horses that begin the race trading under Evens have an excellent success rate, while favourites priced over 2/1 have a much lower strike rate.
  • Upsets are rare in this race, and horses priced over 4/1 rarely have a realistic chance of claiming victory in the race
  • There can be each way or place value on horses priced 4/1 to 14/1, but horses priced over 14/1 rarely make appearances in the places
  • Wins by horses with ratings of less than 160 are a rarity, with the event favouring proven performers

Irish Champion Hurdle Odds

Irish Champion Hurdle History

The Irish Champion Hurdle was established in 1950 as an answer to the Cheltenham Festival, and attracted strong fields from the outset, with top national hunt racehorses like Flyingbolt and Dawn Run achieving wins in the event.

While a number of horses have managed multiple wins in the Irish Champion Hurdle, the greatest champion in the history of the event is Istabraq, who achieved four consecutive race wins.

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