14:10 County Hurdle Tips & Odds – Cheltenham Festival 18th March 2022

A look at Friday's County Hurdle from the Cheltenham Festival

State Man / County Handicap ©IMAGO / Shutterstock 18.03.2022

The County Hurdle tips for this year’s Cheltenham Festival 2022 look through the key contenders that are going to the start on Friday.

This is a very hotly competitive race usually and is the second race of the day on Friday from the festival.

The County Hurdle used to be the last race at the Cheltenham Festival, but it was moved up to its current slot in 2009.

This is one of those wonderfully big, unpredictable races of the Festival. It is one in which it is not uncommon to see big gambles landed in.

Our betting experts look at the latest County Hurdle tips for the Cheltenham festival 2022.

County Hurdle Racing Odds

State Man 5/1
Top Bandit 13/2
West Cork 9/1
Surprise Package 10/1
Colonel Mustard 9/1
I Like To Move It 14/1
Cormier 18/1
My Mate Mozzie 18/2
First Street 20/1
Farout 20/1
Jesse Evans 20/1
Gua Du Large 20/1
Broomfield Burg 20/1
Call Me Lyreen 20/1
Tritonic 20/1
Tax For Max 25/1
Eclair De Beaufeu 25/1
Dysart Diamond 25/1
33/1 bar
* (odds recorded at 16:12 GMT on March 17th, 2022 at Coral)

Horse Racing Betting at Coral


County Hurdle Race Details Cheltenham Festival

  • Grade 3
  • 5-year-olds plus
  • 28 declared runners
  • 2m 1f
  • Going: Good To Soft


FAV in County Hurdle Racing Odds

The current market leader in the County Hurdle betting market is STATE MAN at 5/1* (odds recorded at 16:12 GMT on March 17th, 2022 at Coral).

He looks like a really promising one and was on course for a win on his debut at Leopardstown before falling a couple from home

State Man made no mistake on his next outright, winning easily at Limerick. This is tougher because he warrants some big respect handicapping.



County Hurdle Betting Contenders

FIRST STREET has won three of his last five runs and warrants respect also among our County Handicap Hurdle tips.

He opened the year with a score at Kempton, having made the most of a slide in the ratings.

But First Street put in an eye-catching shift next time out when placing in the Betfair Hurdle last month.

I LIKE TO MOVE IT is likely to make his presence felt at the Cheltenham Festival on Friday. He opened the season with a rapid-fire hat-trick.

An off day at Ascot snapped his winning streak, but he showed a great attitude to get back on it in his follow up, taking a runner up in the Betfair Hurdle.

WEST CORK could be one of the other big contenders in this race. He returned from a break of 21 months to score the Greatwood Hurdle in November at Cheltenham.

West Cork dug in there on his follow up at Ascot in December, sticking in there for as long as he could to take a fifth-place finish. Returning from a rest, he could be won to consider.

Horse Racing Betting at Coral

Other contenders Cheltenham County Handicap Hurdle

TOP BANDIT claimed a win in a Punchestown Novice three months ago before heading into a break.

That saw him complete a hattrick. Handicapping now, he could get in the frame.

BUA BOY could have some each-way claims in this one. He is a dual hurdles winner and was in good shape last summer with back to back runner-up finishes. Bua Boy needs to shake off a big absence but is no forlorn hope.

COLONEL MUSTARD may be worth a look. He kicked off the season with a maiden success in October, which was an easy run.

He was pushed up to face Graded company following that and wasn’t discredited in either effort.

SURPRISE PACKAGE made a few sit-up and take notice last weekend when he scored a 2m trip at Sandown in the Imperial Cup.

He will be under a 5lb penalty, but the form from that win reads well.

About the County Hurdle

The County Handicap had its first run back in 1920. It was, for a long time, the final fixture of the entire Cheltenham Festival.

Before the 2009 meeting, it was moved into the position of being the second race of the final day.

The County Handicap is a Grade 3 race at about 2m 1f and there are a total of eight hurdles featured. The County Hurdle is a handicap race.

Horse Racing Betting at Coral

Last 10 County Hurdle Winners at the Cheltenham Festival


Year Winner Odds Jockey Trainer
2021 Belfast Banter 33/1 Kevin Sexton Peter Fahey
2020 Saint Roi 11/2F Barry Geraghty Willie Mullins
2019 Chtibello 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 Fontanta 11/1 Daryl Jacob Paul Nicholls
2013 Ted Veale 10/1 B J Cooper A J Martin
2012 Alderwood 20/1 A P McCoy Thomas Mullins


County Hurdle Trends

Next in this County Handicap Hurdle tips Preview 2022 we are going to dive into some of the trends surrounding the event.

To do that, we cast an eye back over the last 20 editions of this Grade 3 fixture.

There has been just one winning favourite get home in the last 10 renewals of this popular contest.

That was delivered by Saint Roi in the 2020 renewal from an 11/2 SP. Four of the last five winners have at least a quote of 12/1.

Going back to Sain Roi, he is the only victor in the last 10 renewals of the County Hurdle to have won at single fixtures.

There have been two 33/1 winners in the last four years, Mohaayed in 2018 and Belfast Banter last year.

Trainer Statistics

Willie Mullins leads the way as the top trainer in this fixture having collected a victory five times in the last 20 renewals.

Those have all been since 2010, with Saint Roi being the most recent one of his to get home with the score in 2020.

Dan Skelton with three victories is the only other to have trained more than one winner in the last 20 renewals (three).

Neither Nicky Henderson nor Gordon Elliott has managed to come up with a winner despite having had 36 and 18 entries respectively.

Jockey Statistics

Paul Townend and Harry Skelton are the only two active jockeys to have won the County Hurdle twice in the last 20 renewals. Only three others have managed to collect a victory in the race.


County Hurdle Trends Cheltenham Festival

  • There has been just one winning favourite in the last 10 renewals
  • All but one of the last 10 winners has been at double figures
  • Willie Mullins is the leading trader with 5 wins in the last 20 renewals
  • Was beaten by no more than 22 lengths last time out 20/20
  • Did not run on good to soft ground for their last win 20/20
  • Had not been 20/1 or bigger last time out 20/20
  • Last win was taken at least on a 2m trip 20/20
  • Ran over at least 2m last time out 18/20
  • Had not fallen more than once in career 19/20
  • Wasn’t bigger than 7/1 for the last win 19/20


County Hurdle Tips & Predictions Cheltenham Festival 2022

TOP BANDIT is the first on the shortlist for County Hurdle tips at 13/2* (odds recorded at 16:12 GMT on March 17th, 2022 at Coral).

He has a lot going for him, fits some trends nicely and his last couple of scores have been effortless. The move to handicapping could see Top Bandit thrive further.

FIRST STREET warrants respect as well because of an excellent run in the Betfair Hurdle last month.

There is potentially even more to come from him and is well worth a shortlist spot at 20/1* (odds recorded at 16:12 GMT on March 17th, 2022 at Coral).

The final selection for the race is WEST CORK. After a long break, he scored at Cheltenham in the Greatwood and was in the thick of things at Ascot for a long way on his follow up.

Following a nice break since November, he is not to be underestimated at 8/1* (odds recorded at 16:12 GMT on March 17th, 2022 at Coral).

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