Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Betting Odds & Preview – 3:30 Cheltenham 2022 – March 15th, 2022

A look at this year's Champion on the Cheltenham Festival Day 1 as Honeysuckle returns for a title defence

Rachael Blackmore / Champion Hurdle ©IMAGO / Inpho Photography 06.02.2022

The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy is the big feature race of the Day 1 Cheltenham Festival lineup.

It’s Champions Day after all and the headliner is this one, the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy which is a 2m trip over the timbers for the best hurdlers around.

Naturally, because of the status of this race, there have been some big names win this Festival feature and there are plenty more heading into this year’s action.

Our betting experts will cast an eye over the best of the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy betting 2022.

Along with a look at the market and some of the strong candidates to get the win in this year’s feature, we will also take a look back at some of the history of the race and some trends that are associated with it.

It’s been a big race for favourites in the last decade with more than half of the winners in that span having been at the head of the market.

That includes last year’s winner Honeysuckle who could be back to mount a defence at Cheltenham 2022.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Details

Date: 15th March 2022
Time: 3.30
Grade: Grade 1
Distance: 2m
Age: 4 year olds plus
Entries: 14

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Favourites and Outsiders

There has been a preference towards those stronger options then in the last 10 renewals of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

That’s because 6 of the last 10 winners have been the SP Fav.

Last year’s winner Honeysuckle, ridden to success by Rachael Blackmore for trainer Henry de Bromhead, got the score from 11/10.

That is back to back to winning favourites in this particular race and three of the last four renewals have been as well.

So there is a trend there and as a high-class field always shows up for this race of champion hurdlers, then it’s not too common that a big longer-priced option gets their nose in front in the contest.

The longest priced winner in the last decade was 16/1 shot Espoir D’Allen who took the 2019 edition.

Eight of the last nine winners have gotten the victory at a quote of no bigger than 9/1 odds.

So we will take that into account when coming up with our Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy betting tips for 2022.

But that doesn’t mean that those with each-way claims from bigger prices in Champion Hurdle betting odds can be overlooked either.

We will also take into consideration some of those to give a full rounded picture of the betting landscape for this year’s renewal.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Odds Cheltenham 2022

While we can take a look at the ante-post Champion Hurdle odds for 2022, the market will likely take on a different complexion closer to the start of the Festival.

When the final declarations for the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy, which happens 48 hours out, are in, punters will know exactly who is going to the start.

For now, here is a list of current Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy odds taken at the time of writing.

Honeysuckle 4/9
Appreciate It 4/1
Epatante 7/1
Teahupoo 8/1
Zanahiyr 10/1
Adagio 16/1
Tommy’s Oscar 25/1
Saint Roi 25/1
Quilixios 25/1
Monmiral 33/1
Not So Sleepy 40/1
Glory And Fortune 50/1
Triotnic 66/1
My Mate Mozzie 100/1

* (odds recorded at 19:18 GMT on February 28th, 2022 at Unibet)

Bet at Unibet

About the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

It doesn’t get any bigger in the National Hunt season for the top hurdlers than the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy.

The race was introduced in 1927 and it has a long prestigious history and has produced some fantastic winners.

The Champion Hurdle as it’s more commonly known as is part of the British Triple Crown of Hurdling.

It is the last of those three fixtures, following on from the Fighting Fifth and the Christmas Hurdle.

It is common therefore that come the Cheltenham Festival Day 1 and the Champion Hurdle, the main contenders have already been up against each other.

That just adds extra spice and intrigue into what is already one of the top fixtures of National Hunt racing.

The last horse to complete a hattrick in the Champion Hurdle was the great Istabraq when he landed the 2000 score.

Other famous winners of this race include Hatton’s Grace, Persian War, Hardy Eustance, Hurricane Fly, Fuagheen and more recently Epatante and Honeysuckle.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy contenders – 15th March 2022

HONEYSUCKLE is a commanding 4/9 odds-on favourite in the ante-post Champion Hurdle betting at the moment* (odds recorded at 19:18 GMT on February 28th, 2022 at Unibet).

Henry de Bromhead’s brilliant mare took this race last year by more than six lengths ahead of Sharjah who she then beat again in the Paddy Power Champion Hurdle at Punchestown a month later.

The 8-year-old has only had two runs since that April 2021 win at Punchestown.

But she won them both, the most recent coming at Leopardstown with a comfortable score ahead of Zanahiyr who will likely be opposing her at the Cheltenham Festival too.

APPRECIATE IT is taking an interesting approach to the Cheltenham Festival as he is going to be going there cold.

The Willie Mullins-trained 8-year-old is going straight to the Champion Hurdle without a prep-run this season.

The last time he was seen was in last year’s Supreme Novices, a race which he bolted up in to win by 24 lengths. Is the extended break a big concern?

It depends on how you look at it because a trend in Champion Hurdle betting is that ones that had won within 180 days of the race were successful in this championship fixture.

But Appreciate it has gone well from fresh before, so he could still enter calculations.

202 winner EPATANTE, who was third on his title defence last year, has started this National Hunt season well.

There have been back to back wins for him in the two Triple Crown Hurdles races so far, getting the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and then the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

So the French challenger and former winner, is red hot right now.

TEAHUPOO has been cut for success in the Champion Hurdle odds after a Grade 2 win at Gowran Park in mid-February.

He is now into a quote of 8/1 in Champion Hurdle odds * (odds recorded at 19:18 GMT on February 28th, 2022 at Unibet)

He has been talked up a lot recently and may bring some claims to the table for trainer Gordon Elliott.

ZANAHIYR has been in good shape this season as well, with a victory and three straight runners-up spots in Grade 1 contests.

He is super consistent. Will the 5-year-old have enough to kick on and deliver more?

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Trends Cheltenham 2022

For the next part of this Champoin Hurdle Betting 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 1 fixture.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Trainer Statistics

As is so often the case at the Cheltenham Festival, the leading trainers in the Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy are Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins.

Henderson just edges things at the moment with a 5-4 lead over Mullins across the last twenty renewals.

Henderson has seen Buveur D’Air (twice) and Eptatnte get there for him all within the last five renewals of this race.

No other active trainer has managed to win it more than once in that sequence.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Jockey Statistics

The jockey statistics are wide open really because there are only two active jockeys who have won the Champion Hurdle in the last decade.

Those were Mark Walsh on 2019 winner Epsoir Allen and Rachael Blackmore on Honeysuckle last year.

Before that, it was pretty much always a fight between the retired Ruby Walsh, Barry Geraghty and Noel Fehily for top honours.

Other Key Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Trends

A common trend to have cropped up in the Champion Hurdle is runners arriving in good form for the season.

Each of the last 20 renewals have been won by a horse who had taken a score within the previous 180 days.

All had placed between 1-3 in the previous 90 days as well, which makes Appreciate It’s lack of a prep-run an interesting tactic.

Other trends for Champion Hurdle racing include each of the last 20 renewals being won by a horse that had at least five career wins and who had made between 2-7 starts in the previous 12 months.

All but one had won within 3 starts of their Champion Hurdles success as well.

Closer to the time of the Festival, keep an eye out for our full Champion Hurdle betting tips which will analyse the field in more depth.

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2021 Review

Most of the build-up towards the 2021 Champion Hurdle on the Cheltenham Festival Day 1 surrounded Epatante’s potential title defence.

It didn’t happen for the brilliant French hurdler however who had to settle for third. He never really found his groove in the contents.

Honeysuckle was tracking the leader well, approaching the fourth from last and then moved into the lead after a superb jump over the penultimate hurdle.

She eventually pulled away to a score of more than six lengths for jockey Rachael Blackmore.

Sharjah was well in the mix two from home, but he was squeezed out a little there and basically had nothing left to come up with a challenge to Honeysuckle’s pace and power at the finish.

Honeysuckle had been the 11/10 FAV in Champion Hurdle betting odds.

Cheltenham Festival 2022 Day 1


Day 1 Cheltenham Festival Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophies 2022

  • 13:30 The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
  • 14:10 The Sporting Life Arkle Challenge Trophy Steeple Chase
  • 14:50 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase
  • 15:30 The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
  • 16:10 The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
  • 16:50 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
  • 17:30 The National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Steeple Chase


Bet at Unibet

Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Former Winners

Year Winner 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 5/1F 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 Jessica Harrington
2013 Hurricane Fly 13/8F Ruby Walsh Wilie Mullins
2012 Rock On Ruby 11/1 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls
2011 Hurricane Fly 11/4F Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins


Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Betting Offers

Bookmaker Unibet is Best Odds Guaranteed for all UK & IRE horse races. That means that if your selection wins at a larger SP than your price taken on that runner, then the bookmaker will pay you at bigger odds.

So for example, if you had made a bet at 6/1 and they won the race at 8/1, you get paid at the 8/1 odds thanks to the Unibet BOG.

Best Odds Guaranteed offer is available daily from 8 am on the day of the race on all UK and Ireland horse racing bets. It applies to single and multiple bets. The offer is not available on ante-post, non-runner no bet, tote/ pari-mutuel (bets and dividends), not to win, enhanced win, cover bets and in-play bets.

Key T&Cs: Offer applies to customers located in the UK, Ireland, and Belgium only. Best Odds Guaranteed offer is available daily from 8 am on the day of the race on all UK and Ireland horse racing bets. It applies to single and multiple bets. The offer is not available on ante-post, non-runner no bet, tote/ pari-mutuel (bets and dividends), not to win, enhanced win, cover bets and in-play bets. Bets placed using a free balance do not qualify for Best Odds Guaranteed.

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