The Champion Hurdle is a grade one national hunt event that takes place in Cheltenham in March of each year over a 2 miles and ½ furlong, 8 hurdle course. It’s part of the much anticipated four day Cheltenham Festival, taking place on day one of the festival, and has attracted a wealth of racing talent since its inaugural run in 1927.
As a, or possibly ‘the’, highly anticipated hurdling event of the season, the Champion Hurdle understandably has been won by some very big names, such as three time winners See You Then and Instabraq, as well as the talented Persian War. The purse for the Champion Hurdle is currently £400,000, so it’s come a long way from the 1927 race when the prize money was £365. The Nicky Henderson trained Buveur d’Air has impressed in the Champion Hurdle in recent years, winning both the 2017 and 2018 races.
Henderson is actually the leading trainer over the entire history of the race, with a total of seven wins to his name. As he works closely with J. P. McManus, it’s surely no surprise to hear that Mcmanus is the leading owner to date. Leading jockey honours are split between Ruby Walsh and 1950’s jockey Tim Molony, both on four wins a piece.