Champion Hurdle Trends

Past Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2017 Buveur d’Air 8 Noel Fehily Nicky Henderson
2016 Annie Power 6 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2015 Faugheen 7 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2014 Jezki 6 Barry Geraghty Jessica Harrington
2013 Hurricane Fly 9 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2012 Rock On Ruby 7 Noel Fehily Paul Nicholls
2011 Hurricane Fly 7 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2010 Binocular 6 Tony McCoy Nicky Henderson
2009 Punjabi 6 Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2008 Katchit 5 Robert Thornton Alan King

Trends

Key Trends

  1. 7 of the last 10 winners won last time out, as did 23 of the last 28.
    Last time out winners made up less than half of the total field (45%) but filled 60% of the total places on offer (including 70% of the winners).
    In the last 5 years, these horses filled slightly less of the total places (53% from 47% of the total field. However, there has only been one exception in terms of winners in the last 5 years (Jezki in 2014).
  2. 8 of the last 10 winners were aged 6-8.
    The exceptions were Hurricane Fly, who was 9 when winning his second Champion Hurdle in 2013, and Katchit, who was 5 when he won in 2008.
    Horses between the ages of 6 and 8 took up 67% of the total places from 61% of the total field in the last 10 years.
    In the last 5 years, this record has become marginally stronger – 67% of the total places from 57% of the total field, with Hurricane Fly having been the exception in 2013.
    However, the main source of this over-performance was 6yo’s (37% of the places, including 30% of the winners, from 28% of the total field). 7yo’s filled just 13% of the total places from 18% of the total field, but this did include 30% of the winners. 8yo’s filled 17% of the total places (including 10% of the winners) from 15% of the total field.
    In the last 5 years, 2 of the winners have been aged 6 (Buveur D’Air and Jezki) and these horses filled 40% of the total places from 31% of the total field.
  3. 9 of the last 10 winners had previously won a grade 1 race
    These horses filled 83% of the total places in the last 10 years from 63% of the total field.
    In the last 5 years, they filled 93% of the total places from 67% of the total field.
  4. 10 of the last 10 winners had at least placed in a grade 1 race
    These horses filled 90% of the total places in the last 10 years from 73% of the total field.
    Their record in the last 5 years alone is more impressive – 100% of the total places from 76% of the total field.
  5. 10 of the last 10 winners (and 19 of the last 20) were in the top 2 in the market on their last start before the Champion Hurdle.
    This trend has held strong over the last 20 years, in which time the horses took up 61% of the total field but 95% of the total winners and 83% of the total placed horses.
    In just the last 5 years, these horses filled 87% of the total places (including all of the last 5 winners) from 69% of the total field.
    Furthermore, 10 of the last 10 winners went off at 9/2 or shorter on their last start. These horses filled 87% of the total places from 69% of the total field in the last 5 years.
  6. 10 of the last 10 winners had won at least 5 races in their careers
    These horses filled 87% of the total places in the last 10 years from 71% of the total field.
    In the last 5 years, they filled 87% of the total places from 73% of the total field.
  7. 8 of the last 10 winners had won at least 5 races over hurdles
    These horses filled 67% of the total places from 43% of the total field in the last 10 years.
    In the last 5 years, they filled 73% of the total places from 49% of the total field.
  8. 8 of the last 10 winners were officially rated 159 or higher.
    In the last 10 years, these horses filled 83% of the total places from 58% of the total field.
    In the last 5 years, they’ve filled 73% of the total places from 53% of the total field.
  9. 10 of the last 10 winners had won a race that season.
    In the last 10 years, these horses accounted for 73% of the total field but managed to fill 90% of the total places.
    Focusing on the last 10 years, these horses filled 87% of the total places from 69% of the total field.
  10. 7 of the last 10 winners were Irish-bred
    6 of the last 7 winners fit this trend, with the exception having been last year’s winner, French-bred Buveur D’Air. In the last 10 years, the Irish-bred horses have filled 60% of the total places from 52% of the total field.
    However, in the last 5 years this record has become stronger – 67% of the total places (including 80% of the winners) from just 45% of the total field.
  11. 8 of the last 10 winners were placed on all completed starts this season
    It’s worth noting that one of the exceptions came in 2010, when only one horse in the whole field had placed on all of their completed starts that season (finished unplaced).  In the last 10 years, these horses filled 57% of the total places from 37% of the total field.
    However, this has become a bit weaker in the last 5 years, with these horses filling just 47% of the total places from 41% of the total field. 4 of the last 5 winners had made the frame on all of their completed starts that season (all of the last 3) but only one of the 6 other horses to make the frame in the last 3 years fit the trend. It may be the case that while this is a plus for a horse aiming to win the race, it’s far from a necessity in order to make the frame.
  12. 9 of the last 10 winners had previously won a grade 1 hurdle
    There’s a significant over-performance here, with these horses filling 83% of the total places from 60% of the total field in the last 10 years.
    In the last 5 years, this one has become even stronger – grade one winners filled 93% of the total places (including all of the last 5 winners) from just 63% of the total field.
  13. 10 of the last 10 winners had previously placed at the festival
    In the last 10 years, these horses filled 77% of the total places from 63% of the total field.
    This has become even stronger in the last 5 years, with these horses filling 93% of the total places from 73% of the total field (Petit Mouchoir in 3rd last year was the only horse to make the frame in the last 5 years without having previously placed at the festival).
    However, this can be narrowed down further:
    8 of the last 10 winners finished in the top 4 at the previous festival
    The over-performance of these horses is even greater than the previous group. In the last 10 years, these horses filled 80% of the total places from 53% of the total field.
    In the last 5 years, they did even better, filling 87% of the total places from 57% of the total field.

Other Trends

  1. 10 of the last 10 winners had won at least two races at left-handed tracks
    These horses filled 97% of the total places from 83% of the total field in the last 10 years.
    In the last 5 years, the record hasn’t been quite as strong – 93% of the total places from 86% of the total field.
  2. 19 of the last 20 winners (the last 19) didn’t run in a handicap last time out.
    This was despite almost a fifth of the total field in the last 20 years (17%) having run in a handicap last time out. These horses filled 13% of the total places.
  3. 9 of the last 10 winners (and 19 of the last 20) had their last start over 2m 1f or shorter.
    The exception was Annie Power in 2016, who had her prep run over 2m 4f. However, there is no significant over-performance among these horses. They accounted for 95% of the total field and filled 90% of the total places in the last 10 years.
  4. 7 of the last 10 winners had had 9-25 starts over hurdles.
    The 3 exceptions were Rock On Ruby in 2012, Faugheen in 2015 and Buveur Dair in 2017. It may be worth noting that the latter two were both unbeaten over hurdles. These horses filled 60% of the total places from 61% of the total field.

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