The feature race on day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival is the Champion Hurdle.
This brings together the fastest horses over two miles in a test of speed and of course jumping ability over the hurdles.
We have seen some fantastic winners of the race over the past decade, and the winner this year will write their name up against some of the greats.
This is often a great clash between UK and Irish trainers too, and those who bet on Cheltenham need to decide which they are siding with.
A race that completely hinges on Epatante and how she reacts after defeat in the Christmas Hurdle. At her best, as we saw in the 2020 Champion Hurdle and also in the Fighting Fifth this season, she is a class above anything in this field.
She does have a new challenger though, with fellow mare Honeysuckle choosing a tilt at the Champion Hurdle rather than aiming to win the Mares Hurdle again.
For us, the best way to approach the race is to look at an each way alternative, then regardless of what Epatante does, you have a chance of placing.
Silver Streak was the horse to beat Epatante, he should have won at Cheltenham in his race prior to that too, he is seemingly really coming of age this season. In a division lacking depth, Silver Streak should be right around the places, whether Epatante fires or not.
Epatante and Honeysuckle are at the head of the market, and one of these two will emerge as favourite on the day.
Honeysuckle is currently 2/1 while Epatante is 10/3 and don’t forget Goshen, who has climbed back into contention for this race after a big win at Wincanton recently, he is 4/1.
The likes of Silver Streak, Sharjah and Abracadas are likely to be the main horses attracting each way money in the race, and that could see their odds shorten on the day.
Odds correct at time of publication