Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Betting Tips & Odds 2018
15.30 The UniBet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
The Unibet Champion Hurdle is the feature race on Day One and one of four Championship races at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival, five if you choose to include the Ryanair Chase.
In 2017, Nicky Henderson’s Buveur D’Air produced a terrific display of power and class to win and he is Cheltenham betting favourite to follow up in 2018 after a flawless build up to defending his Champion Hurdle crown.
Cheltenham Day 4 Betting Offers
Champion Day itself is one of the most special on the horse racing calendar and the famous “Cheltenham Roar” starts off a three race build up to the big race itself, which is worth £450,000 in prize money and far more in terms of the lustre of winning a Champion Hurdle.
Can the 2017 champ defend his crown? Will 2016 winner Faugheen come steaming back to top form, or will a newcomer have their name written on the Roll of Honour?
Champion Hurdle Betting Tip: Is it Buveur d’Air’s for the taking?
Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle is remembered for some of the greats of National Hunt racing, Sea Pigeon, See You Then, Istabraq, Hardy Eustace and, more recently, Hurricane Fly. Of course all of these greats have one thing in common – they all won the race more than once.
But the truth is, the very best Champion Hurdle form can be found in the previous year’s race. Amazingly, in recent times, it is the third placed finisher from 12 months beforehand that has given us the greatest number of winners. Brave Inca, 2006 winner, Punjabi (2009), Binocular (2010) and Hurricane Fly (2013) all finished third in the previous year’s rendition of the two-mile hurdle championship.
With last year’s third, Petit Mouchoir, not amongst this year’s runners, this looks to be a done deal for defending champion Buveur d’Air. The Nicky Henderson trained runner certainly has the credentials, being unbeaten in his last nine starts over timber.
The French-bred, owned by JP McManus, is now seven years old which is the optimum age when it comes to this race. He has been imperious in his three victories this season and Henderson has won the Champion Hurdle no less than three times in the past. Buveur d’Air clearly has the best Cheltenham form when it comes to the home defence of the Champion Hurdle but, at a top-priced 4/7 (1.57) with Paddy Power he represents no value.
Faugheen The Machine
2015 Champion Hurdle winner, Faugheen, is a real fly in the ointment however. Trainer Willie Mullins has won this race four times in the past seven years and Faugheen was an awesome Champion Hurdle winner in 2015.
He may have spent 22 months on the side lines but returned from that enormous lay off to score with consummate ease at Punchestown back in November. Two subsequent runs may not have gone to plan but Faugheen’s lifetime record still stands at 16 starts for 13 wins and two seconds.
Twice a visitor to the Cheltenham Festival and twice a winner, Faugheen has started favourite for every race in his career. So, he is a proper each-way price for the 2018 Champion Hurdle at best odds of 7/1 with Bet Stars.
Set up Camp with Tent
But we are going to be even more intrepid in the hope that the 2018 Cheltenham Festival gives us a good-to-soft going and the Champion Hurdle is run at a good pace because, if it is, My Tent Or Yours could become a serious player.
Placed in 19 out of a 20 start career, My Tent Or Yours has finished runner-up in three Champion Hurdles (2014, 2015 & 2017). Yes, he missed 2016 but that came during a 23-month stint off the track through injury.
Possibly the most under-rated horse in training, My Tent Or Yours, can certainly pick up any broken pieces left behind by Faugheen and, in a race which may cut-up into a small field, he looks to be an outstanding each-way Cheltenham betting tip.
Let us not forget Min, Melon, Wicklow Brave and Yorkhill are all, like Faugheen, trained by Willie Mullins who may well find alternative assignments for many of these talented horses.
Recommended Champion Hurdle Betting Tip:
My Tent Or Yours (each way) at 10/1 with William Hill
Nicky Henderson holds a lot of aces for the Champion Hurdle, not least the 4/6 market leader and 2017 Champion, Buveur D’Air. Henderson also has My Tent Or Yours, who won the International Hurdle last time out.
Willie Mullins is likely to run Faugheen who won this race two years ago and priced now at 5/1. He returned in superb form before Christmas, but needs to put a poor run a Leopardstown behind him. Mullins also has the younger and very talented Melon, at a top price of 8/1 for last year’s Supreme Novice Hurdle runner-up.
Latest Champion Hurdle Betting Odds
- Buveur D’Air – 4/6
- Faugheen – 5/1
- Melon – 8/1
- My Tent Or Yours – 16/1
- Defi Du Seuil – 25/1
- Apple’s Jade – 25/1
- Mick Jazz – 33/1
- The New One – 40/1
- 50/1 bar
2017 Winner: BUVEUR D’AIR – 5/1
Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Betting Odds
Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy Race Card
- Recommended Brand
1Buveur D'AirJ B J Geraghty T N J Henderson111-11111-10 7169
2Ch'tibelloJ Harry Skelton T D Skelton132-42211-10 7154
3Charli ParcsJ N D Fehily T N J Henderson1F6-20011-10 5144
4ElginJ Wayne Hutchinson T A King7-4116111-10 6161
5FaugheenJ R Walsh T W P Mullins211/1P211-10 10167
6Identity ThiefJ S W Flanagan T H de BromheadU460-6211-10 8149
7John ConstableJ L P Aspell T Evan Williams0F-116211-10 7156
8MelonJ P Townend T W P Mullins122-13511-10 6160
9Mick JazzJ D N Russell T G Elliott31-351311-10 7156
10My Tent Or YoursJ Aidan Coleman T N J Henderson24222-111-10 11162
11Wicklow BraveJ Mr P W Mullins T W P Mullins1033/71-11-10 9164
12YorkhillJ D J Mullins T W P Mullins1112-8611-10 8155
13Verdana BlueJ Non Runner T N J Henderson43-513011-3 6145