Christmas Hurdle Odds

Buveur D'Air was a brilliant winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in 2017
Buveur D'Air was a brilliant winner of the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in 2017

The Christmas Hurdle is the main support race to the King George VI Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day, and we are sure to see an excellent betting heat as some of the best hurdlers in training clash in the famous race. We will have the odds for the 2021 Christmas Hurdle here in the days leading up to the race.

Christmas Hurdle Tips

The Christmas Hurdle regularly proves to be a fascinating affair, and you can find our tips for 2021 renewal here a little closer to the time.

What is the Christmas Hurdle?

The Christmas Hurdle is a Grade One race run over a trip of two miles at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

There are eight hurdles to be jumped during the race which forms leg two of the traditional "Triple Crown of Hurdling" alongside the Fighting Fifth and the Champion Hurdle itself during the Cheltenham Festival.

The Christmas Hurdle is a key trial race for the aforementioned Champion Hurdle and is often used by the major British contenders for that race each season. The King George takes the majority of the attention on the day but the Christmas Hurdle is a huge contest in its own right and is a firm fixture as one of the best races of the season for the two mile hurdling division.

What happened in the 2020 Christmas Hurdle?

This race revolved around the reigning Champion Hurdle winner Epatante, who had made a winning return in the previous month's Fighting Fifth at Newcastle and was a long odds on favourite to win this for a second year running.

A switch of tactics worked wonders for the admirable grey Silver Streak, who set a strong gallop from the outset, one which the mare wasn't able to live with in the closing stages. Having clattered the third flight from home, Epatante soon came off the bridle, and with the gap to the leader widening rather than shorting, Silver Streak was able to register a huge upset.

The history of the Christmas Hurdle

The Christmas Hurdle was first run in 1969 on Boxing Day at Kempton Park and has since grown into one of the key Grade One races of the jumps season.

A number of legendary horses have tasted success in the race, while four have completed the holy grail and gone on to win the Champion Hurdle later in the same season. Lanzarote, Dawn Run, Kribensis and Faugheen are the famous quartet to have achieved the double and it will be fascinating to see if that list can be added to in the next few years.

The Christmas Hurdle was part of the WBX scheme between 2006-2010 which offered a huge £million to any horse able to win the three legs of the hurdling triple crown.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Christmas Hurdle?

The Champion Hurdle division of the sport as thrown up too many legends to talk about over the past fifty years and plenty of them have stopped off and won the Christmas Hurdle on their way to stardom. There are a number of horses to consider in this iconic category including Birds Nest, Kribensis, Harchibald and Faugheen but it has to be dawn Run who sits top of the tree.

The only horse to have won a Champion Hurdle and a Gold Cup, the great mare won the Christmas Hurdle for connections in 1983 as she embarked on a career that would end up with her name being etched into the record books. Jonjo O'Neill rode for Paddy Mullins at Kempton as the five-year-old Dawn Run scored the first of what would be many big race wins.

Are there any trials for the Christmas Hurdle?

The obvious trial for the Christmas Hurdle is the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle with the best of the British sprinters often using both as the ideal stopping points throughout the winter. 

Punters are also well advised to watch last season's Champion Hurdle as they look for Kempton runners each season with the division often containing the same horses each campaign. The ante-post betting for the race will also be available in the weeks leading up to Boxing Day which will give punters the ideal chance to take a look at one or two runners who could well turn up on the big day over the festive period.

Who is the most successful jockey in the Christmas Hurdle?

AP McCoy had one of the greatest riding careers of all time and he certainly enjoyed his trips to Kempton on Boxing Day. McCoy won the Christmas Hurdle five times in total with Straw Bear (2207), Binocular (2010 + 2011), Darlan (2012) and My Tent Or Yours (2013) all scoring for the multiple champion.

Who is the most successful trainer in the Christmas Hurdle?

Few trainers can natch Nicky Henderson when it comes to glittering CV's with the Seven Barrows handler enjoying himself in this race over the years. Henderson has trained the Christmas Hurdle winner a remarkable eight times during his career with Geos (2000), Landing Light (2001), Binocular (2010 + 2011), Darlan (2012), My Tent Or Yours (2013), Buveur D'Air (2017) and Epatante (2019) all scoring.

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