Elite Hurdle Odds

Verdana Blue won the 2018 Elite Hurdle for Nicky Henderson and Jerry McGrath.
Verdana Blue won the 2018 Elite Hurdle for Nicky Henderson and Jerry McGrath.

Run over just shy of two miles, the Elite Hurdle is a seen as an early season indicator for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, and you can view the odds for the 2020 renewal a little closer to the time.  

Elite Hurdle Tips 

The Elite Hurdle is seen as an early season indicator for the Champion Hurdle, and our tip for the 2020 renewal will appear here closer to the time.

What is the Elite Hurdle? 

Run over just shy of two miles, the Elite Hurdle is a Grade 2 contest held at Wincanton in November, and traditionally acts as an early season indicator for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Paul Nicholls has an excellent record at his local track, and has won this race on seven occasions - most recently with Irving in 2015. 

What happened in the 2019 Elite Hurdle? 

The field for the 2019 Elite Hurdle was a select one, and quickly boiled down to a match race between a Paul Nicholls runner, Grand Sancy, and a Nicky Henderson runner, Fusil Raffles. The latter was sent off as the 7/4-on favourite after a Grade 1-winning campaign as a juvenile last term, though he was made to work hard by his market rival; who only asserted after the final flight, eventually scoring by three quarters of a length - highlighting himself as a lively outsider for the Champion Hurdle in the process.

The history of the Elite Hurdle

Established in 1992, the Elite Hurdle was initially held at Cheltenham over slightly further than two miles, before being switched to Wincanton and its present distance in 1994. Although it is seen as an indicator for the Champion Hurdle, no horse has ever won the Elite Hurdle and then followed up at the Cheltenham Festival.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Elite Hurdle? 

Several notable names have won the Elite Hurdle over the years, though the most recognisable is perhaps the Paul Nicholls-trained Azertyuiop, who won the race back in 2001. Azertyuiop would prove to be a more talented chaser than a hurdler, winning the Arkle Challenge Trophy in 2003, before following up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase a year later.

Are there any trials for the Elite Hurdle? 

The Elite Hurdle is a traditional scene for a reappearance run, meaning that there are no trials as such for the race. It does however act as a platform to bigger and better things later in the season, and horses who take their chance in the Elite Hurdle tend to target races such as the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle, the International Hurdle at Cheltenham, the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and the Aintree Hurdle. 

Who is the most successful jockey in the Elite Hurdle? 

The winning most jockey in the history of the Elite Hurdle is Daryl Jacob, with four wins. Jacob's three wins came courtesy of Celestial Halo (2011), Zarkandar (2012), Sceau Royal (2016) and Fusil Raffles (2019).

Who is the most successful trainer in the Elite Hurdle? 

The joint-winning most trainer in the history of the Elite Hurdle is Paul Nicholls with seven wins. Nicholls' seven wins in the race came courtesy of Azertyuiop (2001), Santenay (2002), Perouse (2004), Celestial Halo (2009, 2011), Zarkandar (2012) and Irving (2015).

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