Irish Champion Hurdle Odds

Faugheen was an excellent winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2016
Faugheen was an excellent winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2016

The Irish Champion Hurdle is always jam packed with star names at Leopardstown and that ensures the betting for the big race tends to be hugely competitive. The betting for the big race will be on this page as soon as the markets are released.

Irish Champion Hurdle Tips

The Irish Champion Hurdle looks set to be a cracker, and you can find our tip for Saturday's race below...

What is the Irish Champion Hurdle?

The Irish Champion Hurdle is a Grade One horse race run over a trip of two miles at Leopardstown racecourse in early February. In total there are eight hurdles to be jumped in a race which is widely considered to be one of the most prestigious in the sport with the cream of the Irish trained hurdlers clashing for the right to be called the best.

The Irish Champion Hurdle is a massive contest on its own but it also acts as one of the key final trials for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March with a number of the Leopardstown runners likely to ahead across the Irish Sea for a tilt at more big race glory.

The race is now one of the key contests during the two-day Dublin Racing Festival at the Irish venue and has been won by some of the most legendary equine stars in the history of the sport.

What happened in the 2021 Irish Champion Hurdle?

Henry de Bromhead's Honeysuckle produced a phenomenal front-running display to win back-to-back Irish Champion Hurdles, as the wonder mare handed a real beating to the likes of Abacadabras and Sharjah in a dominant victory in the Grade 1 Leopardstown showpiece. Sent a few lengths clear by Rachael Blackmore, Honeysuckle maintained a clear advantage and pulled well clear of the rest of the field to cruise to success, and duly book her spot in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

The history of the Irish Champion Hurdle

First run in 1950, the Irish Champion Hurdle is one of the most important races of the season in Ireland with the best in the division set to clash at Leopardstown.

The race is known as the equivalent of the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival with a number of horses likely to run in both contests at the highest level.

It is the biggest hurdle race of the season Ireland alongside the Punchestown Champion Hurdle and it is now one of the feature races of the Dublin Racing Festival. The race has had a number of different sponsors down the years including AIG and Toshiba although it has been under the BHP banner since 2011.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Irish Champion Hurdle?

The Irish Champion Hurdle roll of honour is second to none with legendary horses littered across the honours board.

Brilliant horses like Flyingbolt, L'Escargot, Dawn Run and Istabraq have graced Leopardstown down the years and deserve special mention but it is Hurricane Fly who stands alone. The great Willie Mullins trained horse simply dominated the Irish Champion Hurdle with a remarkable five wins on the bounce between 2011 and 2015 as he put together one of the great racing careers.

The Willie Mullins trained horse would also win two Champion Hurdle's at Cheltenham but it was at the Dubline venue where he tended to be at his best, what a horse!

Are there any trials for the Irish Champion Hurdle?

There is a clear programme for the hurdlers in Ireland at the highest level with the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in mid-November perhaps the first starting point for the horses likely to end up in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

The December Festival Hurdle over course and distance is also a race to follow over the Christmas period with that the key contest over the festive period for the best in the business. There is an outside chance we could see a runner from the UK to head over for the big race at the Dublin racing Festival but with Cheltenham now dominating, that is becoming less likely.

Who is the most successful jockey in the Irish Champion Hurdle?

Charlie Swan and Ruby Walsh share the record for the most wins in the Irish Champion Hurdle with six wins each to their name. Swan scored with Nordic Surprise (1991), Istabraq (1998, 1999, 2000 + 2001) and Like-A-Butterfly (2003), while Walsh was successful on Brave Inca (2009), Hurricane Fly (2012, 2013, 2014 + 2015) and Faugheen (2016).

Who is the most successful trainer in the Irish Champion Hurdle?

Willie Mullins has dominated Irish jumps racing over the past 20 years and that has certainly been the case in the Irish Champion Hurdle with six wins in the race. The Closutton handler has won the Leopardstown contest with Hurricane Fly (2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 + 2015) and Faugheen (2016).

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