Feature Races

Morgiana Hurdle Odds

Faugheen was an excellent winner of the Morgiana Hurdle for Willie Mullins back in 2017.
Faugheen was an excellent winner of the Morgiana Hurdle for Willie Mullins back in 2017.

The Morgiana Hurdle is one of the highlights of the season in Ireland, with some of the best hurdlers in the country clashing at Punchestown over two miles in the middle of November, and you can find the latest odds for the 2020 Morgiana Hurdle here a little closer to the time.

Morgiana Hurdle Tips

The Morgiana Hurdle regularly features a key Cheltenham Festival contender or two, and our tip for the 2020 renewal will appear here closer to the time.

What is the Morgiana Hurdle?

The Morgiana Hurdle is a Grade One race run over a trip of two miles at Punchestown Racecourse in Ireland, and traditionally takes place in mid-November.

The race is widely considered as the first key trial for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival for Irish-trained horses each winter, with the cream of the division in Ireland often clashing in the race. The best Irish trainers will always target the race with their best animals, and it has become a staple of the fixture list in the last 20 years in particular since being raised in grade.

The Morgiana is open to horses aged four and up and has a 7 lb allowance for fillies and mares.

What happened in the 2019 Morgiana Hurdle?

Although the field for the 2019 Morgiana Hurdle only contained five, it was an intriguing renewal, and the market was dominated by the previous season's Supreme Novices' Hurdle winner Klassical Dream, who was sent off as the 5/2-on favourite. Klassical Dream was one of three from the Willie Mullins yard, and he joined by stablemates Saldier and the previous year's Morgiana winner, Sharjah. The market seemed to suggest that the Mullins trio would dominate, though Sharjah ultimately disappointed, and both Klassical Dream and Saldier were left to fight out the finish with the Henry de Bromhead-trained Petit Mouchoir. It would be Saldier who finished strongest, and having looked likely to take the notable scalp of Espoir D'Allen at Naas last season before falling at the last on his previous start a year before, he catapulted himself to the top of the betting for the 2020 Champion Hurdle with victory here.

The history of the Morgiana Hurdle

First run in 1988, the Morgiana Hurdle has increased in prestige ever since, and is considered a key early season trial for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

Initially run over over a trip of two-and-a-half-miles, the Morgiana was dropped down to two miles in 1995. The race received a huge boost in 2006 when it was promoted to Grade 1 status, and it has been targeted by some of the best hurdlers in training ever since.

The Punchestown contest has been sponsored by various companies down the years, including Ballymore, Maplewood and Ladbrokes, and is currently run under the Unibet name as part of their sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle and some of its key trials.

Who is the most iconic winner of the Morgiana Hurdle?

The roll of honour for the Morgiana Hurdle is among the best in the sport, with a whole host of superstars claiming victory in the race at Punchestown over the years. Stand-out names include Moscow Flyer, Limestone Lad, Brave Inca and Faugheen, but it is the legendary Hurricane Fly who stands out.

The Willie Mullins horse was of course a dual winner of the Champion Hurdle during his best years, but he also managed three consecutive wins in the Morgiana Hurdle between 2012 and 2014. The iconic animal often used the race to start his season off, and he rarely disappointed his fans..

Are there any trials for the Morgiana Hurdle?

There are no clear trials for the Morgiana Hurdle given its early season position in the calendar, but there are some pointers available for punters looking to work out who might run in the race each year.

The previous season's edition is always the first place to start, as we have seen a number of multiple winners in recent years, while the same can be said of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham. Irish-trained horses that run well in that race at the Festival will often head to the Morgiana the following year.

Who is the most successful jockey in the Morgiana Hurdle?

All of the great Irish jockeys have tasted victory in the Morgiana Hurdle, but it is Paul Carberry who stands at the top of the pile, with six victories in the race. Carberry was known for his late runs on horses and won the Morgiana on Nomadic (1998), Limestone Lad (2001 & 2002), Harchibald (2004) Iktitaf (2006) and Jazz Messenger (2007).

Who is the most successful trainer in the Morgiana Hurdle?

Willie Mullins has dominated this race, and has won it on ten occasions - including each of the last eight renewals. The Closutton trainer has won the race with Padashpan (1993), Hurricane Fly (2012, 2013 & 2014), Nichols Canyon (2015 & 2016), Faugheen (2017), Sharjah (2018) and Saldier (2019).

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