Technically known as the “Two Mile Hurdle Race”, the prestigious Stan James Champion Hurdle usually takes place on the second or third Tuesday in March every year. This horseracing event is one of the biggest in the National Hunt calendar, which sees only the best hurdlers run for consecutive years, with many of these bagging the first prize more than once or found themselves consistently placed.
The contest is open to horses aged four years and over and in 2016, there was a total prize fund of over £400,000. Multiple winners in The Champion Hurdle are not uncommon, which you can read about in this article. A total of 28 racehorses will take to the track on Tuesday 14th March 2017.
Willie Mullins, the Irish horse trainer and former jockey has been seen in recent years with victorious horses; 2011 with Ruby Walsh riding favourite Hurricane Fly at 11/4 and 2013 again with Ruby Walsh riding favourite Hurricane Fly at 13/8. Conor O’Dwyer rode Hardy Eustace to victory in 2004 and 2005 thanks to Dessie Hughes, the successful Irish trainer and jockey.
Looking at other statistics, we see Brave Inca winning the race in 2006 with the jockey Tony McCoy and the following year, he managed to win second place. In 2008, Punjabi crossed the finishing line in third position but 12 months later, he was first past the post at odds of 22/1 with jockey Barry Geraghty.
Over the last 2 decades, there have been a total of 19 races (this should have been 20, but the 2001 event was cancelled due to the foot and mouth crisis), that has seen half a dozen 6-year old winners, seven 4-year olds, four 8-year olds and two 9-year old horses being first past the post.
In the last 6 years, Stan James ambassador; Nicky Henderson has won two renewals with Willie Mullins winning four.