The Champion Hurdle
The Champion Hurdle remains one of the standout renewals of the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, and super-trainer Willie Mullins will be looking to make a bold statement for the rest of the week after supplementing Annie Power in the race.
Mullins had hoped to have Faugheen in the mix, but an injury has brought down the two-time Cheltenham winner. Annie Power, installed as the early 2/1 favourite with numerous bookmakers including Bet365 and her namesake Paddy, has rather large shoes to fill.
Many punters won’t forget her fall in the Mares’ Hurdle at last year’s festival when well placed. She was the short-priced favourite who was set to be the last leg in a ‘Mullins multiple’, but after a heavy landing at the last flight bettors’ hopes for a dream start to the week were shattered.
The main competition will come from the Nicky Henderson yard, which has a quintet of confirmed entrants. Perhaps the standout of these is My Tent Or Yours, available from 10/1 with William Hill and Coral, who will be ridden by the multiple-time Cheltenham winner Barry Geraghty.
Another runner, Nichols Canyon, has already been backed in to 11/2 with SkyBet. He is the only horse to have ever beaten the seemingly unstoppable Faugheen when he romped home in the Morgiana Hurdle at Punchestown in November, and a third place finish in last year’s competitive Supreme Novices Hurdle renewal suggests he is up to rigours of the festival.
The latest odds for the Champion Hurdle, which will be run on Tuesday March 15 at 3:30pm can be found on our site. One thing is for sure: without Faugheen, this race is wide open.