Champion Hurdle 2022 Guide

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
4
Jonathan Burke

Not So Sleepy

J: Jonathan Burke
T: Hughie Morrison
N/A
Age: 10
Weight: 11-10
OR: 159
Days: 79

Disappointing in the G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton when finishing last of five. Prior to that, he gamely forced Epatante to a dead heat in the G1 Fighting Fifth hurdle in November.

Off the track since late December, he ought to be fresh which is a positive, I just wonder if he has the class to really trouble the Irish horses.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
08/10/22NMK18Gd9-53
01/07/22SAN16Gd9-25
14/06/22ASC14GF9-69
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-106
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-75
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
9
Aidan Coleman

Epatante

J: Aidan Coleman
T: Nicky Henderson
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-3
OR: 153
Days: 79

Unbeaten this season (one dead heat) after issues with her back, Epatante looks somewhere near her best again.

She took the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton in decisive fashion, beating Glory And Fortune, Soaring Glory and Not So Sleepy. 

She travelled and jumped fine there, as previously she has looked rather keen, and her "back issues" may have hindered her hurdling efficiency.

With the back issues reportedly sorted, she will still need to improve to beat Honeysuckle, to regain her Champion Hurdle crown. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/04/22PUN19Gd11-53
07/04/22AIN20GS11-01
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-32
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-01
27/11/21NCS16GS11-01
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
2
Paul Townend

Appreciate It

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-10
OR: 160
Days: 364

Last year’s devastating winner of the Supreme Novices’ hurdle. He carried all before him in the novice hurdle division last year and looked a potential star.

He was earmarked to go chasing, but for injuries this didn’t materialise. He was also due to run at the Dublin Racing Festival but missed that engagement.

Willie Mullins is a master of his craft and you’d have to take his fitness on trust, as he’s not run since his festival win last year.

The chief danger to Honeysuckle, fascinating runner.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-107
16/03/21CHL16.5Sft11-71
07/02/21LEO16Sft/Hy11-121
27/12/20LEO16Sft11-121
22/11/20COR16Hy12-01
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
10
Rachael Blackmore

Honeysuckle

J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-3
OR: 165
Days: 37

Unbeaten in 15 starts (one p2p) the Queen of racing will look to stamp her authority on the 2m division once again.

Impressive winner of this last year against lesser opposition and prior to that a Mares Hurdle success, Honeysuckle has superb festival form.

This season she is 2/2, latterly winning the Irish Champion Hurdle, beating several of today's rivals. She won the race from the second last to the last, with her potent change of gear. Her trainer was out of form at the time, so her *argued* "idling from the back of the last" can be forgiven.

The one they all have to beat. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-51
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-31
06/02/22LEO16Y11-51
28/11/21FAI20Gd11-51
30/04/21PUN16Y11-71
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
5
Mark Walsh

Saint Roi

J: Mark Walsh
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 155
Days: 37

Winner of the 2020 County Hurdle at the festival, Saint Roi has ultimately been a shade disappointing since. He has looked to have struggled since, only winning one from six attempts.

He looks to be safely held by the likes of Zanahiyr and Honeysuckle. Needs to improve on his recent efforts to have any sort of say in the finish.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
30/06/22TIP16Y11-13
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-124
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-104
06/02/22LEO16Y11-124
29/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-123
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
3
Stan Sheppard

Glory And Fortune

J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 148
Days: 31

Improving all the time, this Tom Lacey trained gelding took the Betfair Hurdle last time out.

Prior to that he ran excellently, splitting Epatante (1st) and Soaring Glory (3rd) in the G1 Christmas Hurdle at Kempton.

He’s undeniably progressing, he might just find this well above his level.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/10/22FFO16Gd11-124
07/04/22AIN20GS11-74
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-105
12/02/22NBY16.5GS11-81
26/12/21KEM16Sft11-72
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
7
Danny McMenamin

Tommy's Oscar

J: Danny McMenamin
T: Ann Hamilton
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-10
OR: 156
Days: 52

An admirable horse who's plied his trade in handicaps, before taking the Champion Hurdle trial at Haydock in comfortable fashion.

The level of opposition he's faced is considerably lower than what he will face today, but he's an improving horse and he's entitled to take his chance.

Unlikely to want such a class test. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
12/11/22CHL16Gd11-42
13/10/22CRL16Gd11-101
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-109
22/01/22HAY15.5Sft11-41
01/01/22MUS15.5GS11-51
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
8
Jack Kennedy

Zanahiyr

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 160
Days: 37

Another 5yo in the field for trainer Gordon Elliot, Zanahiyr has been frustrating to follow. He won the WKD hurdle at Down Royal in October, but thereafter, he's finished 2nd to either Sharjah or Honeysuckle in three starts since.

He's definitely running *to* this level, but he would need to up his game considerably if he wants to trouble the likes of Honeysuckle and Appreciate It.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/04/22AIN20GS11-7F
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-103
06/02/22LEO16Y11-122
29/12/21LEO16Y/Sft11-122
14/11/21PUN16Gd/Y11-122
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
1
Tom Scudamore

Adagio

J: Tom Scudamore
T: David Pipe
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 152
Days: 24

Second to Goshen last time out in the Kingwell hurdle when ultimately outbattled. This was off a break since November, and he travelled like the winner towards the business end of the race and traded long odds on in running.

With that run to blow away the cobwebs, this improving horse might be underestimated in the betting, with solid course form to his name.

Each way chance.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-125
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-108
19/02/22WCN15Sft11-72
14/11/21CHL16.5Gd11-122
08/04/21AIN17GS11-02
Cheltenham - March 15 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
6
Robbie Power

Teahupoo

J: Robbie Power
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-10
OR: 162
Days: 24

An improving 5yo for Gordon Elliot and the Robcour family. Unbeaten so far this season, he's won two G3's and a G2, beating some nice horses, but none of those on the level of the chief market principals in Honeysuckle and Appreciate It.

He bolted up last time in the Red Mills hurdle at Gowran Park, in really testing ground and pulled clear of some talented horses.

Yet to reach his ceiling, but there's a suspicion that this high standard might ask too much of him at this stage in his career.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/04/22PUN16Gd/Y11-126
15/03/22CHL16.5GS11-1010
19/02/22GOW16Hy11-101
29/12/21LIM16Hy11-101
06/11/21NAA16Y11-81

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