Who Could Take The Champion Hurdle This Season?

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Who wins the 2020 Champion Hurdle?

The Champion Hurdle is the feature contest of the Tuesday at the Cheltenham festival and it sets the standard for what is set to take place on the track across the four days at Prestbury Park.

Last years winner Espoir D'Allen for trainer Gavin Cromwell was one of the most emphatic winners of the contest in its history bolting up by 15 lengths and although a shock winner, a very worthy one.

However, the five year old has suffered a season ending injury after only being back a week into training but this means the gelding will not be able to defend his title which now opens it up to many runners to go and write their names into Cheltenham folklore.

We have to start with two time winner of the race Buveur D'Air for Nicky Henderson who had a mixed season last year but many still fancied him to go on and gain a hat-trick of wins in the two mile contest, but it was not to be, falling a fair way out and seeing his chances of hall of fame status go down the drain.

However, he will be back sharp as ever this season and if not being a worse horse for his complications on the track last season he has to be respected.

Others that have previously ran in the race that can't be overlooked if having a stellar preparation in the run up to the Grade One contest is Melon for Willie Mullins who has finished second in the last two renewals of the contest.

Supasundae has been known for running better over further distances, especially at the Cheltenham festival when winning the Coral Cup and finishing second in the Stayers Hurdle in previous years.

But he has took the Punchestown Champion Hurdle and finished second in last years edition of the contest which means he may be prepped at a run at the big one on the Tuesday by his trainer Jessica Harrington.

All the talk was about Apple's Jade for the Champion Hurdle last season when she flopped, the same for Laurina who both look like they will be going for events over a further distance this season.

Klassical Dream

Now onto to the new crop of potential Champion Hurdlers and the first horse that comes to mind is the Supreme Novice Hurdle winner Klassical Dream that is another horse that can stay slightly further but has proved how good he is over two miles as well.

The Willie Mullins trained five year old is unbeaten in all four of his starts since moving over from France and as soon as Espoir D'Allen was ruled out for the season he was put in as the new ante-post market leader.

The JCB Truimph Hurdle winner at the Cheltenham festival Pentland Hills is another to take seriously stepping out of his juvenile shoes and now into the big boy field and he is another runner who could head into the contest being unbeaten.

He scored in another Grade One at Aintree in the Juvenile Hurdle which was much tighter than his Cheltenham win, just seeing off the Joseph O'Brien trained Fakir D'oudairies who is a four year old that could be something special in the upcoming season.

The JP McManus owned youngster won at Cheltenham before the festival and then looked like he needed further in the Supreme Novices Hurdle when finishing a staying on fourth.

However, he stayed at the same trip when taking on Pentland Hills but changed his tactics up of going from the front and setting the pace and it very nearly worked which allows for the Champion Hurdle to be an option for the 2020 festival.

The final horse to mention is another of Nicky Henderson's young recruits and Fussil Raffles was patiently waited on last season only racing twice, missing the Cheltenham and Grand National festival but stayed unbeaten in both his runs and in his final outing of the season showed what a special horse he could be.

He saw off the challenge of Fakir D'oudairies in the Punchestown Four Year Old Hurdle and it truly was a superb performance that adds him into the frame for the Cheltenham festival.

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