The Champion Hurdle

This is a famous race at the Cheltenham Festival, admitting horses aged four years and above. It is a hurdle race inaugurated in 1927, and it is currently under the sponsorship of Unibet. The race is held at the Cheltenham Racecourse whose surface is made of turf.

Race Type and Surface

The Grade 1 race is run on the left-hand side track, and it covers a distance of 3,298 metres on the Old Course. Their sponsorship conditions with the gaming company have resulted in a change in its naming, and it is now the Unibet Champion Hurdle. The annual event has eight hurdles over the distance of the race.

Prestige

In the National Hunt calendar, the Unibet Champion Hurdle is widely regarded as the most prestigious race. Blaris first won the high-end event in 1927, and his owner took home a cash prize of £365. The following year, an Irish horse named Brown Jack won it in 1928.

Setbacks and Comebacks

The race has had a fair share of setbacks, some of them resulting in cancellation and, in some cases, postponement of the race. One time in 1931, the race did not take place due to continuous frost on the race day. The following year, it attracted only three competitors. World War 2 also caused negative effects to the event in 1943 and 1944, causing it to be cancelled.

Despite these challenges, the race always came back stronger, with records being set, some of which are yet to be broken to date. Five winners won the race three times. This is the most a single horse has won in the grade one race. They include Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq. Nicky Henderson is the leading trainer, having trained five different winning horses and winning it a record eight times.