Outsiders for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival  

Here is the full list of outsiders for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival. Honeysuckle is the current champion of the Hurdle.

Staff Reporter
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Outsiders for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival | Sportz Point

You can imagine a lot of the talk around the Cheltenham Festival will be centred around Rachael Blackmore. Seeing as though the star jockey essentially pulled off a clean sweep last year behind closed doors, there is definitely some added pressure on Honeysuckle to maintain her unbeaten record and win the Champion Hurdle, which has meant other horses have gone under the radar.  

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While some people were unsure if she would take home the Irish Champion Hurdle, the Henry de Bromhead-trained eight-year-old reigned supreme in Dublin and maintained a perfect record — setting up an interesting spectacle when it comes to the Champion Hurdle. One of the most prestigious races on the four-day itinerary, consecutive wins in day one’s showpiece event will cement Blackmore’s name in the history books, having won last year, seeing off stiff competition from the likes of Sharjah and Epatante.  

This year’s race proves to be just as competitive, with a plethora of horses all capable of upsetting the champion hurdle betting, and with stands packed full of boisterous spectators watching on with anticipation, anything could happen. Let’s take a look at some outsiders for this year’s Champion Hurdle. 


After running two fantastic races in defeat in the Triumph Hurdle, Adagio will be looking to go one better when the Festival approaches next month. The David Pipe-trained horse, who admittedly has been absent since last November, but will be looking to overcome any pre-Christmas setbacks as he heads for the Champion Hurdle.  

With novices tending to dominate proceedings in previous years of the tender age of five-year-old Adagio, who in fairness has a respectable record with jockey Tom Scudamore, could well have a chance of kicking off the new year in style, and having returned to training in January, Pipe spoke enthusiastically about his return, saying: 

"He is certainly going the right way and is owned by an enthusiastic bunch of guys who are based in Ireland, Liverpool and all over the place. He is progressing and seems to stay very well." 

Tommy’s Oscar  

So often spectators will judge their winner based off recent form, and while Honeysuckle is the obvious candidate given her unbeaten career thus far, Tommy’s Oscar certainly can’t go overlooked. Ann Hamilton-trained Tommy’s Oscar has won his last four races, including an impressive win at Haydock where he finished well clear of the chase leaders like Global Citizen, with a strong performance from jockey Danny McMenamin proving influential.  

While the new terrain of Cheltenham could cause some issues for a horse that has largely only performed on flat tracks, given his recent run of good form and the unpredictability of a big Grade One race, there’s a real possibility the seven-year-old could snatch a win at Kempton Park. 


Of all Gordon Elliott’s picks for the Champion Hurdle, we think Zanahiyr has the best chance of an outside win against Honeysuckle, even though the five-year-old was beaten by her at Leopardstown. With Jack Kennedy aboard they tracked well but ultimately came up short, adding a new narrative in their rematch ahead of an already competitive race. He’s finished second in four of his recent races but now might be the time for Zanahiyr to finally get over the line.