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Unibet Champion Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£450,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 87y, Class 1  
Tuesday 12th March 2019

Unibet extends Champion Hurdle and Road to Cheltenham backing for a further five years

Cheltenham Racecourse has announced that Unibet has renewed its sponsorship of the Unibet Champion Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners until 2023.

As part of the significant five-year deal, Unibet is also continuing to back the Unibet Road to Cheltenham – four key races ahead of the £450,000 G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle, which is the highlight of Champion Day at The Festival™ presented by Magners, which next takes place on Tuesday, March 12, 2019.

Unibet is part of the Kindred Group, one of the largest online gambling companies in the world which previously backed the two-mile Champion Hurdle under the Stan James banner before this year’s renewal in March became the first with the Unibet name. Stan James, bought by the Kindred Group in 2015, first sponsored the Champion Hurdle in 2011.

Hurricane Fly
© Caroline Norris
Hurricane Fly

The Unibet Champion Hurdle has been won by outstanding horses since then, including Hurricane Fly, who became the first horse in 38 years to regain the hurdling showpiece when scoring for a second time in 2013.

Faugheen led home a remarkable 1-2-3 for trainer Willie Mullins in 2015, while Annie Power became only the fourth mare to win the hurdling championship when storming to victory in 2016.

Buveur D'Air
© Racehorse Photos
Buveur D'Air

The last two renewals of the Unibet Champion Hurdle have been won by Buveur D’Air and the seven-year-old, trained by Unibet ambassador Nicky Henderson, will be aiming to join a select group of great three-time winners – Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War, See You Then and Istabraq – when he defends his crown in March.

The full list of races in the Unibet Road to Cheltenham is:

Unibet Elite Hurdle (Grade 2) – Wincanton, Saturday, November 10, 2018

Unibet Greatwood Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) – Cheltenham, Sunday, November 18, 2018

Unibet International Hurdle (Grade 2) – Cheltenham, Saturday, December 15, 2018

Unibet Haydock Champion Hurdle Trial (Grade 2) – Haydock Park, Saturday, January 19, 2019

Unibet Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) – Cheltenham, Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Unibet ambassador Nicky Henderson, who has won the Unibet Champion Hurdle a record seven times, commented: “I am absolutely thrilled Unibet is continuing sponsorship of the Unibet Champion Hurdle, not least because it has brought us a lot of luck since our association with them, and since they have sponsored the race.

“Hopefully, Buveur D’Air can complete the Unibet Champion Hurdle hat-trick to celebrate!

“Unibet continues to invest heavily in our sport, and its sponsorship of not just the Unibet Champion Hurdle, but other top races throughout the year, is much appreciated by us all.”

Ed Nicholson, Unibet’s Head of Racing Sponsorship and Communications, said: “This five-year deal demonstrates Unibet’s commitment to racing.

“The Unibet Champion Hurdle is one of the iconic races of the year, but it is important to note that the championship hurdle is just one of five races which form the Unibet Road to Cheltenham.

“The Unibet Road to Cheltenham campaign provides us with a narrative for the entire Jump season and gives us opportunities to reach both new and existing audiences.

“We believe in a holistic marketing approach and sponsoring the top two-mile hurdle races of the season, whilst also having top trainers and jockeys such as Nicky Henderson, Jessica Harrington, Nico de Boinville and Adrian Heskin signed up as Unibet ambassadors, enables Unibet to dovetail marketing activities and utilise assets efficiently and effectively.

“It is a really exciting time to be involved with a sponsorship as high-profile as this and over such a relatively long period of time, and we look forward to working with Cheltenham and The Jockey Club over the next five years.”

Carey Weeks, Regional Head of Partnerships for Cheltenham and Jockey Club Racecourses in the south west, declared: “Unibet’s renewal of sponsorship of the Champion Hurdle, and the Road to Cheltenham highlights the Kindred Group’s continued investment into the sport.

“This renewed partnership will continue to provide us with a strong platform for all parties to work together to promote such a high-profile series in the Jump calendar – and what a result it would be if the series culminated with Nicky Henderson winning the flagship for the third time in a row with Buveur D’Air in March.”

Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy 2018
£469,440 added, 4yo plus, 2m 87y, Class 1
11 ran
Going: Heavy, Soft in places

Pos D Horse SP Jockey Weight Trainer Age
1st Buveur D'Air (FR) 4/6f B J Geraghty
11-10
N J Henderson 7
2nd nk Melon 7/1 P Townend
11-10
W P Mullins 6
3rd 3 Mick Jazz (FR) 25/1 D N Russell
11-10
G Elliott 7
4th 9 Identity Thief (IRE) 50/1 S W Flanagan
11-10
H de Bromhead 8
5th Elgin 12/1 Wayne Hutchinson
11-10
A King 6
6th 8 Faugheen (IRE) 4/1 R Walsh
11-10
W P Mullins 10
7th ½ Wicklow Brave 14/1 Mr P W Mullins
11-10
W P Mullins 9
8th Ch'tibello (FR) 33/1 Harry Skelton
11-10
D Skelton 7
9th 17 John Constable (IRE) 66/1 L P Aspell
11-10
Evan Williams 7
Also Ran: Charli Parcs (Pulled Up) , Yorkhill (Pulled Up)
NR My Tent Or Yours (IRE) NON RUNNER N J Henderson 11
NR   Verdana Blue (IRE) NON RUNNER N J Henderson 6

CHAMPION HURDLE PREVIOUS RESULTS

2017-WINNER-BUVEUR D’AIR 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-5/1 2ND-My Tent Or Yours 10-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Aidan Coleman; SP-16/1
3RD-Petit Mouchoir 6-11-10 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Henry de Bromhead IRE; Jockey-Bryan Cooper; SP-6/1 11 ran, Time-3m 50.90s; Dist-41⁄2, 3 2/1 Fav Yanworth (Disqualified from 7th – banned substance in sample)

2016-WINNER-ANNIE POWER 8-11-03 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-5/2 Fav
2ND-My Tent Or Yours 9-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-10/1
3RD-Nichols Canyon 6-11-10 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend; SP-15/2
12 ran, Time-3m 45.10s (new record); Dist-41⁄2, hd

2015-WINNER-FAUGHEEN 7-11-10 Owner-Susannah Ricci; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/5 Fav
2ND-Arctic Fire 6-11-10 Owner-Wicklow Bloodstock Limited; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Danny Mullins; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 11-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Paul Townend ; SP-8/1
8 ran, Time-3m 50.90s; Dist-11⁄2, 5

2014-WINNER-JEZKI 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-9/1
2ND-My Tent Or Yours 7-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-3/1
3RD-The New One 6-11-10 Owner-Sarah Such; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Sam Twiston-Davies; SP-10/3
9 ran, Time-3m 45.25s (new record); Dist-nk, 2½ 11/4 Fav Hurricane Fly (4th)

2013-WINNER- HURRICANE FLY 9-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-13/8 Fav
2ND-Rock On Ruby 8-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Harry Fry; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/2
3RD-Countrywide Flame 5-11-10 Owner-Estio Pinnacle Racing; Trainer-John Quinn; Jockey-Denis O’Regan; SP-16/1
9 ran, Time-3m 59.35s; Dist-2½, 1¾

2012-WINNER-ROCK ON RUBY 7-11-10 Owner-The Festival Goers; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Noel Fehily; SP-11/1
2ND-Overturn 8-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-20/1
3RD-Hurricane Fly 8-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-4/6 Fav
10 ran, Time-3m 50.10s; Dist 3¾, 1¾

2011-WINNER-HURRICANE FLY 7-11-10 Owner-George Creighton & Mrs Rose Boyd; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/4 Fav
2ND-Peddlers Cross 6-11-10 Owner-Tim Leslie; Trainer-Donald McCain; Jockey-Jason Maguire; SP-9/2
3RD-Oscar Whisky 6-11-10 Owner- Walters Plant Hire Ltd; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-7/1
11 ran, Time-3m 53.71s; Dist 11⁄4 , 5

2010-WINNER-BINOCULAR 6-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-A P McCoy; SP-9/1
2ND-Khyber Kim 8-11-10 Owner-Caroline Mould; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Paddy Brennan; SP-7/1
3RD-Zaynar 5-11-10 Owner- Men In Our Position; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-15/2
12 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist-3½, 6 11/4 Fav Go Native (10th)

2009-WINNER-PUNJABI 6-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-22/1
2ND-Celestial Halo 5-11-10 Owner-The Stewart Family; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-17/2
3RD-Binocular 5-11-10 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/4 Fav
23 ran, Time-4m 0.90s; Dist- nk, hd

2008-WINNER-KATCHIT 5-11-10 Owner-D S J P Syndicate; Trainer-Alan King; Jockey-Robert Thornton; SP-10/1
2ND-Osana 6-11-10 Owner-Thomas Barr; Trainer-David Pipe; Jockey-Tom Scudamore; SP-9/2
3RD-Punjabi 5-11-10 Owner-Raymond Tooth; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-25/1
15 ran, Time-4m 8.10s; Dist-1, 5 2/1 Fav Sizing Europe (14th)

2007-WINNER-SUBLIMITY 7-11-10 Owner-Bill Hennessy; Trainer-John Carr IRE; Jockey-Philip Carberry; SP-16/1
2ND-Brave Inca 9-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-11/2
3RD-Afsoun 5-11-10 Owner-Trevor Hemmings; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-28/1
10 ran, Time-3m 55.70s; Dist-3, nk 6/4 Fav Detroit City (6th)

2006-WINNER-BRAVE INCA 8-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/4 Fav
2ND-Macs Joy 7-11-10 Owner-Mac’s J Racing Syndicate; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-13/2
3RD-Hardy Eustace 9-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-11/2
18 ran. Time-3m 50.00s; Dist-1, 3½

2005-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 8-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-
7/2 Jt Fav
2ND-Harchibald 6-11-10 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-7/1
3RD-Brave Inca 7-11-10 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Barry Cash; SP-10/1
14 ran, Time-3m 51.50s; Dist-nk, nk 7/2 Jt Fav Back In Front (9th)

2004-WINNER-HARDY EUSTACE 7-11-10 Owner-Lar Byrne; Trainer-Dessie Hughes IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
2ND-Rooster Booster 10-11-10 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-11/8 Fav
3RD-Intersky Falcon 7-11-10 Owner-Interskyracing.com & Jacqui O’Neill; Trainer: Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Liam Cooper; SP-8/1
14 ran, Time-3m 54.50s; Dist-5, 4

2003-WINNER-ROOSTER BOOSTER 9-12-00 Owner-Terry Warner; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-9/2
2ND-Westender 7-12-00 Owner-Matt Archer & Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Rodi Greene; SP-33/1
3RD-Rhinestone Cowboy 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Jonjo O’Neill; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-5/2
Fav 17 ran, Time-3m 54.70s; Dist-11, 3

2002-WINNER-HORS LA LOI III 7-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-James Fanshawe; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-10/1
2ND-Marble Arch 6-12-00 Owner-Martin Wilson, Rory Sweet and Mary Wilson; Trainer-Hughie Morrison; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-25/1
3RD-Bilboa 5-11-09 Owner-Jorg Vasicek; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Thierry Doumen; SP-14/1
15 ran, Time-3m 53.80s; Dist- 3, ½ 2/1 Fav Istabraq (pu)

2001 Cancelled

2000-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 8-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-8/15 Fav
2ND-Hors La Loi III 5-12-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Francois Doumen FR; Jockey-Dean Gallagher; SP-11/1
3RD-Blue Royal 5-12-00 Owner-Lynn Wilson; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-16/1
12 ran, Time-3m 48.10s; Dist-4, nk

1999-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 7-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/9 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 7-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-16/1 3RD-French Holly 8-12-00 Owner-Kieran Flood; Trainer-Ferdy Murphy; Jockey-Andrew Thornton; SP-11/2
14 ran, Time 3m 56.7s; Dist-3½, 2½

1998-WINNER-ISTABRAQ 6-12-00 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-3/1 Fav
2ND-Theatreworld 6-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Tommy Treacy; SP-20/1
3RD-I’m Supposin 6-12-00 Owner-Nicholas Cooper; Trainer-Richard Rowe; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-6/1
18 ran, Time 3m 49.1s; Dist-12, 1

1997-WINNER-MAKE A STAND 6-12-00 Owner-Peter Deal; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-7/1
2ND-Theatreworld 5-12-00 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Aidan O’Brien IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-33/1
3RD-Space Trucker 6-12-00 Owner-Elaine Queally; Trainer-Jessica Harrington IRE; Jockey-John Shortt; SP-9/2
17 ran, Time-3m 48.4s, Dist-5, ¾ 7/2 Fav Large Action (pu)

1996-WINNER-COLLIER BAY 6-12-00 Owner-Wally Sturt; Trainer-Jim Old; Jockey-Graham Bradley; SP-9/1
2ND-Alderbrook 7-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Richard Dunwoody; SP-10/11 Fav
3RD-Pridwell 6-12-00 Owner-Jones, Berstock and Fleet Partnership; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Chris Maude;
SP-33/1 16 ran, Time-3m 59.0s, Dist-2½, 6

1995-WINNER-ALDERBROOK 6-12-00 Owner-Ernie Pick; Trainer-Kim Bailey; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-11/2
2ND-Large Action 7-12-00 Owner-Brian Stewart-Brown; Trainer-Oliver Sherwood; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
3RD-Danoli 7-12-00 Owner-Dan O’Neill; Trainer-Tom Foley IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-4/1 Jt Fav
14 ran, Time-4m 03.1s, Dist-5, 2