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Unibet Champion Hurdle
Grade 1, Cheltenham 15:30
£450,000 added,
4yo plus,
2m 87y, Class 1  
Tuesday 13th March 2018

Hot favourite Buveur D'Air is one of 23 entries for the G1 Unibet Champion Hurdle, worth a record £450,000, at Cheltenham on the first day of The Festival, Champion Day, Tuesday, March 13.
 
Buveur D'Air
© Racehorse Photos
Buveur D'Air
 
Buveur D'Air (Nicky Henderson), the 4/6 market leader with Unibet, gained the two-mile hurdling crown in 2017 with a convincing victory over stablemate My Tent Or Yours (12/1).
 
The seven-year-old has looked imperious in two starts so far this season, following up his facile success in Newcastle's G1 Unibet Fighting Fifth Hurdle with an easy victory in G1 Unibet Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.
 
No horse has won back-to-back Champion Hurdles since Hardy Eustace completed the feat in 2005.
 
My Tent Or Yours has finished runner-up in the Unibet Champion Hurdle three times (2014, 2016, 2017) and gained a deserved success in the G2 Unibet International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, his first victory since February, 2014.
 
Both Buveur D'Air and My Tent Or Yours are owned by J P McManus, the winning-most owner in the Unibet Champion Hurdle with six wins - thanks to triple winner Istabraq (1998, 1999 and 2000), Binocular (2010), Jezki (2014) and Buveur D'Air (2017).
 
Nicky Henderson, with six victories, is the most successful handler of all time in the Unibet Champion Hurdle. His five entries are completed by Call Me Lord (33/1), who impressed in a handicap hurdle at Sandown Park on his latest start, Charli Parcs (50/1) and Verdana Blue (40/1). 
 
Alpha Des Obeaux
© Caroline Norris
Alpha Des Obeaux
 
Willie Mullins, who has landed the spoils four times since 2011, is responsible for six of 11 Irish-trained entries, with his sextet headed by the 2015 winner Faugheen (5/1), the most recent odds-on winner of the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
 
Faugheen, unbeaten in two starts at The Festival, looked as good ever on his comeback in the G1 Morgiana Hurdle in November, having been off the track for almost two years, but was pulled up on his latest start in the G1 Ryanair Hurdle won by Mick Jazz (Gordon Elliott IRE, 25/1) at Leopardstown on December 29.
 
Comedy Of Errors (1973 & 1975) and Hurricane Fly (2011 & 2013) are the only two horses to have regained the Champion Hurdle crown.
 
Melon
© Caroline Norris
Melon
 
Mullins has also entered last year's G1 SkyBet Supreme Novices' Hurdle runner-up Melon (8/1), top-class dual purpose performer Wicklow Brave (20/1) and Bapaume (50/1), plus chasers Min (20/1) and Yorkhill (8/1), who has a 100 per cent record in two outings at The Festival.
 
Gordon Elliott is yet to have a runner in the Unibet Champion Hurdle. His three entries are completed by last year's G1 OLBG Mares' Hurdle heroine Apple's Jade (25/1) and Campeador (66/1).
 
Co Waterford handler Henry de Bromhead has two contenders in unexposed French import Arcenfete (66/1) and 2015 G1 Fighting Fifth Hurdle victor Identity Thief (100/1), who has not raced since April, 2017 but finished sixth in the 2016 Unibet Champion Hurdle.
 
Arcenfete, a winner on the Flat for the Wertheimer brothers and now owned by Gigginstown House Stud, has not raced since recording a comfortable victory on his Jumping debut in a four-year-old hurdle at Auteuil, France, in June, 2016.
 
De Bromhead said: "Arcenfete is just coming back and seems nice. 
 
"We are hoping to get him out at the end of the month. There is a two-mile conditions hurdle at Naas on January 28 and we are aiming towards that.

"It is only a very tentative entry in the Unibet Champion Hurdle. We felt it was better to have him in, than not.

"Identity Thief is good and worked nicely the other day. We are also aiming towards the end of the month with him, possibly in the same race at Naas."
 
Other high-profile contenders for the 2018 Unibet Champion Hurdle include the popular 10-year-old The New One (Nigel Twiston-Davies, 25/1), who has run in this race for the last four years, finishing third, fifth, fourth and fifth, and 2017 G1 JCB Triumph Hurdle hero Defi Du Seuil (Philip Hobbs, 16/1).

Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy
£400,000 added, 4yo plus, 2m 87y, Class 1
23 entries
Scratchings deadline February 13, £20,000 supplementary stage & six-day confirmation stage March 7, final declaration 10.00am, March 11.

Horse
Age
Owner
Trainer
APPLE'S JADE (FR)
6
Gigginstown House Stud
Gordon Elliott IRE
ARCENFETE (IRE)
6
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
BAPAUME (FR)
5
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins IRE
BUVEUR D'AIR (FR)
7
J P McManus
Nicky Henderson  
CALL ME LORD (FR)
5
Simon Munir & Isaac Souede
Nicky Henderson  
CAMPEADOR (FR)
6
J P McManus
Gordon Elliott IRE
CHARLI PARCS (FR)
5
J P McManus
Nicky Henderson  
CH'TIBELLO (FR)
7
The Can't Say No Partnership
Dan Skelton  
CLIFFS OF DOVER
5
John & Barbara Cotton
Paul Nicholls  
DEFI DU SEUIL (FR)
5
J P McManus
Philip Hobbs  
FAUGHEEN (IRE)
10
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins IRE
IDENTITY THIEF (IRE)
8
Gigginstown House Stud
Henry de Bromhead IRE
JOHN CONSTABLE (IRE)
7
Walters Plant Hire Ltd
Evan Williams  
MELON
6
Mrs J Donnelly
Willie Mullins IRE
MICK JAZZ (FR)
7
G P Mahoney
Gordon Elliott IRE
MIN (FR)
7
Susannah Ricci
Willie Mullins IRE
MOON RACER (IRE)
9
Prof Caroline Tisdall & Bryan Drew
David Pipe  
MY TENT OR YOURS (IRE)
11
J P McManus
Nicky Henderson  
PINGSHOU (IRE)
8
Ann & Alan Potts Limited
Colin Tizzard  
THE NEW ONE (IRE)
10
S Such & CG Paletta
Nigel Twiston-Davies  
VERDANA BLUE (IRE)
6
Crimbourne Stud
Nicky Henderson  
WICKLOW BRAVE
9
Wicklow Bloodstock (Ireland) Ltd
Willie Mullins IRE
YORKHILL (IRE)
8
Andrea & Graham Wylie
Willie Mullins IRE

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