The big race on Punchestown’s Ladies Day, Friday 2nd May, is the grade 1 Racing Post Champion Hurdle. This race has been won by some of the best Irish NH horses in the past 15 years with the likes of Istabraq, Moscow Flyer, Hardy Eustace, Brave Inca and Hurricane Fly all tasting success in it. Hurricane Fly will be looking to win the race for the fifth straight year when lining up.

Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:

Age (Win-Place-Runners)
5yo: 2-1-8
6yo: 1-4-22
7yo: 4-1-17
8yo: 2-3-13
9yo: 1-1-4
10yo: 0-2-2
11yo+: 0-0-2
horse aged 5 to 7: 7-6-47
horses aged 8+: 3-6-21
Since this version of the race was inaugurated, the only horse aged over 8 to win it was Hurricane Fly, though Istabraq surely would have won it as a 9yo but for falling at the last.

Mares (0-1-4) have yet to win this race and the exceptional Quevega in 2009 became the first female to make the frame from 5 runners in the past 10 years.

Irish bred: 8-3-42
French bred: 1-7-18
British bred: 1-2-6
German bred: 0-0-2
No strong trends on breeding.

Recent/Past Form
10 of 10 winners finished in first 3 on their last completed start
10 of 10 winners posted their highest RPR in their last 3 hurdles starts (6 last time out)
9 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 156+ on last completed start (exception won on flat on previous start)
9 of 10 winners had run in the past 55 days
8 of 10 winners had run 7 to 15 times over hurdles (2 exceptions had finished in first 3 in previous Champion Hurdle)
8 of 10 winners were 2nd or 3rd season hurdlers (2 exceptions were Hurricane Fly winning this for a third & fourth time)
9 of 10 winners had won a grade 1 hurdle
9 of 10 winners were course winners

Punchestown Festival Form
8 of 10 winners had previously won at the Punchestown Festival (the 2 exceptions had finished 3rd in the Champion Hurdle & 6th in grade 1 Bumper)
7 of 10 winners (last 6) had won a juvenile or novice hurdle at the Festival (1 exception was brought down 2 out when looking a likely winner of a novice hurdle, other 2 exceptions had not contested a novice hurdle at the Festival)
Defending Punchestown Champion Hurdler (Hurricane Fly): 72222111 (3-4-8)
Previous season's Herald Champion Novice Hurdle winner (Jezki): 1681 (2-0-4)
Previous season's Punchestown 2M Champion 4yo Hurdle winner (Diakali): 17 (1-0-2)
4 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Punchestown Champion Hurdle, finishing 3111
2 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Herald Champion Nov Hurdle, finishing 11

Other races
Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner (Jezki): 12211 (3-2-5)
Highest placed finisher from the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle: 1223122111 (5-4-10)
Irish Champion Hurdle winner (Hurricane Fly): 3232111 (3-2-7)
Istabraq Festival Hurdle (Hurrciane Fly): 32211 (2-1-5)
Red Mills Hurdle winner (Un De Sceaux): 81124 (2-0-5)
Morgiana Hurdle winner (Hurricane Fly): 226631 (1-1-6)
Hatton's Grace Hurdle winner (Jezki): 61 (1-0-2)
Fighting Fifth Hurdle winner (My Tent Or Yours): 242 (0-2-3)
Mares Hurdle winner (Quevega): 3 (0-1-1)
Christmas hurdle winner (My Tent Or Yours): 23 (0-1-2)
Ascot Hurdle winner (Annie Power): 3 (0-0-1)
Fishery Lane Hurdle winner (Diakali): 5 (0-0-1)
Friends Of Tipperary Hurdle winner (Captain Cee Bee): 4 (0-0-1)
WKD Hurdle winner (Jezki): 36894 (0-0-5)
7 of 10 winners ran in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, finishing 1323131
6 of 10 winners ran in the Istabraq Festival Hurdle, finishing 724311
5 of 10 winners ran in the Irish Champion Hurdle, finishing 22111
3 of 10 winners ran in the Red Mills Hurdle, finishing 211
3 of 10 winners ran in the Morgiana Hurdle, finishing 531
2 of 10 winners ran in the Hatton's Grace, finishing 21
2 of 10 winners ran in the Lismullen Hurdle, finishing 24
2 of 10 winners ran in the Aintree Hurdle last time out, finishing F1

Willie Mullins (4-4-15) has saddled Hurricane Fly to win last 4 and trained the 1-2 in 2011, 1-2-3 in 2012 and 1-2 in 2013.
Nicky Henderson (1-1-4) & Jessica Harrington (1-1-4) have both saddled the winner and a placed finisher from 4 runners in past 10 years.
British trained runners (1-2-11) have won 1 of the last 10 and with 3 of their 11 runners making the places. The last 2 British-trained winners had won the Champion 4yo Hurdle at the previous year’s Festival.

9 of 10 winners were priced 7/2 or shorter
9 of the last 10 winners came from the first 3 in the betting.
Favourites (4-5-11) have won 4 of the last 10, giving a level stakes loss 4.39.


Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:

- Aged 5 to 7 (or a previous winner)
- Finished in the first 3 last time out in past 50 days
- Posted an RPR of 156+ last time
- 2nd or 3rd season hurdler (or a previous winner)
- Previously run 7 to 15 times over hurdles
- Won a grade 1 hurdle
- Previous Punchestown Festival winning form is crucial
- Previously won a novice or juvenile hurdle at the Festival
- Finished in first 3 over hurdles at 2013 Punchestown Festival
- Finished in first 3 in Cheltenham Champion Hurdle
- Finished in first 2 in Irish Champion and/or Red Mills Trial Hurdle
- Finished in first 4 in Istabraq Festival or Aintree Hurdle
- Trained by Willie Mullins
- Priced 7/2 or below.