The big race on Punchestown’s Ladies Day, Friday 1st May, is the grade 1 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 a fifth time.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
horse aged 5 to 7: 7-6-41
horses aged 8+: 3-4-21
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 (0-1-2) have yet to win this race and the exceptional Quevega in 2009 became the first female to make the frame from 6 runners since 2000.
Irish bred: 8-3-39
French bred: 1-7-17
British bred: 1-1-4
German bred: 0-0-2
No strong trends on breeding.
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)
8 of 10 winners posted an RPR of 161+ on last completed 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 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 (7 had won multiple grade 1's)
9 of 10 winners were course winners
Punchestown Festival Form
9 of 10 winners had previously won at the Punchestown Festival (exception finished 3rd in the Champion Hurdle)
8 of 10 winners (last 7) 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 and other exception had not contested a novice hurdle at the Festival)
Defending Champion Hurdler (Jezki): 22221112 (3-4-8)
Previous season's Evening Herald Champion Novice Hurdle winner (Faugheen): 16811 (3-0-5)
4 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Rabobank Champion Hurdle, finishing 3111
3 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Herald Champion Nov Hurdle, finishing 111
Cheltenham Champion Hurdle winner (Faugheen): 22111 (3-2-5)
Highest placed finisher from the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle: 2231221111 (5-4-10)
Irish Champion Hurdle winner (Hurricane Fly): 32321112 (3-2-8)
Ryanair Hurdle (Hurrciane Fly): 322112 (2-1-6)
Morgiana Hurdle winner (Hurricane Fly): 2266312 (1-1-7)
Aintree Hurdle winner (Jezki): 1 (1-0-1)
Christmas hurdle winner (Faugheen): 23 (0-1-2)
Ascot Hurdle winner (Faugheen): 3 (0-0-1)
7 of 10 winners ran in the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle, finishing 3231311
6 of 10 winners ran in the Ryanair Hurdle, finishing 243112
6 of 10 winners ran in the Irish Champion Hurdle, finishing 221114
3 of 10 winners ran in the Morgiana Hurdle, finishing 531
3 of 10 winners ran in the Hatton's Grace, finishing 211
2 of 10 winners ran in WKD Hurdle, finishing 21
2 of 10 winners ran in the Aintree Hurdle last time out, finishing F1
2 of 10 winners ran in the Red Mills Hurdle, finishing 11
Willie Mullins (4-4-16) has saddled Hurricane Fly to win the races for 4 years between 2010 & 2013. He trained the 1-2 in 2011, 1-2-3 in 2012, 1-2 in 2013 and 2nd in 2014.
Jessica Harrington (2-1-6) trained Macs Joy to win it in 2006 and Jezki to win last year.
British trained runners (1-0-8) have won 1 of the last 10. 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 (5-4-11) have won 5 of the last 10, giving a level stakes loss 2.59.
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 161+ last time
- 2nd or 3rd season hurdler (or a previous winner)
- Previously run 7 to 15 times over hurdles
- Won a grade 1 hurdle (ideally won multiple grade 1 hurdles)
- Previous Punchestown Festival winning form is crucial
- Previously won a novice or juvenile hurdle at the Festival
- Finished in first 3 over hurdles at 2014 Punchestown Festival
- Finished in first 3 in Cheltenham Champion Hurdle
- Finished in first 2 in Hatton’s Grace, Aintree and/or Red Mills Trial Hurdle
- Finished in first 4 in Irish Champion, Ryanair and/or Morgiana Hurdle
- Trained by Willie Mullins or Jessica Harrington
- Priced 7/2 or below