The Christmas Hurdle was first run in 1969 and now forms the middle-leg of the Hurdling Triple Crown in between the Fighting Fifth Hurdle and the Champion Hurdle. It is run at Kempton Park on Boxing Day over two-miles and horses have to jump eight hurdles. Notable winners include Buveur D’Air, Faugheen, Binocular, Kribensis, Dawn Run, and Birds Nest.
Christmas Hurdle 2018 Trends
- The last 10 winners have all been aged between five and seven
- JP McManus has owned six of the last eight winners
- Nicky Henderson has trained five of the last eight winners
- Barry Geraghty has ridden the last two winners
Christmas Hurdle 2018 Major Contenders & Prediction
Winner of the Champion Hurdle for the last two years, Buveur D’Air also won last year’s renewal of the Christmas Hurdle in effortless style. Top-rated by some way, he’s also owned by JP Mcmanus, trained by Nicky Henderson, and ridden by Barry Geraghty, making him look almost bombproof on the trends for this race. He also looked in fine form on his seasonal appearance at Newcastle where his slick jumping led to an easy win over the highly-touted Samcro.
Also trained by Nicky Henderson, it was interesting that Henderson said this mare had the natural pace for a Champion Hurdle providing the ground is good. She certainly looked good on her first two starts of the season, the first of which was over course and distance. She then won the Elite Hurdle at Wincanton, another flat right-handed track. Could well be the biggest challenger to her stablemate.
If The Cap Fits
Course winner that has won four of his five starts over hurdles, with his last win coming over 2½ miles at Ascot. He stayed on strongly in the closing stages there, so it’s a bit of a surprise to see him drop back in trip here, especially as he was beaten by Verdana Blue on his seasonal debut. However, his trainer Harry Fry was closely associated with former Champion Hurdler Rock On Ruby, so he is respected.
Highly-regarded six-year-old from the stable of Ben Pauling, a former assistant trainer to Nick Henderson, and he won the Gerry Fielden off top-weight at Newbury last time. He was also an impressive course and distance winner in February. Could have further improvement to come but needs to find plenty to trouble Buveur D’Air.
Useful type who caused a major upset when beating Samcro earlier in the season. However, connections have stated he must have good ground and may not get that here. Even if he does, it will be a surprise if he beats Buveur D’Air.
Christmas Hurdle 2018 Summary
Verdana Blue, If The Caps Fits, Global Citizen, and Bedrock are all young improving horses that could still go to the top over hurdles. However, Buveur D’Air is already at the top of the hurdling tree and it will be a big disappointment to his powerful connections if he can’t win a second Christmas Hurdle before aiming to join some hurdling greats by trying to win a third Champion Hurdle.
Our Christmas Hurdle 2019 Betting Tip & Prediction