Champion Hurdle betting tips and predictions for the 2016 renewal on day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival due off at 3.30pm on Tuesday 15th March.
The Grade One Champion Hurdle is the main contest on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and is run over 2m on the old course. Our tipster has picked out his best betting tip for the 2016 Champion Hurdle.
Champion Hurdle Predictions – Cheltenham 3.30pm.
The 2016 renewal of the Champion Hurdle looks set-up to be another 'must-see' race with the Willie Mullins team looking to hold all the aces again. However, the current champion Faugheen 'the machine' and the 2015 runner-up, Arctic Fire, will unfortunately both miss the race due to a training setbacks, but the Willie Mullins camp still have Nichols Canyon and strong favourite Annie Power.
For some, the sparkle has somewhat been taken out of the race with the absence of last year's champion Faugheen and the 2015 second Arctic Fire however owners of the others horses in the race won't mind as we've now got an open-looking race.
ANNIE POWER will be remembered for that fall in the 2015 Mares' hurdle race when looking to have the race in the bag – a tumble that saw thousands of punters lose their three and four-timer bets on the earlier Mullins winner and save the bookies an estimated £50 million. She will be the first mare since Flakey Dove in 1994 to land the Champion Hurdle if she wins the day 1 feature and she is our Champion Hurdle tip to win the race given she had the Mares won last year but for the final fence tip up. Bet on her to get around and bury those demons in the 3.30pm at Cheltenham on Tuesday.
Willie Mullins also has Nichols Canyon in the race and is currently vying for second favouritism with The New One. This former useful flat horse has beaten Faugheen this season and has also seen off another of the main runners, Identity Thief, when beating that horse at Leopardstown over Xmas. He was also third in the Neptune in 2015 so has already tasted the Festival and looks a big player. The Henry De Bromhead-trained Identity Thief is a consistent sort, but one big worry would be that this is his first run at Cheltenham – so will he handle the track?
The UK-based challenge is, once again, pretty thin on the ground with The New One the shortest in the betting market, but the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained horse just seems to have fallen short of the very top grade despite a string of good wins to his name, but his two previous tries in the race have seen him finish third and fifth. MY TENT OR YOURS could be the surprise package for the Nicky Henderson yard, who are no strangers at landing this race with a big-priced horse – Punjabi caused an upset in 2009 at 22/1. This 9 year-old has had bundles of issues but it’s been reported that he’s been working well in the build-up to this and he’s my Champion Hurdle tip for the 2016 Cheltenham Festival. Yes, he’s got a fair bit to prove and it remains to be seen if he’ll return the track anywhere near the same level, but, don’t forget, he was only beaten ¼ of a length in the 2014 renewal of this race so if anywhere near that form would have a cracking each-way chance at odds of 10/1.
With Faugheen out it's an open renewal, with last year's Mares' Hurdle faller, Annie Power, looking the one to beat and she would be my win tip for the 2016 Champion Hurdle, but we'll also be having a saver on My Tent Or Yours – the 2014 runner-up.
Champion Hurdle Betting Tips
My Tent or Yours (each-way) – 10/1 with William Hill.
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