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Category: Champion Hurdle

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Espoir D’Allen shock winner of the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham Festival

• Outsider makes light work of testing conditions• Reigning champion hurdler Buveur D’Air fallsEspoir D’Allen was a surprising but emphatic winner of a drama-filled Champion Hurdle in which Buveur D’Air, winner for the last two years, was an early fall…

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Nicky Henderson out of sync with ‘bizarre preparation’ for Cheltenham

• Local freeze-up and Kempton gallop ban annoy trainer• Henderson upbeat over Buveur D’Air’s Festival prospectsNicky Henderson has complained that his team is having “a bizarre preparation” for Cheltenham, having to cope with an unexpected round of vac…

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Apple’s Jade and Buveur D’Air set to top bill in Cheltenham Champion Hurdle

• Mouthwatering clash in prospect on first day of Festival• Bellshill strengthens hopes for Willie Mullins in Gold CupDrying ground robbed the second afternoon of the Dublin Festival meeting of several significant runners here on Sunday but Ireland sti…

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Talking Horses: Samcro news is bad but it’s not over until it’s over

A Champion Hurdle bid may be ever so doubtful but let’s remember that it remains a possibility for the time beingFrom a punter’s perspective, the key detail to bear in mind from yesterday’s news about Samcro is that he has not actually been ruled out o…

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Leopardstown win makes Sharjah a Cheltenham fancy but Samcro sinks again

• Willie Mullins aiming Sharjah at Champion Hurdle• Gordon Elliott baffled by another flop from SamcroGordon Elliott’s face betrayed shock rather than surprise after the Ryanair Hurdle here on Saturday, as he watched the big-screen replay of a race whe…

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Buveur D’Air routs Samcro in Newcastle’s Fighting Fifth Hurdle

• Samcro still aimed at Cheltenham’s Champion Hurdle• Tom Scudamore steers Sizing Tennessee to Newbury victoryGordon Elliott was impressively succinct after seeing his hurdler Samcro routed by Buveur D’Air in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle here on Saturday….

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Talking Horses: surprise as Samcro will stay over hurdles this season

Gordon Elliott has revealed that he and the horse’s owners want to try to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in MarchSamcro has become favourite with some bookmakers for the Champion Hurdle after news broke this morning that the hugely promising che…

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Willie Mullins’ vet Tim Brennan denies passing on inside information

• BHA charges relate to suspicious lay bets on Faugheen • Hurdler was withdrawn before 2016 Cheltenham FestivalWillie Mullins’s vet, Tim Brennan, has been accused by racing’s ruling body of telling his brother Michael about an injury to Faugheen befor…

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Buveur D’Air wins Champion Hurdle after thrilling battle with Melon

• Winner follows up last year’s victory for Nicky Henderson• Former winner Faugheen well beaten after taking early leadBuveur D’Air won his second Champion Hurdle as the first day of the Cheltenham Festival turned into a fine one for favourite-backers….

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Cheltenham Festival tipping guide: Buveur D’Air has look of a champion

• Mud-loving runner will be ideally suited by heavy ground• Outsider Ch’Tibello worth a place bet in Champion HurdleIf there were any doubt about the state of the ground for the Cheltenham Festival, it was erased by the GoingStick reading of 5.3 taken …

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Champion Hurdle favourite Faugheen pulled-up at Leopardstown

• Mick Jazz beats Cilaos Emery in shock Ryanair Hurdle result• Career of brilliant hurdler in doubt after jockey pulls horse upMick Jazz was a shock winner of the Ryanair Hurdle as favourite Faugheen suffered just the second defeat of his career after …

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Cheltenham Festival: Buveur D’Air wins the Champion Hurdle

• Trainer Nicky Henderson has one-two in big race on opening day
• Noel Fehily rides the winner to a convincing success

Buveur D’Air was an emphatic winner of the Champion Hurdle on day one of the 2017 Cheltenham Festival, making Nicky Henderson the most successful trainer in the race’s history with six wins. The 5-1 shot led home a one-two for his owner, JP McManus, whose My Tent Or Yours ran on into second place at 16-1 with Petit Mouchoir third.

McManus was achieving his 50th success as an owner at the Festival. No other current owner has managed more than 15.

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Willie Mullins says ‘not worth it’ to enter Limini in the Champion Hurdle

• Ireland’s champion trainer makes surprise Cheltenham Festival call
• Handler says she will probably run in the Mares’ Hurdle next Tuesday

Willie Mullins has decided against adding Limini to the field for next week’s Champion Hurdle, on the grounds that it isn’t “worth it” to pay the £20,000 necessary to enter her at such a late stage. Mullins indicated that the horse would probably take part in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle on Tuesday, the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

“We just decided not to do it,” Mullins said shortly after Limini’s name failed to appear on the list of horses entered for the Champion Hurdle. “I really don’t want to say much more about it now. I imagine she’ll run in the mares’ race.”

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Willie Mullins says ‘not worth it’ to enter Limini in the Champion Hurdle

• Ireland’s champion trainer makes surprise Cheltenham Festival call
• Handler says she will probably run in the Mares’ Hurdle next Tuesday

Willie Mullins has decided against adding Limini to the field for next week’s Champion Hurdle, on the grounds that it isn’t “worth it” to pay the £20,000 necessary to enter her at such a late stage. Mullins indicated that the horse would probably take part in the OLBG Mares’ Hurdle on Tuesday, the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

“We just decided not to do it,” Mullins said shortly after Limini’s name failed to appear on the list of horses entered for the Champion Hurdle. “I really don’t want to say much more about it now. I imagine she’ll run in the mares’ race.”

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Noel Fehily set to replace Geraghty on Buveur D’Air in Champion Hurdle

• Many JP McManus-owned horses need a new jockey for the Festival
• Henderson predicst that Mark Walsh likely to get a number of rides

Noel Fehily is expected to replace Barry Geraghty in the saddle aboard Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle. The six-year-old, who has been at the top of the betting on the race since a smooth success at Sandown last month, is one of many JP McManus-owned horses that need a new jockey for the Festival in a fortnight’s time, following the chest injuries sustained by Geraghty on Saturday.

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Buveur D’Air, indicated at a media event here on Wednesday that Fehily was likely to be back aboard the horse. “I suspect so,” Henderson responded when asked about the subject. Fehily was retained by Buveur D’Air’s previous owner and has ridden the horse in six of his 11 races, winning a Grade One at Aintree last spring on him.

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Noel Fehily set to replace Geraghty on Buveur D’Air in Champion Hurdle

• Many JP McManus-owned horses need a new jockey for the Festival
• Henderson predicst that Mark Walsh likely to get a number of rides

Noel Fehily is expected to replace Barry Geraghty in the saddle aboard Buveur D’Air in the Champion Hurdle. The six-year-old, who has been at the top of the betting on the race since a smooth success at Sandown last month, is one of many JP McManus-owned horses that need a new jockey for the Festival in a fortnight’s time, following the chest injuries sustained by Geraghty on Saturday.

Nicky Henderson, trainer of Buveur D’Air, indicated at a media event here on Wednesday that Fehily was likely to be back aboard the horse. “I suspect so,” Henderson responded when asked about the subject. Fehily was retained by Buveur D’Air’s previous owner and has ridden the horse in six of his 11 races, winning a Grade One at Aintree last spring on him.

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Willie Mullins tempted to run Limini in Cheltenham Festival’s Champion Hurdle

• Mullins says: ‘It’s 50-50,’ but adds that mare is no Annie Power
• Trainer points to Melon’s chance in Supreme and Carter McKay in Bumper

Limini, who was a 50-1 chance for next month’s Champion Hurdle less than a week ago, seems increasingly likely to take her chance in the race after Willie Mullins, her trainer, said here on Monday that “we might take a punt with her” in the feature event on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival.

Mullins took the same race last season with a late substitute, when the mare Annie Power stepped in to replace Faugheen, the champion over timber in 2015, and she won by four-and-a-half lengths. With both Annie Power and Faugheen now sidelined, and Yorkhill, last year’s Neptune Novice Hurdle winner, running over fences, Limini suddenly appears to be Mullins’s best chance of winning the Champion Hurdle for the fifth time in the past seven years.

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Alan King enjoys fine season as Yanworth warms up for Champion Hurdle

The Wiltshire trainer has already had more winners than in any of the past seven seasons, with the two major jumps festivals still to come

‘You’re battling all the time,” says a vigilant Alan King, waiting at the top of the Sharpridge gallop for his horses to appear at the bottom. “There’s always something going on, something that’s not quite right.”

But there is no trouble to be seen from this Wiltshire peak, surrounded by gorgeous downland, much of it available to the trainer, who is having his best season since the days of Katchit and Voy Por Ustedes. His new landlord turns out to be wholly supportive, measures put in place to prevent viral infection are working and he has a live Champion Hurdle contender in Yanworth, who will warm up in Wincanton’s Kingwell Hurdle on Saturday.

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Willie Mullins’ Faugheen and Min will both miss 2017 Cheltenham Festival

• Faugheen, 2015 Champion Hurdle winner, was hot favourite for 2017 race
• ‘We’ve had it checked out and it’s a stress fracture,’ despondent Mullins said

Faugheen, the 2015 Champion Hurdle winner, and Min, a leading contender for the Arkle Trophy, will both miss the Cheltenham Festival next month after Willie Mullins, their trainer, was forced to concede on Monday that neither horse will recover from an injury in time to line up at jumping’s showpiece meeting.

Mullins has dominated the Festival meeting in recent seasons, finishing the week as the leading trainer for the last four years, and five times in the last six. Ireland’s champion trainer has suffered a series of setbacks in the current campaign, however, including the loss of about 60 horses following a dispute with leading owner Michael O’Leary over training fees. Vautour, last year’s Ryanair Chase winner, suffered a fatal injury in November while Annie Power, last year’s Champion Hurdle winner, was ruled out of a defence of her title last month.

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Faugheen and Annie Power on way back after pleasing Willie Mullins

• Rich Ricci’s Champion Hurdle heroes showing old form again on the gallops
• Mullins: ‘They both worked very nicely this morning so I’m very pleased’

The fog that has blanketed the top of the Champion Hurdle market for months could start to lift on Sunday week, after Willie Mullins said on Thursday that Faugheen and Annie Power, the first and second favourites for the race, are both progressing well towards making their respective seasonal debuts at Leopardstown on 29 January and Punchestown on 22 February.

Related: Horse racing and betting industries representatives pledge to work together

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