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2021 County Hurdle Tips – Two contenders to back in Gold Cup day handicap

  • We’ve published our guide to the 2021 County Hurdle
  • This handicap hurdle is the third race on day four of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Ganapathi and Third Time Lucki
  • You Raised Me Up is our first bet at 8/1
  • We're also backing Gowel Road at 12/1
the shunter
The Shunter (right) carries bottom-weight to victory in the Greatwood Hurdle. (Getty)

The opening handicap on day four of the Cheltenham Festival is the County Hurdle. This two-mile handicap is one of the most historic races at the meeting, and several winners have gone on to enjoy success in Grade One races at future festivals.

Willie Mullins won this race with a novice 12 months ago, and it’s one of his most talented young hurdlers who tops the current betting.

2021 County Hurdle Odds

Blue Lord8/1
Soaring Glory8/1
The Shunter9/1
Third Time Lucki10/1

*Odds taken from bet365 on 10/3/21*

2021 County Hurdle Trends

I’ve taken a look through the recent history of the County Hurdle and picked out three recurring trends.

All of the last 10 winners had won either once or twice over hurdles
8 of the last 10 winners were rated between 134 and 139
8 of the last 10 winners finished in the top three on their most recent run

Ganapathi could be a contender for Willie, but he’s looked more of a stayer during his short career so far, and the Martin Pipe would be more suitable. I really fancied The Shunter for this, but connections have decided to go for the Paddy Power Plate instead.

Dan Skelton has won three of the last five County Hurdles, and he could be represented by both Third Time Lucki and Cadzand. Third Time Lucki would certainly be his best chance, if connections opt for this handicap over the Supreme. 

2021 County Hurdle Tip 1 – You Raised Me Up

You Raised Me Up E/W2021 County Hurdle Tip 2GET 8/1 HERE
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Martin Brassil confirmed neither City Island nor Longhouse Poet would run at this year’s Cheltenham Festival. Brassil did, however, suggest YOU RAISED ME UP would run in the County Hurdle, having been withdrawn from last year’s race after the ground came up soft.

Brassil’s eight-year-old has only been seen twice this season. First, shaking off his maiden tag at Listowel in September, where he comfortably beat two future winners in Run For Oscar and Belfast Banter. You Raised Me Up then wasn’t seen again until Naas last month, where Darragh O’Keeffe’s mount carried a penalty to victory over two dangerous novices.

That win saw You Raised Me Up reach a mark of 135 over hurdles in Ireland. The British handicapper hasn’t been kind, handing Brassil’s charge a mark of 141. Yet, he’s very lightly raced and has shown in recent starts that there’s more improvement left in his locker.

You Raised Me Up will love the ground at Cheltenham, and comes into the County on the back of a light-but-impressive campaign. Brassil doesn't send them over to the Cheltenham Festival to merely make up the numbers, so You Raised Me Up will do for me at 16/1. (Now into 8/1)

2021 County Hurdle Tip 2 - Gowel Road

When The Shunter came out, I looked through the field for a second bet. Backing a novice is clearly the way to go, and the one who held the most appeal for me was GOWEL ROAD.

Nigel Twiston-Davies' charge has improved with each of his four starts over hurdles. Gowel Road comes into the County on the back of two victories, including a superb five-length triumph over a decent sort in Good Ball, who beat Gowel Road when they met earlier in the season. Sam Twiston-Davies' mount carries just 10-8 into this handicap, and his best performance of the season came on good ground.


You Raised Me Up impressed me the last day at Naas and, after soft ground forced him to miss this race 12 months ago, he has unfinished business with the County. Gowel Road is our second bet at 14/1.

2021 County Hurdle Tip 1: You Raised Me Up Each-Way @800.00 at BetMGM - 10 Units
2021 County Hurdle Tip 2: Gowel Road Each-Way @1400.0 at PlaySugarhouse Sport - 5 Units

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