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2023 Champion Hurdle Odds and Tips - Start of season guide and a 33/1 value bet

04 Oct 2022
jon-vine
Jon Vine 04 Oct 2022
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  • Start of the season odds and tips for the 2023 Champion Hurdle
  • This Grade One is the feature championship race on day one of the Cheltenham Festival
  • Honeysuckle will try to win her third-straight Champion Hurdle in 2023
  • Constitution Hill, Vauban and State Man could line up in opposition
  • Pied Piper is our ante-post value bet at 33/1
honeysuckle
Jockey Rachael Blackmore rides Honeysuckle (R) to victory ahead of Aidan Coleman on Epatante (L) in the Champion Hurdle on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)
    Early Champion Hurdle Preview
  • 2023 Champion Hurdle Odds
  • The Defending Champion
  • The Favourite
  • The Chasing Pack
  • Dark Horses
  • 2023 Champion Hurdle Value Bet - Pied Piper

At the 2022 Cheltenham Festival, it was Honeysuckle who, once again, reigned supreme. Henry De Bromhead's mare successfully made it back-to-back victories in the Champion Hurdle and Honeysuckle will bid to join the likes of Persian War, See You Then and Instabraq in the exclusive group of three-time Champion Hurdle winners in 2023.

Early indications suggest that De Bromhead's unbeaten star won't have everything her own way this coming March. Here are the current 2023 Champion Hurdle odds and a look at the leading contenders, plus an early Cheltenham Festival tip.

2023 Champion Hurdle Odds


Name
Odds
Constitution Hill6/4
Honeysuckle3/1
Vauban8/1
State Man9/1
Sir Gerhard20/1
Bar25/1

*Odds taken on 4/10/22*

The Defending Champion


Honeysuckle2023 Champion HurdleGET 3/1 HERE
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Although many have claimed that Henry De Bromhead's star is in decline, it remains impossible to knock Honeysuckle. True, the two-mile hurdles division isn't the strongest at the moment and her RPRs slightly regressed during 2021/22, but Honeysuckle was still far too good for the likes of Abacadabras, Sharjah, Epatante and Echoes In Rain - all Group One winners in their own right.

De Bromhead will take his mare down the tried and tested path this season - heading first to the Hatton's Grace, before a pre-Cheltenham pit stop at the Dublin Racing Festival. Further victories are expected in races Honeysuckle has dominated these past three years. Will her dominance at the Cheltenham Festival continue? Only time will tell.

The Favourite


Constitution Hill2023 Champion Hurdle FavouriteGET 3/1 HERE
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Sitting ahead of Honeysuckle in the ante-post betting is Nicky Henderson's budding star, Constitution Hill. Two hours prior to Honeysuckle's successful Champion Hurdle defence, Consitution Hill produced a performance for the ages in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, thrashing a highly-capable field by an astonishing 22 lengths.

Constitution Hill was handed a rating of 170 at the end of the season - the highest mark ever handed to a novice hurdler. Henderson reported last month that his star has "strengthened up significantly" over the summer, and he'll be odds on to win the Fighting Fifth and the Christmas Hurdle before returning to Cheltenham. Constitution Hill is, undoubtedly, a worthy favourite.

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Nico de Boinville on Constitution Hill clear the last hurdle to win the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. (Getty)


The Chasing Pack


Vauban2023 Champion HurdleGET 8/1 HERE
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Willie Mullins could point Triumph Hurdle winner, Vauban and County Hurdle winner, State Man at the 2023 Champion Hurdle. Fellow Group One winners from last season, Sir Gerhard, Mighty Potter and Jonbon also sit prominently in the market, despite connections stating that all three will be sent novice chasing.

Epatante proved she stayed two-and-a-half-miles with that runaway triumph in the Aintree Hurdle, so it's more likely she will be aimed at the Mares' Hurdle, rather than take on stablemate Constitution Hill and Honeysuckle in another Champion Hurdle. Zanahiyr will almost certainly be stepped up beyond two miles and it would be a surprise if El Fabiolo wasn't sent straight over fences.

Dark Horses


Knight Salute2023 Champion HurdleGET 66/1 HERE
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Pied Piper secured some impressive results in the big four-year-old races last season and has plenty of scope for improvement. The same can be said for Milton Harris' Knight Salute, despite an underwhelming showing in the Triumph. Five-year-olds haven't fared well in recent Champion Hurdles, but it wouldn't be a surprise if either returned to Cheltenham in 2023 as genuine challengers.

French Aseel hasn't been seen since moving to Willie Mullins' yard in January 2021. Prior to that move, this five-year-old looked to be a star in the making when winning a juvenile hurdle at the Leopardstown Festival and he's expected to take high order when he eventually returns to action.

Stablemates Dysart Dynamo and Kilcruit both have tons of ability and could progress further if kept over hurdle for a second season. Pentland Hills made his triumphant return from injury with a victory on the flat at Haydock earlier in the autumn and the former Triumph Hurdle winner could form part of Nicky Henderson's Champion Hurdle team.

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Pied Piper (right) finishing third to Vauban (left) in the 2022 Triumph Hurdle. (Getty)


2023 Champion Hurdle Value Bet - Pied Piper


Pied Piper2023 Champion Hurdle Ante-Post Value BetGET 33/1 HERE
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If I had to back one runner for the 2023 Champion Hurdle at this stage of the season, it would be PIED PIPER, best priced 33/1 with bet365.

Following a power-packed display in the Finesse Hurdle at Cheltenham in January, Gordon Elliott's charge was cut into favouritism for the Triumph Hurdle. Vauban - who Pied Piper had beaten earlier in the season - kicked clear after the last to win that Grade One impressively, but Jack Kennedy's mount did his reputation no harm with a solid third-place finish.

Despite dead-heating with Knight Salute at Aintree, Pied Piper was controversially demoted to second after he was picked up for minimal interference. I'm confident that Elliott's charge will appease his aggrieved owners by capturing further Graded prizes during the upcoming campaign.
GB

Verdict

If he continues to progress, then I see no reason why Pied Piper can't play a leading roll in the 2023 Champion Hurdle.

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