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2024 Champion Hurdle Tips - Elliott's star can take on State Man

Last updated: 10 Mar 2024
Jon Vine 10 Mar 2024
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  • Free guide to the 2024 Champion Hurdle
  • This historic Grade One takes place on day one of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 12th March
  • We're backing Irish Point each-way against State Man
irish point
Jack Kennedy riding Irish Point clear the last to win The Jack de Bromhead Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown Racecourse. (Getty)

The opening day of the Cheltenham Festival is headlined by the Champion Hurdle. Constitution Hill thrashed State Man when winning this race 12 months ago, but recent developments surrounding the defending champion have sent National Hunt racing spiraling into chaos.

Here's our free guide to the 2024 Champion Hurdle. You'll find our best betting tips in the verdict section below.

2024 Champion Hurdle Tips

What should have been a routine gallop at Kempton turned into a nightmare for Nicky Henderson. Constitution Hill put in an unexpectedly lethargic display under Nico De Boinville, and the scope taken immediately after the workout showed traces of mucus in his lungs.

This season has been far from plain-sailing for National Hunt racing's poster boy, who has only been seen once in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton. Constitution Hill missed his intended prep run on Trials Day due to a similar problem to what he's ailing him now and Henderson faces a race against time to get his star right for Cheltenham.

A course of antibiotics should take care of the mucus and the vibes are that Constitution Hill will make the Festival, where he will go off at an odds-on price. Due to his lack of racing this season, I was already veering away from the defending champion before the drama unfolded at Kempton. I'm happy to let Constitution Hill win if he shows up.

State Man is now available at a best price of 8/11, and will likely go off around 1/3 should Constitution Hill be ruled out. That runner-up finish on day one of the Cheltenham Festival last year remains the only time State Man has been beaten at Grade One level, and Willie Mullins' star has been imperious on his three outings so far this term.

With Constitution Hill's participation up in the air, there's a chance that Irish Point will be rerouted to the Champion Hurdle. Gordon Elliott's star was superb when winning the Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown and I don't think he'll be inconvenienced by this drop in trip. I know there are 11 pounds between Irish Point and State Man in the ratings, but I would much rather back one at 11/2 than the other at odds-on - especially while Non-Runner No Bet stipulations remain in place.

Not So Sleepy and Luccia look set to take up their entries. Zanahiyr and Fils D'Oudaires are possibles too, but none of that quartet have a realistic chance. Nemean Lion is a horse I'm fond of and I could potentially have a small each-way bet on him at 50/1. Kerry Lee's star will have to raise his game massively, though, to even catch a place.


Given the way the Champion Hurdle market has transformed following the Constitution Hill news, the only runner I'm keen to back here is Irish Point, who certainly has the class to at least place in a Champion Hurdle.

An each-way punt on Irish Point at 11/2 (NRNB) seems like the only sensible course of action.

Best Bet1: Irish Point E/W 2024 Champion Hurdle Tips @11/2 at bet365 - 10 Units
Irish Point E/W
2024 Champion Hurdle Tips
@11/2 - 10 Units
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