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2021 Champion Hurdle Tips - Ante-post preview and three horses to back

  • We take a look through the ante-post betting for the 2021 Champion Hurdle
  • 27 horses have been entered in the Championship race on day one of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival
  • Epatante remains the favourite to claim back-to-back wins
  • Sharjah, Song For Someone and Beacon Edge are our ante-post suggestions
epatante
Epatante (left) beats Sharjah (centre) in the 2020 Champion Hurdle. (Getty)

27 of the finest hurdlers in the sport were entered in the 2021 Champion Hurdle this week. The trainers and owners of those entered will all be dreaming of Cheltenham Festival glory, and the chance to join an illustrious list of names who've been crowned Champion Hurdler at Prestbury Park.

We've taken a look through the list of entries, and picked out three Champion Hurdle tips at the ante-post stage.

2021 Champion Hurdle Odds


Name
Odds
Epatante9/4
Sharjah8/1
Saint Roi9/1
Silver Streak10/1
Aspire Tower12/1
Honeysuckle14/1
Bar16/1

*Odds taken on 14/1/21*
Epatante remains at the top of the market, despite that surprise defeat to Silver Streak at Kempton. Nicky Henderson's mare performed well below the level we've come to expect from her that day. If she's back to her best in time for Cheltenham, then the 2021 Champion Hurdle remains hers for the taking.

Yet, that surprise defeat has certainly added a new complexion to the race. Epatante may be the best horse in this race when you include her seven-pound mares' allowance, but even with that in hand, she's not completely infallible.

2021 Champion Hurdle Tips - Ante-Post Bet 1


Sharjah2021 Champion Hurdle Ante-Post TipsGET 8/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

The one I'd be most keen to back at this stage is SHARJAH, who comfortably beat Ireland's other leading contenders - all of whom had race-fitness on their side - to win his third-straight Matheson's Hurdle over Christmas.

Willie Mullins' eight-year-old was brought down early in the 2019 Champion Hurdle. Last March, Patrick Mullins dropped his mount out the back, weaving through the field to lay down his challenge at the final flight, but didn't have enough left in the tank to reel Epatante in.

Patrick said in a recent interview that he thinks he might have beaten Epatante, were he to have sat a little closer to the pace from the get-go. No matter what happens at the Dublin Racing Festival, Sharjah will return to Cheltenham as a live challenger in the Champion Hurdle, and Patrick Mullins knows what he has to do to win.

song for someone
Song For Someone (left) makes a winning Cheltenham debut in the International Hurdle. (Getty)

2021 Champion Hurdle Tips - Ante-Post Bet 2

There are a couple of other entrants who offer good value at this stage. The first of those is SONG FOR SOMEONE, who beat Silver Streak in the International Hurdle, when giving the future Christmas Hurdle winner two pounds at the weights.

Following his victory in the Ascot Hurdle, Symonds earmarked the Aintree Hurdle as the primary Spring objective for his stable star. Now he's proven he can handle the track at Cheltenham, though, the team will be eager to throw this improving six-year-old into the Champion Hurdle. 

Song For Someone is a young hurdler on the up, with winning form around Cheltenham. He jumps beautifully and goes on all types of ground. 16/1 looks like a cracking price.

2021 Champion Hurdle Tips - Ante-Post Bet 3


Beacons Edge (NRNB)2021 Champion Hurdle Ante-Post TipsGET 50/1 HERE
18+ only. Ts and Cs apply. Gamble responsibly.

One at a much longer price who's caught my eye is BEACON EDGE, who was last seen finishing a close third behind Honeysuckle and Ronald Pump in the Hatton's Grace. 

Noel Meade's charge placed behind Envoi Allen and Colreevy in high-quality bumpers, and went down by a neck to Jason The Militant in a Grade Two as a novice last season. Sean Flanagan's mount returned this term with an easy victory at Down Patrick and a comfortable Grade Three win at Galway, before making Honeysuckle sweat at Fairyhouse.

Beacon Edge was withdrawn from the Matheson Hurdle after contracting colic. Thankfully, Meade hasn't had to resort to surgery, and he's confident the medication his seven-year-old is on will lead to a full recovery. He may also be entered in the Stayers' Hurdle, but a run on day one of the Cheltenham Festival looks much more likely, and he would be an ideal candidate for a NRNB wager at 50/1.
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