2021 Irish Champion Hurdle Odds - Honeysuckle heads Sharjah in Leopardstown betting
- We take a look through the betting and entries for the 2021 Irish Champion Hurdle
- This Grade One headlines day one of the Dublin Racing Festival
- Defending champion Honeysuckle tops the ante-post betting
- Sharjah, Aspire Tower, Saint Roi and Abacadabras could square off again
Honeysuckle (far) winning the 2020 Irish Champion Hurdle. (Getty)
The opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival is headlined by the 2021 Irish Champion Hurdle. This Grade One has been won by many of Ireland's finest two-milers, with the names of Dawn Run, Flyingbolt, Istabraq and Hurricane Fly shining on the famous trophy.
Let's take a look through the entries and the ante-post betting for this year's renewal.
2021 Irish Champion Hurdle Odds
*Odds taken from Paddy Power on 23/1/21*
2021 Irish Champion Hurdle Runners
Honeysuckle2021 Irish Champion Hurdle FavouriteGET 13/8 HERE
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Honeysuckle extended her unbeaten career record into an 8th race at Leopardstown last year, battling back bravely to beat Petite Mouchoir and Darver Star.
Henry De Bromhead's star has since won the Mares' Hurdle and her second Hatton's Grace, and the bookies make Honeysuckle a strong favourite to retain her Irish Champion Hurdle crown.
Second in the market we find Sharjah, who swept past Abacadabras, Saint Roi and Aspire Tower to win his third Matheson Hurdle after Christmas.
Despite his brilliant record at Leopardstown, Willie Mullins' star has run poorly on both his previous visits to the Dublin Racing Festival, finishing seventh in the 2018 Deloitte and sixth here last year.
Aspire Tower attempted to make all in the Matheson Hurdle, but had no answer to Sharjah as the winner sprinter for the line after the last. He looks set to join his stablemate, Honeysuckle at Leopardstown, before going on to the Champion Hurdle.
Defeats in the Matheson and the Morgiana Hurdle have slowed Saint Roi's progression. Willie Mullins remains confident his County Hurdle winner is a Grade One winner in waiting, though, and he renews rivalries with Sharjah.
Abacadabras got the better of Saint Roi in the Morgiana, but flopped badly here over Christmas. Gordon Elliott's charge scoped badly following the Matheson Hurdle, and the fact he's out again so quickly points to a full recovery.
Petite Mouchoir won this race in 2017, and has finished third in the two most recent editions. Noel Meade will be hoping Beacon Edge can justify his Champion Hurdle entry with a big run at Leopardstown.
Saldier will be Willie Mullins third runner in this Grade One, with Winston C - who now represents American connections - rounding off the Irish Champion Hurdle entries.