If the 2013 Champion Hurdle market is anything to go by then racing fans are in store for another sensational renewal of the Cheltenham Festival showpiece.
Ever since the Champion Hurdle was first run in 1927 the race has been the most prestigious hurdling event on the National Hunt calendar and the contest’s roll of honour features some of the most highly acclaimed horses in the Festival’s history.
The list of top class winners that have powered to glory in the race stretches longer that the famous course itself and racing fans will be hoping that another superstar emerges from a wide open group of horses being aimed at the Grade One.
The 2012 Champion Hurdle went the way of Paul Nicholls and Rock On Ruby who made the most of a slow gallop to land himself a victory at the highest level, with odds-on favourite Hurricane Fly failing to quicken under the hands of Ruby Walsh.
Rock On Ruby and Hurricane Fly will both be back to battle it out at Cheltenham again in March and they will be hoping to emulate the likes of the legendary Hardy Eustace, Istabraq and See You Then who have all won the race on more than one occasion.
Other horses that live long in the memory of Champion Hurdle viewers will be Colm Murphy’s sensational Brave Inca, Philip Hobbs’ Rooster Booster, Peter Easterby’s Sea Pigeon and the supremely talented Persian War who all entered the Cheltenham Festival winner’s enclosure in some style.
In 2013, thousands of racegoers will pass through the Festival gates to watch the best hurdlers in the business battle it out on the opening day of the meeting and whatever the result, they’re sure to be in for a treat.