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Champion Hurdle Trial - 17th January, 2015

The New One was eased slightly in the Champion Hurdle betting following Faugheen's imperious victory in the Christmas Hurdle, but the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained superstar has his chance to show his ability over timber on Saturday afternoon when he lines up in the Champion Hurdle Trial at Haydock Park.

Electing to avoid a Kempton Park duel with Faugheen, The New One showed a few weeks earlier that he oozes quality when landing the International Hurdle with aplomb and he will be sent off a red-hot favourite for this 2m 110y test at the weekend.

Second favourite for the Champion Hurdle, which takes place at the Cheltenham Festival on March 10, The New One has already bagged three races this season and this should be a stroll in the park if he can produce his best and will bring him on for another tilt at the Champion Hurdle in the spring.

Dan Skelton's Bertimont could potentially pose the biggest threat, but the Elite Hurdle runner-up could only finish sixth behind The New One in the aforementioned International and will find things tough to reverse the form in this Grade 2 race.

Desert Cry has been seen running over fences for Donald McCain of late and could revert back to the smaller obstacles, but he has often struggled at this sort of level over timber, whilst even though Strongpoint ran well in the Hogmaneigh Hurdle at Musselburgh on New Year's Day, this is a considerable step up in class.

Latest Betting for 2015 Champion Hurdle Trial

1/6 The New One

11/2 Bertimont

10/1 Desert Cry

14/1 Strongpoint

50/1 Got The Nac

66/1 Trucking Along

100/1 Swaledale Lad

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Champion Hurdle Trial History

The Champion Hurdle Trial is a Grade Two race run at Haydock Park over two miles, 110 yards for horses aged four years or older.

Attracting some of the best hurdlers in training this contest has now become an integral trial for the Champion Hurdle and alongside the Fighting Fifth Hurdle from Newcastle and the International Hurdle at Cheltenham is part of the Road to Cheltenham trilogy.

Many trainers will be looking to gain a great performance from their runners before heading to Prestbury Park in March in search of Championship glory and there have been some top class winners of this contest, who have gone on to make their mark at the Festival.

Martin Pipe's Granville Again won the Champion Hurdle trial in 1992, but he had to wait until the following year until he lifted the coveted Champion Hurdle crown, whilst Dato Star was a dual winner of this event in 1998 and 2000 for Malcolm Jefferson, but failed to venture on to Festival glory.

Rooster Booster headed to the 2004 renewal as the reigning Champion hurdler after storming to victory at the 2003 Cheltenham Festival and Philip Hobbs' grey was a majestic winner of the contest to cement his place as one of the leading 2m hurdlers.

Surprisingly, Inglis Drever won this contest in 2005 and it would be the World Hurdle he would make his name in as he went on to become one of the staying greats notching up a trio of crowns in the three-miler at the Festival.

Other winners include Al Eile, who became synonymous with the Aintree Hurdle, whilst Medermit was another classy winner of this contest that always seems to unearth future stars of the national hunt world.

Recent Winners of Champion Hurdle Trial

  • 2000 - Dato Star
  • 2001 - No Race
  • 2002 - Rodock
  • 2003 - Flame Creek
  • 2004 - Rooster Booster
  • 2005 - Inglis Drever
  • 2006 - Al Eile
  • 2007 - Afsoun
  • 2008 - No Race
  • 2009 - Songe
  • 2010 - Medermit
  • 2011 - No Race
  • 2012 - Celestial Halo
  • 2013 - No Race
  • 2014 - Melodic Rendezvous

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