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Racing Post Champion Hurdle History

The Rabobank Champion Hurdle is a Grade One race run at the Punchestown Festival over two miles for horses aged four years or older.

Established in 1999, this contest got off to a fantastic start as the inaugural race was won by incomparable sensation that was Istabraq.  After bagging both the Champion Hurdle and the Irish Champion Hurdle, the Aidan O'Brien legend then went to the Punchestown Festival to win the race by three-and-a-half lengths to cement his place as one of the leading hurdlers of all time.

Since then the race has attracted some top quailty equine talent and has often seen winners of the Champion Hurdle in both the UK & Ireland compete in the end of season contest.

Moscow Flyer was a classy winner of the 2001 renewal before making his name over the larger obstacles for Jessica Harrington, whilst Hardy Eustace bagged success in the 2004 renewal with Brave Inca winning it 12 months later to use it as a springboard to Champion Hurdle glory which he tasted in 2006.

Nicky Henderson's Punjabi halted the Irish domination in the contest as his future Champion Hurdler took the glory in 2008 before Charles Byrnes' Solwhit grabbed the trophy back for the Emerald Isle in 2009.

Arguably the classiest horse to have won this top class Grade one is Willie Mullins' Hurricane Fly, who won his first crown in the 2010 renewal.  He then ventured back as the Champion Hurdler in 2011 and duly sauntered to a five length success over stablemate Thousand Stars to become the first horse to win back-to-back Rabobank Champion Hurdle titles.

Recent Winners of Rabobank Champion Hurdle

  • 2000 - Grimes
  • 2001 - Moscow Flyer
  • 2002 - Davenport Milenium
  • 2003 - Quazar
  • 2004 - Hardy Eustace
  • 2005 - Brave Inca
  • 2006 - Macs Joy
  • 2007 - Silent Oscar
  • 2008 - Punjabi
  • 2009 - Solwhit
  • 2010 - Hurricane Fly
  • 2011 - Hurricane Fly
  • 2012 - Hurricane Fly
  • 2013 - Hurricane Fly