The Champion hurdle is the key race on day one of the Cheltenham festival as the best hurdlers race over 2 miles and ½ furlong for prize money of £450,000. This is record prize money following the recent backing for the festival races that has now exceeded over £1 million a day. The race looks set to be about the battle between two previous winners in current champion Buveur D’Air and Faugheen.
Buveur D’Air is the current champion and is clearly the one to beat going into the 2018 edition of the race. He has continued to progress over hurdles and is now unbeaten in 8 starts that stems back from his third place at the 2016 festival behind stablemate Altior in the Supreme Novice. That race has turned out to be one of the strongest in recent times with several top group 1 level performances coming out of the race.
Faugheen on the other hand has been one of the most dominant champions of recent times. He returned from an injury looking as good as ever but followed it up being pulled up over the Christmas period. This now leaves the horse with questions to answer however connections have given positive updates recently and that the festival is still the target.
If back to form this clash is one to savour for racing fans as two stars of modern day racing clash on the biggest stage. The latest Cheltenham odds still has the current champion as the clear favourite going into the race. Check this infographic out to see how Faugheen compares to the greatest Champion hurdlers throughout history.