Hatton’s Grace Hurdle Tips, 1st December 2019
Late November/early December each year sees Fairyhouse play host to one of its top early season jumps cards, with three Grade 1 events on offer.
One of the hurdling highlights of the days is this contest which has been taken by a Champion Hurdler on more than one occasion. Here we take a look at the best odds and offers surrounding this high class event and provide our betting tips for the race.
This 2m4f Grade 1 Hurdle featuring 11 obstacles is open to runners aged four and older. The event was first run at Fairyhouse in 1994, and now offers €100,000 in total prize money.
Hatton’s Grace Hurdle 2019 Tips and Race Preview
Race preview coming soon.
- 2018 – Apple’s Jade – jockey Jack Kennedy, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2017 – Apple’s Jade – jockey Jack Kennedy, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2016 – Apple’s Jade – jockey Bryan Cooper, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2015 – Arctic Fire – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2014 – Lieutenant Colonel – jockey Bryan Cooper, trainer Sandra Hughes
- 2013 – Jezki – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jessica Harrington
- 2012 – Zaidpour – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2011 – Voler la Vedette – jockey Andrew Lynch, trainer Colm Murphy
- 2010 – Hurricane Fly – jockey Paul Townend, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2009 – Oscar Dan Dan – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Tom Mullins
- 2008 – Catch Me – jockey Andrew McNamara, trainer Edward O’Grady
- 2007 – Aitmatov – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Noel Meade
Hatton’s Grace Hurdle History
Added to the Irish racing calendar in 1994, the event is named after the first horse to win the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham on three separate occasions, the Vincent O’Brien trained, Hatton’s Grace. Being named after so talented a performer it is fitting that the event has held Grade 1 status ever since its inaugural running.
Having named after a horse who fared so well in the Cheltenham Festival’s hurdling showpiece, it is also apt that the roll of honour for this contest features a number of performers who have followed suit.
Brave Inca and Jezki, who won here in 2006 and 2013 respectively, both also have a Champion Hurdle win on their CV, whilst the mighty Hurricane Fly took this in 2010, prior to claiming the Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013, in addition to four Punchestown Champion Hurdles and five Irish Champion Hurdles in what was a truly remarkable career.
The Willie Mullins-trained Hurricane Fly may be the most prolific of the runners to have scored here, but in terms of raw ability, we rate Aidan O’Brien’s mighty Istabraq as the most talented hurdler to feature on the list of previous winners. Taking this prize in both 1997 and 1998, he emulated Hatton’s Grace by also taking the Champion Hurdle three times in a row between 1998 and 2000. A hot favourite for the 2001 edition, Istabraq was denied the opportunity to become the only horse to win four Champion Hurdles as that year’s Festival was abandoned due to foot and mouth.
As brilliant as Istabraq was, he is not the winning most horse in the history of this event. That honour is shared by the James Bowe trained duo of Solerina (2003-2005), and the tough as teak Limestone Lad (1999, 2001,2002), and the Gordon Elliott-trained Apple’s Jade who won it most recently: 2016-18. Limestone Lad is the only horse to date to regain the title having lost it, and having been 10 years of age at the time of his third triumph, is also the oldest winner in the history of the contest. Gordon Elliott’s talented filly Apple’s Jade, became the youngest winner to date when coming home in front in 2016 as a four year old.
Being responsible for not one, but two, three time winners of the race, it will be little surprise to read that it is James Bowe who leads the way in the training ranks, with those six victories putting him three clear of his nearest pursuer, Willie Mullins (as of 2016). Solerina’s regular rider Wayne Hutchinson is tied for the lead amongst the jockeys with Istabraq’s pilot Charlie Swan. Each rider boasting three wins apiece.