Christmas Hurdle

The Christmas Hurdle is a Grade 1 race over two miles at Kempton Park on Boxing Day.

The Christmas Hurdle is held on Tuesday 26th December 2023.

It is one of the most important trials of the season for the Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham in March. Horses to win both races in the same season include Dawn Run (1983), Faugheen (2014), Buveur D’Air (2017) and Epatante (2019).

Find out more about the Christmas Hurdle:

Christmas Hurdle

Race Overview – The Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle at Kempton

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 1 national hunt hurdle race the Christmas Hurdle. It is run at Kempton Park over a course that is roughly 2 miles (3,219 metres) long, and there are eight hurdles to clear along the way.

The Christmas Hurdle is run each year on the 26th of December at the Kempton Park Christmas Festival.

In our Christmas Hurdle guide, we run through all the latest betting odds, tips and history of the Boxing Day iconic hurdle race.

Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle 2023 Odds

The Christmas Hurdle odds are listed below:

Kempton Christmas Hurdle
  • Date: Monday 26th of December 2022
  • Time: 13:55
  • Details: 6 Runners Kempton.
Constitution Hill
Sceau Royal

Ladbrokes Christmas Hurdle 2023 Tips

It is impossible to oppose CONSTITUTION HILL who is being lauded as one of the best hurdlers of all time, whilst he may have a while to go to justify that he is certainly on his way. We expect an easy victory to cement his position at the top of the Champion Hurdle betting. He put previous winner Epatante in her place in the Fighting Fifth at Newcastle last time.

TIP – Constitution Hill

Many Christmas Hurdle horses will race in more races throughout the years. Stay updated on the horses and place ante-post bets if you want to wager on them.

Christmas Hurdle Previous Winners

The list of subsequent winners is as below:

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
1969Coral Diver4Terry BiddlecombeFred Rimell
1970no race 1970 [a]
1971Coral Diver6Terry BiddlecombeFred Rimell
1972Canasta Lad6Jeff KingPeter Bailey
1973Lanzarote5Richard PitmanFred Winter
1974Tree Tangle5Andrew TurnellBob Turnell
1975Lanzarote7John FrancomeFred Winter
1976Dramatist5Bill SmithFulke Walwyn
1977Beacon Light6Andrew TurnellBob Turnell
1978Kybo5Bob ChampionJosh Gifford
1979Birds Nest [b]9Andrew TurnellBob Turnell
1980Celtic Ryde5John FrancomePeter Cundell
1981no race 1981 [c]
1982Ekbalco6Jonjo O'NeillRoger Fisher
1983Dawn Run5Jonjo O'NeillPaddy Mullins
1984Browne's Gazette6Dermot BrowneMonica Dickinson
1985Aonoch6Jimmy DugganSally Oliver
1986Nohalmdun5Peter ScudamorePeter Easterby
1987Osric5Graham McCourtMick Ryan
1988Kribensis4Richard DunwoodyMichael Stoute
1989Kribensis5Richard DunwoodyMichael Stoute
1990Fidway5Steve Smith EcclesTim Thomson Jones
1991Gran Alba5Graham McCourtRichard Hannon Sr.
1992Mighty Mogul5Richard DunwoodyDavid Nicholson
1993Muse6Mark RichardsDavid Elsworth
1994Absalom's Lady6Paul HolleyDavid Elsworth
1995no race 1995–96 [d]
1997Kerawi4Carl LlewellynNigel Twiston-Davies
1998French Holly7Andrew ThorntonFerdy Murphy
1999Dato Star8Lorcan WyerMalcolm Jefferson
2000Geos5Mick FitzgeraldNicky Henderson
2001Landing Light6Mick FitzgeraldNicky Henderson
2002Intersky Falcon5Charlie SwanJonjo O'Neill
2003Intersky Falcon6Liam CooperJonjo O'Neill
2004Harchibald5Paul CarberryNoel Meade
2005Feathard Lady [e]5Ruby WalshColm Murphy
2006Jazz Messenger6Niall MaddenNoel Meade
2007Straw Bear6Tony McCoyNick Gifford
2008Harchibald9Paul CarberryNoel Meade
2009Go Native6Davy CondonNoel Meade
2010Binocular [f]7Tony McCoyNicky Henderson
2011Binocular7Tony McCoyNicky Henderson
2012Darlan5Tony McCoyNicky Henderson
2013My Tent Or Yours6Tony McCoyNicky Henderson
2014Faugheen6Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2015Faugheen7Ruby WalshWillie Mullins
2016Yanworth6Barry GeraghtyAlan King
2017Buveur d'Air6Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2018Verdana Blue6Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson
2019Epatante5Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2020Silver Streak7Adam WedgeEvan Williams
2021Epatante7Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson
2022Constitution Hill5Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson

Christmas Hurdle Previous Result

Famous Christmas Hurdle Winners

The Christmas Hurdle was first run in 1969 with victory going to Fred Rimell’s Coral Diver.

The race was lost to the weather in 1970 before Coral Diver added a second victory in 1971.

Fred Winter’s Lanzarote won it in 1973 and 1975, also taking the 1974 Champion Hurdle.

Several of the top hurdlers from the Golden Age of hurdling in the 1970’s won the Christmas Hurdle including Kybo (1978) and Birds Nest (1979).

Celtic Ryde actually finished first in 1979 but was disqualified in favour of Birds Nest. He returned to Kempton to claim the prize the following year.

Kribensis (1988, 1989) became the next dual winner, a rare runner under National Hunt rules for Sheikh Mohammed. Kribensis was trained by Sir Michael Stoute and had won the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle prior to running in the Christmas Hurdle. He went on to win the Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton before winning the Champion Hurdle by three lengths under Richard Dunwoody.

Dawn Run was a famous winner of the Christmas Hurdle for Paddy Mullins and Jonjo O’Neill in 1983. The brilliant mare won the Champion Hurdle in 1984 and made racing history when winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup in 1986. She remains the only horse to win the two biggest events over hurdles and fences at the Cheltenham Festival.

The pattern of repeat winners continued with Intersky Falcon (2002, 2003), Harchibald (2004, 2008), Binocular (2010, 2011) and Faugheen (2014, 2015).

With fantastic prize money it often attracts a quality field.

Key Christmas Hurdle Trials

The best form guide for the Christmas Hurdle is the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in late November or early December. Five of the last twelve winners of that race ran here, three of them won and one was placed.

The Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton is a possible target for Christmas Hurdle winners before Cheltenham. Binocular (2011) and Yanworth (2016) won both races. Four of the last twelve winners have gone straight to Cheltenham, Faugheen (2014) and Epatante (2019) both won the Champion Hurdle on their next start.

Christmas Hurdle Betting Trends

Horses aged five to seven have won every renewal of the Christmas Hurdle since Harchibald won as a nine-year-old in 2008. He equalled the record established by Birds Nest in 1979.

Only three four-year-olds have won the Christmas Hurdle; Coral Diver (1969), Kribensis (1988) and Kerawi (1997).

Favourites have a fine record in this race with seven outright market leaders and one joint-favourite winning in the past twelve seasons.

Remarkably, Harchibald (2008) was the most recent horse to win the Christmas Hurdle from outside of the two market leaders.

Silver Streak was the longest-priced winner during that period at 13-2 but he was second favourite to the long odds-on Epatante.

Ten of the last twelve winners ran within the previous six weeks.

Class usually comes out on top here with seven of those twelve having already won at least once at Grade 1 level.

An official rating of 150 or higher is usually required to win this race. Binocular was rated 171 in 2010 and Buveur D’Air was just 2lbs lower in 2017.

Christmas Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson has an exceptional record in the Christmas Hurdle with ten winners. The Lambourn Trainer won the race for the first time with Geos in 2000 and followed up with Landing Light in 2001. He then won four successive renewals with Binocular (2010, 2011), Darlan (2012) and My Tent Or Yours (2013).

Henderson’s domination resumed in 2017 with Buveur D’Air before Verdana Blue (2018) and Epatante (2019 and 2021).

Owner JP McManus has nine victories to his credit. Besides those trained by Henderson, he also won with Straw Bear (2007) trained by Nick Gifford and Yanworth (2016) trained by Alan King.

Noel Meade trained the winner four times between 2004 and 2009, twice with Harchibald (2004, 2008) and also with Jazz Messenger (2006) and Go Native (2009).

Willie Mullins won the race in 2014 and 2015 with Faugheen.

Tony McCoy leads the all-time standings in the Christmas Hurdle with five winners; Straw Bear (2007), Binocular (2010, 2011), Darlan (2012) and My Tent Or Yours (2013). He wore the famous green and gold silks of JP McManus on each occasion.

Betting on the Christmas Hurdle

The Christmas Hurdle has been dominated by the two market leaders in recent years. There have been four winning odds-on favourites, although Epatante was famously turned over at 1-5 in 2020.

A top-class trial for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival.

Popular Questions

When is the Christmas Hurdle?

The Christmas Hurdle takes place on Monday 26th December 2023 at Kempton Park.

What are important facts about Christmas Hurdle?

Here are some important facts about Christmas Hurdle:

  • The Christmas Hurdle is run at Kempton Park, Great Britain
  • The Christmas Hurdle is for horses aged 4 and older
  • The Christmas Hurdle is a National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain
  • The Christmas Hurdle distance is about 2 miles
  • The Christmas Hurdle prize money is £130,000

Summary of the Christmas Hurdle

Thank you for reading our Christmas Hurdle guide, it is always one of the top hurdle races of the season.

Although it doesn’t attract a large field, the runners are often top-class with many going out to claim top honours at Cheltenham.

Boxing Day Horse Racing Information Articles

Related December Articles


Subjects and keywords covered:

  • National hunt racing – top hurdles races

As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.