National Spirit Hurdle

The National Spirit Hurdle is a Grade 2 race over two miles and three furlongs at Fontwell Park.

It takes place in late February or early March and is named after the 1947 and 1948 Champion Hurdle winner.

Notable past winners include Comedy Of Errors (1976, 1977), Bird’s Nest (1979), Beech Road (1989), Baracouda (2001) and My Way de Solzen (2006).

Find out more about the National Spirit Hurdle:

National Spirit Hurdle

Race Overview

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle race known as the National Spirit Hurdle in Great Britain.

There are 10 hurdles to clear throughout the race, which is raced at Fontwell Park over a distance of around 2 miles and 3 furlongs (2 miles, 3 furlongs, and 33 yards, or 3,852 metres).

The National Spirit Hurdle is going to be run on Sunday 26th February 2023. It is one of the main races for February Horse Racing in 2023.

National Spirit Hurdle 2023 Odds

The National Spirit Hurdle odds are listed below:

The odds for this race have not yet been released.

National Spirit Hurdle Tips

The National Spirit Hurdle tips are below:

2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

Many National Spirit 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.

If you are looking for more racing tips for events taking place at Fontwell Racecourse then check out our Fontwell Park racing tips page.

National Spirit Hurdle Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
1971Varma5David MouldM Masson
1972St Patrick's Blue7David MouldD Tatlow
1973Brantridge Farmer5Richard RowellMiss A Sinclair
1974Brantridge Farmer6Terry BiddlecombeFulke Walwyn
1975Bladon5R KingtonFred Winter
1976Comedy of Errors9John BurkeFred Rimell
1977Comedy of Errors10John BurkeFred Rimell
1978Kybo5Bob ChampionJosh Gifford
1979Bird's Nest9Andy TurnellBob Turnell
1980Snowtown Boy5John FrancomeFred Winter
1981Random Leg6Bob ChampionJosh Gifford
1982Mr Moonraker5P CarvillMiss S Morris
1984Cut A Dash5John FrancomeMrs N Smith
1987Corporal Clinger8Peter ScudamoreMartin Pipe
1988Vagador5Mark PerrettGuy Harwood
1989Beech Road7Richard GuestToby Balding
1990Vagador7Mark PerrettGuy Harwood
1991Al Asoof6Mark RichardsPeter Hedger
1992Honest Word7Peter ScudamoreMartin Pipe
1993Flown6Richard DunwoodyNicky Henderson
1999Lady Cricket5Tony McCoyMartin Pipe
2000Male-Ana-Mou7Andrew ThorntonJamie Poulton
2001Baracouda6Thierry DoumenFrançois Doumen
2002Rouble6Leighton AspellJosh Gifford
2003Classified7Tony McCoyMartin Pipe
2004Starzaan5Timmy MurphyHughie Morrison
2005Blue Canyon7Tony McCoyFrançois Doumen
2006My Way de Solzen6Robert ThorntonAlan King
2007United6Leighton AspellLucy Wadham
2008Lough Derg8Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe
2009Lough Derg9Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe
2010Trenchant5Robert ThorntonAlan King
2011Celestial Halo7Harry SkeltonPaul Nicholls
2012Third Intention5Joe TizzardColin Tizzard
2013Prospect Wells8Daryl JacobPaul Nicholls
2014Kayf Moss6Rhys FlintJohn Flint
2015Kilcooley6Noel FehilyCharlie Longsdon
2016Lil Rockerfeller5Trevor WhelanNeil King
2017Camping Ground7Joshua MooreGary Moore
2018Old Guard7Harry CobdenPaul Nicholls
2019Vision Des Flos6Tom ScudamoreColin Tizzard
2020William Henry10Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson
2021Brewin'upastorm8Aidan ColemanOlly Murphy
2022Botox Has6Joshua MooreGary Moore
2023Brewin'upastorm10Aidan ColemanOlly Murphy

National Spirit Hurdle 2022 Result

Famous National Spirit Hurdle Winners

The National Spirit Hurdle was originally regarded as a Champion Hurdle Trial, although these days it tends to attract horses engaged in the Stayers Hurdle. Comedy Of Errors won here as a nine and ten-year-old in 1976 and 1977 for Trainer Fred Rimell and jockey John Burke. His Champion Hurdle victories came in 1973 and 1975, finishing runner-up to Lanzarote in 1974.

Bird’s Nest won the National Spirit in 1979 for Bob and Andy Turnell. He never won the Champion Hurdle but was regularly pitted against the likes of Night Nurse, Sea Pigeon and Monksfield in the Gold Age of hurdling. He did win the Scottish Champion Hurdle twice and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.

1989 winner Beech Road went on to win the Champion Hurdle in the same season for Toby Balding and Richard Guest. He was a 50-1 chance but ran on too strongly for Celtic Chief and Celtic Shot. 2001 winner Baracouda was trained in France by Thierry Doumen and won the Stayers Hurdle in 2002 and 2003. He also won the Long Walk Hurdle four times, the Ascot Hurdle twice and the Long Distance Hurdle twice.

My Way de Solzen (2006) is the only horse to win the National Spirit Hurdle and the Stayers Hurdle in the same season. The most recent dual winners of the race have been David Pipe’s Lough Derg (2008, 2009) and Olly Murphy’s Brewin’upastorm (2021, 2023).

Key National Spirit Hurdle Trials

There have been no obvious trial races for the National Spirit Hurdle in recent seasons. It may be worth noting that seven of the last twelve winners had at least one previous victory over two and a half miles.

Only three of the last ten winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival in the same season. Third Intention (2012) and Vision Des Flos (2019) both finished down the field in the Coral Cup and Lil Rockerfeller (2016) finished seventh in the Champion Hurdle. Three winners ran in the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National meeting but all were unplaced. The subsequent form of recent winners has been poor with none of the last ten managing even a place during the remainder of the season.

National Spirit Hurdle Betting Trends

There have only been two winning favourites in the National Spirit Hurdle in the past twelve seasons; Third Intention (2012) 11-10 and Lil Rockerfeller (2016) 7-4. Eight of the twelve were in the first three in the betting in a race which typically attracts a small field. The biggest turnout for this event in the past twelve seasons was eight runners in 2016 and 2019.

There have been a few surprise results, the biggest being the 20-1 victory of Botox Has in 2022. Kayf Moss won at 16-1 in 2014 and Camping Ground was a 9-1 chance when winning in 2017. The winning age range has been from five to ten during the same period. An official rate of 148 or higher is usually required to win the National Spirit Hurdle. The highest rated winners in recent years were Old Guard (2018) and William Henry (2020), both rated 156.

National Spirit Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

No Trainer has really dominated this race but Paul Nicholls has won it three times, most recently with Old Guard in 2018. Gary Moore won it with Camping Ground and Botox Has while Olly Murphy trained Brewin’upastorm to win it in 2021 and 2023.

The recently retired Tom Scudamore rode the winner on three occasions; Lough Derg (2008, 2009) and Vision Des Flos (2019). That equals the tally of Tony McCoy, successful on Lady Cricket (1999), Classified (2003) and Blue Canyon (2005). Joshua Moore and Aidan Coleman have ridden two winners apiece.

Betting on the National Spirit Hurdle

The National Spirit Hurdle is one of the highlights of the season at Fontwell Park. The race may no longer attract the quality of horse that it once did but it still produces a competitive event. As a note of caution, the form has not been holding up in subsequent races.

National Spirit Hurdle Facts

  • The National Spirit Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in the United Kingdom for four-year-old and above horses.
  • It is run at Fontwell Park over a distance of about 2 miles and 3 furlongs, and during its running there are ten hurdles to be jumped.
  • The race is scheduled to take place each year in February or March.
  • The National Spirit Hurdle was first run in 2013.

Summary of the National Spirit Hurdle

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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.