Irish Champion Hurdle 2020: Can Honeysuckle Stay Sweet at Leopardstown?

Irish Champion Hurdle 2020

The 2020 Irish Champion Hurdle drew a field of 14 that will battle at Leopardstown on Feb. 1. (Photo credit: Leopardstown Racecourse).

The Irish Champion Hurdle 2020 will have a who’s who list of competitors at Leopardstown. The race will take place on day one of the Dublin Festival, February 1st, with 14 entries set to compete in the two-mile race. Fans and punters are debating which horse will win the lucrative Irish Champion Hurdle this year. Punters can find bet bonuses and tips for horse racing betting before wagering on the horse they believe will win the Irish Champion Hurdle.

The Irish Champion Hurdle will have a prize purse of €200,000 up for grabs. The going is expected to be soft when the 14 horses entered in the race compete in February.

Irish Champion Hurdle History

The Irish Champion Hurdle has been run since 1950. Although the Dublin Festival didn’t debut until 1987, the Irish Champion Hurdle had a long history before joining up with the two-day event.

The Irish Champion Hurdle has always been considered Ireland’s equivalent to the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle held in March. The race is considered a lead-up to the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle with some of the horses competing in both races.

Famed Irish jockey Ruby Walsh dominated the Irish Champion Hurdle during his illustrious career. Walsh claimed six all-time wins. Trainer Wille Mullins has bagged six career victories at the Irish Champion Hurdle as well. Mullins will have four entries in this year’s Irish Champion Hurdle which could lead to his seventh all-time victory at the race.

Irish Champion Hurdle 2020 Betting

Mullins may have four entrants in this year’s Irish Champion Hurdle, but it is Henry De Bromhead’s Honeysuckle that leads the way in odds. Honeysuckle is 7/4 to win the Irish Champion Hurdle 2020. The six-year-old is undefeated in seven career starts. Honeysuckle picked up back to back wins at Fairyhouse in November and December to end 2019. De Bromhead’s charge is strong over the two-mile distance and should be difficult to slow down at Leopardstown.

The Mullins-trained Sharjah is 9/4 to win the Irish Champion Hurdle. Sharjah won in his last race at Leopardstown at the end of December. It was Sharjah’s first race win since 2018 when winning by three-and-three-quarter lengths at Leopardstown. Sharjah knows the racecourse well and should offer strong opposition to Honeysuckle.

Gordon Elliot’s Apple’s Jade is 5/2 to race to glory. Like Sharjah, Apple’s Jade is very familiar with Leopardstown. The horse won at the racetrack in late December winning by a brilliant 17 lengths over three miles. It was Apple’s Jade’s first win in six starts.

Mullins’ second of four horses, Klassical Dream, is another one of the top-rated horses going into the Irish Champion Hurdle 2020. Klassical Dream is 4/1 to pick up a first race win since April 2019. Klassical Dream lost to stable mate Sharjah last time out in December at Leopardstown.

The Irish Champion Hurdle will provide another great race leading up to Cheltenham in March. Will Mullins nab his seventh all-time win in the race or will another top trainer win the lucrative event on day one of the Dublin Festival?

NTRA Top Thoroughbred Poll

No. Horse Points
1 Flightline 351
2 Life Is Good 306
3 Olympiad 292
4 Jackie's Warrior 282
5 Clairiere 142
5 Country Grammer 142
7 Epicenter 121
8 Regal Glory 89
9 Nest 87
10 Hot Rod Charlie 48
As of August 1, 2022

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