The World Hurdle is a Grade 1 hurdle race which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of 3 miles, and during its running there are twelve hurdles to be jumped.

It is the leading long-distance hurdle event in the National Hunt calendar, and it is the feature race on the third day of the Festival.

By staging both the Ryanair Chase and the World Hurdle on the Thursday of the Festival, organisers have ensured that day three lacks nothing in prestige, despite not staging one of the three blue riband events.

In fact, the World Hurdle has taken on increased significance in its own right in recent years, thanks mainly to the exploits of the great French champion, Baracouda, who won the race twice and then finished second twice, and subsequently three-time winner Inglis Drever. They have set the standard by which all great staying hurdlers will be measured, and none more so than most recently with the dominant four-time World Hurdle winner Big Buck’s.

The recent resurgence that the race is enjoying is, perhaps, no coincidence. The trend towards better ground at the Festival has meant that the event has become less of a slog and has enabled the classier horses to dominate. Not since Anzum, in 1999, have we seen a double figure price winner of the race.

History

The present version of the event was introduced in 1972, when it replaced a previous race, the Spa Hurdle.

It was initially known as the Stayers’ Hurdle, and in its early years it was sponsored by Lloyds Bank.

It was backed by Waterford Crystal from 1978 to 1990 and by Bonusprint from 1991 to 2004.

The race used to be held on either the Tuesday or the Wednesday of the Festival, but it was moved to the Thursday in 1993. It was formerly contested on Cheltenham’s Old Course, where its distance was 3 miles and 1 furlong.

The title of the race was changed to the World Hurdle when Ladbrokes took over the sponsorship in 2005.

Race Previews:

Cheltenham 2016 - World Hurdle
Cole Harden soars to success in 2015, making all the running in the process.

Previous Winners:

YearHorseAgeTrainerOdds
2015Cole Harden6W Greatrex14-1
2014More Of That6J O’Neill15-2
2013Solwhit9C Byrnes17-2
2012Big Buck’s9P F Nicholls5-6F
2011Big Buck’s8P F Nicholls10-11F
2010Big Buck’s7P F Nicholls5-6F
2009Big Buck’s6P F Nicholls6-1
2008Inglis Drever9J H Johnson11-8F
2007Inglis Drever8J H Johnson5-1
2006My Way De Solzen6A King8-1
2005Inglis Drever6J H Johnson5-1
2004Iris’s Gift7J O’Neill9-2
2003Baracouda8F Doumen9-4JF
2002Baracouda7F Doumen13-8F
2000Bacchanal6N J Henderson11-2