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Cheltenham Festival News: Cormier Eyes £100k Bonus in County Hurdle



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Twelve months ago we saw the Irish-trained The Shunter win the bet365 Morebattle Hurdle and then go onto win the Paddy Power Plate at the Cheltenham Festival.

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In the process, the 8 year-old landed the £100,000 bonus sponsors bet365 put up should the winner of the Morebattle Hurdle go onto win ANY Cheltenham Festival race that same season.

Therefore, after CORMIER won the £51k race at Kelso on Saturday, all eyes will be on this Brian Ellison-trained 6 year-old to see if he can follow-up at the Cheltenham Festival (15th-18th March 22) and in the process scoop the bet365 £100k bonus payday!

Cormier Entered In Two Races at the Cheltenham Festival

At this stage he holds entries in the Coral Cup (16th March) and is @16/1 with bet365

Plus, is also in the McCoy Contractors County Hurdle (18th March) and on offer @12/1 with bet365.

Of those two Cheltenham Festival races, the preferred option – according to his trainer – Brian Ellison – is will be the County Hurdle @12/1 with bet365.

“This horse used to be very keen when we first got him but he’s settled now. If anything he got there too early but he tries. Taking the hurdles out didn’t bother him because he’s won a few on the Flat.

“Cheltenham will be different but we know he acts round there. Whether he’s good enough doesn’t matter, he’s won a £100,000 race and Dan [Gilbert], his [part] owner, lives just over the road from Cheltenham.” Brian Elliosn and Dan Gilbert told the Racing Post.

Cormier Improving All The Time

Cormier’s recent Morebattle Hurdle win by 1 ½ lengths was is second win in as many races having prior to that won a decent handicap at Cheltenham at the end of January.

Therefore, with the proven track experience we know Cormier won’t have any issues with the course at Cheltenham, while his last two wins have been on ‘soft’ and then ‘good’ ground so no matter what conditions are he’ll be fine.

County Hurdle Betting Trends

2021 Winner: BELFAST BANTER (33/1)
Trainer – Peter Fahey
Jockey – Kevin Sexton


  • The Irish have won 10 of the last 15 runnings
  • 6 of the last 7 winners were trained by Willie Mullins (3) or Dan Skelton (3)
  • Willie Mullins has won 5 of the last 12 runnings
  • 17 of the last 21 winners were novices or second season hurdlers
  • 14 of the last 16 winners were rated in the 130’s
  • 8 of the last 14 winners returned 20/1 or bigger
  • 6 of the last 13 winners had run in 6 or less hurdles races
  • 12 of the last 16 winners were aged 5 or 6 years-old
  • 11 of the last 23 winners aged 5
  • 6 of the last 8 winners had run at Cheltenham before
  • 10 of the last 15 winners Irish-trained
  • 8 of the last 14 winners started their careers in France
  • 13 of the last 16 winners were priced in double-figures
  • 13 of the last 18 winners began their careers on the flat
  • Look for Mullins, Martins & Nicholls-trained runners
  • Respect the Imperial Cup (Sandown Park) winner
  • 9 winners since 2002 ran in the Ladbrokes or Betfair Hurdles that season
  • 11 of the last 21 winners came from the top 5 in the betting
  • 12 of the last 15 winners DIDN’T win last time out
  • 5 of the last 6 winners hadn’t raced in the last 72 days
  • Paul Nicholls is 4 from 31 (+15pts)
  • Willie Mullins is 4 from 43 (+42.5pts)
  • Trainer Dan Skelton has trained 3 of the last 6 renewals


  • Strangely, previous course winners have a bad record
  • Only 2 winners since 2000 winning with a mark of 150+
  • Since 1960 only 5 winners carried more than 11st 2lb
  • Since 1961, only 9 winners had run at the Festival before
  • Since 2005, just one winner rated 140+ (158 runners)
  • Avoid runners that hadn’t raced at least 4 times that season
  • Avoid horses making their handicap debuts, although last year’s winner defied this trend
  • Horses aged 9+ are 0-from23 in the last 10 years
  • 1 of the last 8 winners ran no more than 4 times that season
  • Just 2 of the last 14 winners returned a single-figure price
  • Nicky Henderson has a poor record (0-from-33) since 2000
  • Gordon Elliott has a poor record (0-from-17) last 11 years
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