THE RYANAIR HURDLE IS A PATTERN RACE TRIAL FOR THE CHAMPION HURDLE AT CHELTENHAM
The December Hurdle is a Grade 1 race run over two miles at Leopardstown in December and it acts as an excellent trial for the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The race is named after the famous Istabraq who won this race so memorably four times in five years as well as winning the Champion Hurdle on three occasions during that period. More recently the stand out name on the December Hurdle roll of honour is that of Hurricane Fly who won here in 2010 and 2012 before going on to claim the Champion Hurdle on both occasions.
All the trends suggest that this is a a key trial for the champion Hurdle and punters are well advised to follow this one closely at Leopardstown with half an eye on Cheltenham.
Recent Winners of the Ryanair December Hurdle and Champion Hurdle Performances Later In The Same Season
2018 - Sharjah - Brought down in the Champion Hurdle
2017 - Mick Jazz - 3rd in the Champion Hurdle
2016 - Petit Mouchoir - 3rd in the Champion Hurdle
2015 - Nichols Canyon - 3rd in the Champion Hurdle
2014 - Hurricane Fly - 3rd in the Champion Hurdle
2013 - Hurricane Fly - 4th in the Champion Hurdle
2012 - Hurricane Fly* - 1st in the Champion Hurdle
2011 - Unaccompanied - Did not run at Cheltenham
2010 - Hurricane Fly* - 1st in the Champion Hurdle
*Went onto win the Champion Hurdle in the same season