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Champion Hurdle

Champion Hurdle
Tue 12 March, 1515 GMT

In the Smurfit Champion Hurdle, run over two miles on the opening day, there are eight hurdles to cross.

The early pace is usually fast and they quicken even more flying down the hill to the penultimate hurdle.

There is no margin for error at this obstacle, and it often claims a scalp or two.

The long turn for home with the hill and one more jump to overcome actually encourages a horse to quicken as if racing the railing itself and the race can be won or lost there.

At the last jump if there are several horses together, it is the time for riders to ask their mounts for maximum effort.

The final surge to the finish will make each breath feel like inhaling steam.

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