How many horses have won the Champion Hurdle more than once?
The two-mile hurdling championship, the Champion Hurdle, has been a fixture of the Cheltenham Festival since 1927 and, in the better part of a century, no horse has won the race more than three times. That said, the last three-time winner, Istabraq, was odds-on on to complete an unprecedented four-timer in 2001, only to be robbed of the opportunity by an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease. Nevertheless, alongside Hatton’s Grace, Sir Ken, Persian War and See You Then, Istabraq is, jointly, the most successful horse in Champion Hurdle history.
Down the years, numerous horses, starting with Insurance, owned by Dorothy Paget, in 1931 and 1932, have won the Champion Hurdle twice. National Spirit, one of the best hurdlers of the post-war era, did so in 1947 and 1948, but it wasn’t until the ‘golden era’ of hurdling in the Seventies and early Eighties that Bula, Comedy Of Errors, Night Nurse, Monksfield and Sea Pigeon became dual winners. More recently, Hardy Eustace recorded back-to-back victories in 2004 and 2005, as did Buveir D’Air in 2017 and 2018, whil Hurricane Fly won in 2011 and 2013, having finished third, at odds-on, in 2012. So, at the time of writing, five horses have won the Champion Hurdle three times and ten have won it twice, making a total of fifteen to have won the race more than once.