Scottish Champion Hurdle
The Scottish Champion Hurdle is a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle race in Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older. It is run at Ayr, South Ayrshire, over a distance of about 2 miles (3,219 metres), and during its running there are nine hurdles to be jumped. It is a limited handicap race, and it is scheduled to take place each year in April.
|Grade 2 race|
|Race type||Hurdle race|
|Distance||2 miles (3,219 metres)|
|Qualification||Four-years-old and up|
|Verdana Blue||Dino Velvet||Equus Amadeus|
The event was established in 1966, and the inaugural winner was Blue Venom. For a period it was classed at Listed level, and it was promoted to Grade 2 status in 1991. The race used to be held on the day before the Scottish Grand National, but both events have taken place on the same day since 1994. Its present sponsor, CPMS, has backed the race since 2019.
Several winners of the Scottish Champion Hurdle have also achieved victory in the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. The most recent was Alderbrook, the winner of the latter contest in 1995. Captain Christy won the race in 1973, the year before winning the Cheltenham Gold Cup as a novice. Another Irish-trained horse, Golden Cygnet, suffered fatal injuries when he fell in the 1978 running.
Most successful horse (2 wins):
Leading jockey (3 wins):
- Andrew Turnell – Bird's Nest (1979, 1981), Secret Ballot (1980)
- Peter Scudamore – Royal Vulcan (1983), Rushmoor (1984), Granville Again (1992)
- Richard Dunwoody – Alderbrook (1996), Blowing Wind (1998), Fadalko (1999)
- Richard Johnson – In Contrast (2003), Noble Request (2006), Cheltenian (2015)
Leading trainer (4 wins):
- "Coronavirus: Horse racing in Great Britain suspended until end of April". BBC Sport. 17 March 2020.
- Racing Post:
- Timeform Chasers & Hurdlers Statistical Companion 1992–93. Portway Press. 1993. p. 172.
- pedigreequery.com – Scottish Champion Hurdle – Ayr.
- Ladbrokes Pocket Companion 1990/91. Aesculus Press. 1990. p. 70. ISBN 1-871093-21-X.