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Everything bettors need to know about the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National Festival

If you’re a horse racing enthusiast then you will know that when the season changes and spring arrives, it’s time for the Grand National Festival. Indeed, when the flowers begin blossoming and the trees come into leaf, the moment has most certainly come to head up to Aintree Racecourse in Liverpool for one of the standout events of the National Hunt racing calendar.

The 2023 favorite for the Aintree Hurdle at the Grand National Festival 

In particular, one of the biggest drawcards of the three-day festival is the running of the Aintree Hurdle. For any punters looking at who to bet on in 2023, the latest odds on the Aintree Hurdle list the formidable Constitution Hill at just -400 to win.

You might look at those odds and wonder why they’re as low as they are and why all the Grand National tips 2023 you read back Constitution Hill to win the Aintree Hurdle at a canter. Chiefly, this is down to the fact that this generational talent holds an unbeaten record after winning six out of six races he has run in over his career so far.

This extraordinary prowess was on show during the Cheltenham Festival when Constitution Hill won the Champion Hurdle with staggering ease. The expectation is that this horse, which is already being tipped as one of the greatest of all time, will once again leave his opponents in the dust during the Aintree Hurdle.

It should be said even if the Aintree Hurdle in 2023 is looking like a foregone conclusion, that this race has a captivating history and often produces heartstopping moments. Below, we’ll have a look at the history of the race and what any prospective bettors should keep in mind before betting on the Aintree Hurdle. 

History of the Aintree Hurdle 

The Aintree Hurdle was first run in 1976 and has been a fixture in the National Hunt calendar ever since then. Initially, the race was run over a distance in the region of two miles and five furlongs. However, in 1988, 12 years after it was first run, the distance was shortened to its current length of about two miles and four furlongs. 

Interestingly, the choice to shorten the race was made so that it would serve as a far more attractive option for Champion Hurdle contenders who had already run at the Cheltenham Festival down in Gloucestershire the month before. 

It was a decision that made sense as a host of concerned trainers felt that the long distance of the Aintree Hurdle made it difficult for horses to run well after the grueling demands of the Champion Hurdle, which is also run over a distance of about two miles. Of course, it may not seem like it but shortening the Aintree Hurdle by just one furlong made it a more appealing option for these horses and crucially, it still managed to provide a significant test of their ability over hurdles.

Key tips to keep in mind before betting on the Aintree Hurdle 

The bottom line is that the running of this race can be frantic and fast so any horse that can sustain its speed over the final few furlongs tend to perform well after a grueling test over eleven hurdles. In other words, it’s always wise to back a horse like Constitution Hill which is renowned for powering through the gears when it matters most.

Finally, it’s also worth keeping in mind that Irish-trained horses have enjoyed considerable success in recent years. Put another way, be sure to keep an eye on horses that line up for the Aintree Hurdle that have made the short journey across the Irish Sea from the Emerald Isle.