The Cheltenham festival kicks off today and it is arguably the biggest race of the day is the Champions Hurdle.
The most successful horse ever in the race is Istabraq who is also the only horse to win it three times in a row in 1998, 1999 and 2000.Embed from Getty Images
Sir AP McCoy has gone on and expressed his opinion on the horse as well, lauding him as “the first real champion.”
McCoy said: “He was a brilliant jumper. He had everything you’d expect a horse that could win three Champion Hurdles.”
Istabraq was such an impressive horse that even McCoy was in awe of him and it clearly shows, claiming “he was a brilliant jumper in that he actually fell twice.”
“But those really, really, really good champions, it’s very, very fine margins because they are so slick.”Embed from Getty Images
“If I could have ridden one horse, and there was a few that I’d like to have ridden, I definitely liked to have ridden Istabraq.”
Not only does this speak highly of the horse, but also of the trainer, Aidan O’Brien.
He said: ” He was probably the first horse I suppose, that bought Aidan O’Brien to fame, if you like. It probably showed the world of talents of a trainer, even though he was a jump trainer. “Embed from Getty Images
No one since has reached the great heights of winning three Champion Hurdles and it doesn’t look like they will any time soon.
The Champion Hurdle is the fourth race of the day at 3:30pm.