The second race of Day Four at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival will be McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle. Day Four, also known as Gold Cup Friday, is the final day of this extraordinary National Hunt meeting.
Taking place every March at Cheltenham Racecourse since it took permanent residence in 1911, The Festival welcomes around 250,000 visitors over the course of the event, with Gold Cup Friday alone hosting around 65,000.
The Cheltenham Festival offers 28 exquisite, world-class races with at least one high-value featured race on each of the days – with the exception of St. Patrick’s Thursday which has two.
The featured races of the week are The Unibet Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy on Champion Day, The Betway Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase on Ladies Day, The Ryanair Steeple Chase and The Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle on St. Patrick’s Thursday and The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase on Gold Cup Friday.
This year’s Cheltenham Festival is due to take place from Tuesday the 16th until Friday the 19th of March, 2021. The second race of Gold Cup Friday will be McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle.
About the Race
Open to horses aged 5 years and older, McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle is a Grade 3 National Hunt hurdle race held on the ‘new course’ at Cheltenham.
McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle is amongst the shortest races of The Cheltenham Festival with a total distance of 2 miles and 179 yards. This handicap race has a total of 8 hurdles for the contenders to leap.
The County Hurdle was traditionally the final race of The Cheltenham Festival but was shifted to the second race of the final day after a fixture shuffle in 2009.
The most successful jockey in this race is Ruby Walsh with 4 wins between 2004 and 2011. No horse has won this race more than once and 2021 is looking like we’ll have another first-time winner.
McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle will be the second race of Gold Cup Friday on Friday the 19th of March 2021, beginning at 13:55.
The top 10 predicted runners and their ante-post odds for McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle at The Cheltenham Festival 2021 are the following:
- Saldier (FR) – 9/1 ante-post favourite – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-12 (06/02/21) – trained by Willie Mullins
- Verdana Blue (IRE) – 10/1 ante-post odds – 9 years old – weighing in at 10-7 (12/12/20) – trained by Nicky Henderson
- Irascible (FR) – 10/1 ante-post odds – 6 years old – weighing in at 10-12 (07/02/21) – trained by Henry De Bromhead
- Grand Roi (FR) – 10/1 ante-post odds – 5 years old – weighing in at 11-10 (31/01/21) – trained by Gordon Elliott
- Third Time Lucki (IRE) – 10/1 ante-post odds – will be 7 years old – weighing in at 11-6 (07/02/21) – trained by Dan Skelton
- Buzz (FR) – 12/1 ante-post odds – will be 8 years old – weighing in at 11-12 (19/12/20) – trained by Nicky Henderson
- Dreal Deal (IRE) – 12/1 ante-post odds – 6 years old – weighing in at 11-4 (17/01/21) – trained by Ronan McNally
- Drop The Anchor (IRE) – 12/1 ante-post odds – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-5 (06/02/21) – trained by Pat Fahy
- Master McShee (GB) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-12 (07/02/21) – trained by Paddy Corkery
- The Shunter (IRE) – 14/1 ante-post odds – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-7 (06/02/21) – trained by Emmet Mullins
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Recent years have seen a mixed pot of results in McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle. Last year’s favourite began the race with a very generous starting price of 11/2 – that’s £55 profit from a tenner on the favourite horse.
In 2018, 33/1 winner Mohaayed would have turned the £10 bets of lucky punters into £330 of profits. That alone would have more than covered the Festival costs of the average attendee making for a free week of glorious entertainment.
Here are the previous 4 winners of McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle, including their odds, closest competitors and race stats:
French 11/2 favourite Saint Roi won McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle last time out, ridden by jockey Barry Geraghty and trained by Willie Mullins.
Four and a half lengths behind the leader was German 8/1 Aramon in second, followed by 14/1 outsider Embittered by a head in third place. 16/1 Buildmeupbuttercup comfortably took the 4th placement prize.
12/1 outsider Ch’tibello won McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle in 2019, ridden by jockey Harry Skelton and trained by Dan Skelton.
5/1 race favourite Whiskey Sour finished in fourth place, freeing up second and third for 14/1 We Have A Dream and 18/1 Countister respectively.
On Friday, March the 16th 2018 it was big 33/1 outsider Mohaayed that took the first-place prize in McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle, ridden by jockey Bridget Andrews and trained by Dan Skelton.
6/1 race favourite Flying Tiger finished all the way down in 16th, freeing up placement spots for 50/1 Remiluc to finish in second place, 7/1 Whiskey Sour to finish third and 16/1 Chesterfield to clinch fourth.
Back in 2017, German horse Arctic Power won McCoy Contractors County Handicap Hurdle with a starting price of 20/1, ridden by Paul Townend and trained by Willie Mullins.
There was less than a length between fourth and sixth but it was 10/1 Air Horse One that clutched the fourth placement spot, with 9/1 Winter Escape just a shoulder behind and 5/1 race favourite Ivanovich Gorbatov finishing in 6th by a head.