As far as National Hunt racing is concerned, the ‘Timeform era’ began with the publication of the first Timeform Black Book in that sphere in 1962. Consequently, the Timeform era excludes such post-war luminaries as National Spirit, Hatton’s Grace and Sir Ken who, collectively, won the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival eight years running between 1947 and 1954.

However, Timeform Annual Ratings provide as reliable a measure as any of the relative merits of hurdlers from the late twentieth century onwards. Leading the way, according to the respected ratings organisation, is Night Nurse, trained by Peter Easterby, who won the Champion Hurdle in 1976 and 1977 – on the latter occasion beating what the Racing Post described as the ‘strongest of fields ever assembled’ – and was awarded a Timeform Annual Rating of 182.

Indeed, it is difficult to argue with the assertion of the Racing Post because second in the 1977 renewal of the Champion Hurdle was Monksfield, trained by Des McDonogh, who would win the prestigious hurdling event in 1978 and 1979; in so doing, Monksfield would earn a Timeform Annual Rating of 180, which places him joint-second on the all-time Timeform list. Sharing second position is the triple Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq, trained by Aidan O’Brien, who lifted the hurdling crown, on both sides of the Irish Sea, in 1998, 1999 and 2000 and was robbed of the opportunity to do so again in 2001, when the Cheltenham Festival was abandoned, in its entirety, due to an outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease.

13:20 Triumph Hurdle

🥇 Quilixios (Rachael Blackmore) 7/4
🥈 Adagio (T Scudamore) 17/2
🥉 Haut En Couleurs (P Townend) 14/1

13:55 County Handicap Hurdle

🥇 Belfast Banter (KC Sexton) 33/1
🥈 Petit Mouchoir (J C Gainford) 22/1
🥉 Milkwood (RT Dunne) 28/1

14:30 Novices’ Hurdle

🥇 Vanillier (MP Walsh) 14/1
🥈 Oscar Elite (Jonjo O’Neill Jr) 40/1
🥉 Streets of Doyen (SD Torrens) 10/1

15:05 The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 2021

🥇 Minella Indo (JW Kennedy) 9/1
🥈 A Plus Tard (Rachael Blackmore) 3/1
🥉 Al Boum Photo (P Townend) 9/4 Fav

15:40 Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase

🥇 Porlock Bay (Lorcan Williams) 16/1
🥈 Billaway (P Townend) 2/1 Fav
🥉 Staker Wallace (MP Walsh) 9/1

16:15 Mares’ Chase

🥇 Colreevy (P Townend) 9/4
🥈 Elimay (MP Walsh) 6/5 Fav
🥉 Shattered Love (JW Kennedy) 6/1

16:50 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

🥇 Galopin Des Champs (SF O’Keefe) 8/1
🥈 Langer Dan (Lorcan Williams) 13/2

13:20 Triumph Hurdle

🥇 Quilixios (Rachael Blackmore) 7/4
🥈 Adagio (T Scudamore) 17/2
🥉 Haut En Couleurs (P Townend) 14/1

13:55 County Handicap Hurdle

🥇 Belfast Banter (KC Sexton) 33/1
🥈 Petit Mouchoir (J C Gainford) 22/1
🥉 Milkwood (RT Dunne) 28/1

14:30 Novices’ Hurdle

🥇 Vanillier (MP Walsh) 14/1
🥈 Oscar Elite (Jonjo O’Neill Jr) 40/1
🥉 Streets of Doyen (SD Torrens) 10/1

15:05 The Cheltenham Gold Cup Steeple Chase 2021

🥇 Minella Indo (JW Kennedy) 9/1
🥈 A Plus Tard (Rachael Blackmore) 3/1
🥉 Al Boum Photo (P Townend) 9/4 Fav

15:40 Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Steeple Chase

🥇 Porlock Bay (Lorcan Williams) 16/1
🥈 Billaway (P Townend) 2/1 Fav
🥉 Staker Wallace (MP Walsh) 9/1

16:15 Mares’ Chase

🥇 Colreevy (P Townend) 9/4
🥈 Elimay (MP Walsh) 6/5 Fav
🥉 Shattered Love (JW Kennedy) 6/1

16:50 Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle

🥇 Galopin Des Champs (SF O’Keefe) 8/1
🥈 Langer Dan (Lorcan Williams) 13/2
🥉 Floueur (Paul O’Brien) 33/1

🥉 Floueur (Paul O’Brien) 33/1

13:20 Novices’ Chase

🥇 Chantry House (Nico de Boinville) 9/1
🥈 Fusil Raffles (DA Jacob) 14/1
🥉 Asterion Forlonge (P Townend) 14/1

13:55 Pertemps Network Final

🥇 Mrs Milner (BJ Cooper) 12/1
🥈 The Bosses Oscar (JC Gainford) 10/3 Fav
🥉 Come On Teddy (JJ Burke) 10/1

14:30 The Ryanair Steeple Chase

🥇 Allaho (Rachael Blackmore) 3/1 Fav
🥈 Fakir D’Oundaires (MP Walsh) 11/2
🥉 Tornado Flayer (DE Mullins) 25/1

15:05 Stayers’ Hurdle

🥇 Flooring Porter (D Mullins) 12/1
🥈 Sire Du Berlais (Mark Walsh) 5/1
🥉 Paisley Park (Aidan Coleman) 9/4 Fav

15:40 Stable Plate

🥇 The Shunter (JC Gainford) 9/4 Fav
🥈 Farclas (JW Kennedy) 5/1
🥉 Top Notch (Luca Morgan) 50/1

16:15 Mares Novices’ Hurdle

🥇 Telmesomethinggirl (Rachael Blackmore) 5/1
🥈 Magic Daze (RM Power) 22/1
🥉 Mighty Blue (JJ Slevin) 12/1

16:50 Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup

🥇 Mount Ida (JW Kennedy) 3/1 Fav
🥈 Cloudy Glen (RT Dunne) 33/1
🥉 Shantou Flyer (H Cobden) 11/2

13:20 Novices’ Hurdle

🥇 Bob Olinger (Rachael Blackmore) 6/4 Fav
🥈 Gaillard Du Mesnil (P Townend) 9/4
🥉 Bravemansgame (H Cobden) 4/1

13:55 Novices’ Steeple Chase

🥇 Monkfish (P Townend) 1/4 Fav
🥈 Fiddlerontheroof (RM Power) 40/1
🥉 The Big Breakaway (H Cobden) 12/1

14:30 Handicap Hurdle

🥇 Heaven Help Us (RJ Condon) 33/1
🥈 Craigneiche (Tom Cannon) 17/2
🥉 Tea Clipper (JJ Burke) 33/1

15:05 Queen Mother Champion Steeple Chase

🥇 Put The Kettle On (Aidan Coleman) 17/2
🥈 Nube Negra (Harry Skelton) 11/1
🥉 Chacun Pour Soi (P Townend) 8/13 Fav

15:40 Cross Country Steeple Chase

🥇 Tiger Roll (KM Donoghue) 9/2
🥈 Easyland (Felix de Giles) 1/1 Fav
🥉 Some Neck (R Johnson) 17/2

16:15 Grand Annual Handicap Chase

🥇 Sky Pirate (Nick Scholfield) 14/1
🥈 Entoucas (MP Walsh) 7/1
🥉 Ibleo (Charlie Deutsch) 9/1

16:50 Champion Bumper

🥇 Sir Gerhard (Rachael Blackmore) 2/1
🥈 Kilcruit (P Townend) 10/11 Fav
🥉 Elle Est Belle (Harry Skelton) 16/1