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Cheltenham Festival

Champion Hurdle 2019 Ante Post Preview: Apple's Jade Set For Famous Clash With Defending Champ Buveur D'Air

Wednesday 13th February 2019
Apple's Jade Is Being Lined Up To Take on Buveur D'Air In The Champion Hurdle
Apple's Jade Is Being Lined Up To Take on Buveur D'Air In The Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle represents the best of the best in the British and Irish hurdling divisions and has been taken by Buveur D’Air the last two years running at the Cheltenham Festival. Questions have been raised as to the quality of this division with My Tent Or Yours and Melon the previous two runners up.

However, this year we see top entries from both Gordon Elliot (Apple’s Jade) and Willie Mullins (Laurina) change the whole complexion of the division. As result, the market remains undecided.

Buveur D’Air 7/4

This is probably the largest price we’ll ever see for Buveur D’Air and he can confirm his champion status. It’s easy to back a two time champion hurdler but Buveur D’Air hasn’t had the simplest trip to the festival. Being pipped after a mistake by Verdana Blue, we saw Nicky Henderson’s superstar back to his best when easily dispatching everybody in his wake in the 888Sport Contenders Hurdle at Sandown.

Apple’s Jade 2/1

It wouldn’t be at all surprising if Apple’s Jade went off favourite in the Champion Hurdle. With tremendous form coming into the race and a demolition of Supasundae last time out, Apple’s Jade looks in her best form. With her handy mares’ allowance, Apple’s Jade looks set to shine. Her front running pace is a slight concern against the top horses in the division, but top form means she goes close.

Laurina 7/2

We need a much further look at Laurina before considering backing at less than 5/1. Looking heads and shoulders ahead of the novice hurdle division last year, we’ve only seen Laurina beat a sole rival all season. On ability alone, you’d think we’d see Laurina in the picture. But, with such a long absence, remains impossible to back.

Verdana Blue 8/1

A very interesting prospect at a tasty price. The straight line form points to victories over Old Guard, If The Cap Fits and Buveur D’Air. However, the market reflects the latter as a one off. Still officially rated 157, Verdana Blue has pounds to make up on the market principles and should get found out.

Cheltenham Tips

Sharjah 9/1

Sharjah is another horse in this line up to have recently beaten Supasundae and has quietly gone about his business making a return to best form. Sharjah also beat Faugheen in a 4 horse race in Naas in November and isn’t without a chance in the Champion Hurdle.

Espoir D’Allen 14/1

It would be easy to get carried away with the 1s in the form column for Espoir D’Allen. However, the class of opponents beaten represent nowhere near the sorts we see in the Champion Hurdle. Regular jockey, Barry Geraghty, will be aboard Buveur D’Air so expect Mark Walsh to have the ride.

Samcro 14/1

Surely, we won’t see Samcro in the Champion Hurdle. Gigginstown House Stud wouldn’t risk two stable principles getting beat by either Buveur D’Air or Laurina. There is even some crazy talk about going to the Stayer’s Hurdle. Just put him over fences, lads.

Supasundae 14/1

Supasundae represents tremendous value in any race. With form of simply 1s and 2s, it’s hard not to have an each way flutter on this consistent sort. The length beaten by Apple’s Jade is a deterrent but that was in a race without big hitters like Buveur D’Air and Laurina so the front running pace may be slightly different here. Supasundae is, however, also entered in the Stayer’s Hurdle – a trip that is more suited so it wouldn’t be a shock to see him in the mix in that race.

Best of the rest

Brain Power and Melon are good prices at 16/1 for an each way shout, should the market principles falter. However, the likelihood of trainers Henderson, Elliott and Mullins running their hurdles stars when not in top condition is unlikely. 

Assessing the remainder of the current entries, Cilaos Emery and Global Citizen arrive in good form but haven’t beaten anybody near the class of horse here. Vision Des Flos and Tombstone were both beaten furlongs from home and don’t look capable of reversing the form.

The winner must surely sit in the top 5 of the market.

*All prices correct at the time of writing

Champion Hurdle Betting - Click To Bet

Buveur Dair 15/8 15/8 15/8 7/4 7/4 15/8
Apples Jade 15/8 9/4 2 2 2 15/8
Laurina 4 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2 7/2
Sharjah 9 11 10 8 8 8
Verdana Blue 10 14 8 8 10 10
Melon 14 20 14 9 12 14
Samcro 10 16 9 - 10 12
Brain Power 12 20 16 14 16 14
Espoir Dallen 12 20 14 12 14 14
Supasundae 16 20 14 10 14 14
Saldier 20 33 20 25 33 25
Global Citizen 25 33 25 20 25 25
Petit Mouchoir 33 50 25 33 40 33
Silver Streak 33 50 33 25 33 33
Call Me Lord 33 50 33 33 33 33
We Have A Dream 25 50 50 40 50 33
Vision Des Flos 33 50 50 50 50 50
Mohaayed 33 66 66 66 66 50
Western Ryder 40 - - - - -
Cilaos Emery 50 66 25 40 33 50
Farclas 33 50 66 33 66 33
Chtibello 66 100 66 66 66 66
Wholestone 50 100 66 50 66 33
Pingshou 50 100 66 50 100 50
Tombstone 100 - - - - -
Charli Parcs 66 100 100 50 100 50
Man Of Plenty 100 - - - - -
Each Way Terms 3
- 3

Champion Hurdle Betting - Click To Bet

9. Espoir Dallen
12. Global Citizen
13. Petit Mouchoir
14. Silver Streak
15. Call Me Lord
16. We Have A Dream
17. Vision Des Flos
19. Western Ryder
20. Cilaos Emery
25. Tombstone
27. Man Of Plenty
Odds correct as of 13th Feb, 15:43 . Odds are subject to change.
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