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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

Apples Jade J W Kennedy / G Elliott 9/4 9/4 2 2 9/4 5/2 9/4 2 2
Laurina R Walsh / W P Mullins 5/2 5/2 5/2 5/2 5/2 11/4 5/2 5/2 5/2
Buveur DAir B J Geraghty / N J Henderson 11/4 11/4 11/4 11/4 11/4 3 11/4 11/4 11/4
Espoir DAllen M P Walsh / G P Cromwell 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Melon P Townend / W P Mullins 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16 16
Sharjah Mr P W Mullins / W P Mullins 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20 20
Brain Power Nico de Boinville / N J Henderson 33 33 33 33 33 40 33 33 33
Verdana Blue D N Russell / N J Henderson 33 33 33 33 33 40 33 33 33
Global Citizen D Bass / B Pauling 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50 50
Silver Streak Adam Wedge / Evan Williams 66 66 80 80 66 66 66 80 80
Each Way Terms 3
1/5
3
1/5
- 3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/4
3
1/5
3
1/5
3
1/5

Champion Hurdle Betting - Click To Bet

BEST ODDS
FREE BET ODDS
5/2
9/4
9/4
9/4
2
2
2
2
FREE BET ODDS
11/4
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
5/2
FREE BET ODDS
3
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
11/4
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
FREE BET ODDS
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
16
FREE BET ODDS
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
20
FREE BET ODDS
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
FREE BET ODDS
40
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
33
FREE BET ODDS
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
50
FREE BET ODDS
80
80
80
80
66
66
66
66
66
Odds correct as of 11th Apr, 15:30 . Odds are subject to change.
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