Cheltenham Champion Hurdle Preview
The Champion Hurdle is the feature race of day one at the Cheltenham Festival and while the meeting creates many wonderful stories, one of the biggest could come from this race. Will we see Buveur D’Air land a third Champion Hurdle in a row, or can the mare Apple’s Jade show the boys how it’s done. Should either of those two win the race then you can expect the Cheltenham roof to come off as they go over the winning line on Tuesday.
Defending champion Buveur D’Air has shown his quality around Cheltenham, although after 11 wins in a row he was finally beaten earlier this season at Kempton by stablemate and fellow contender here Verdana Blue. She needs really good ground, which she won’t get here, and because of that it is unlikely that she will get near the champion on this occasion. An eight length victory over Samcro before that on the bridle showed Buveur D’Air to be as good as ever before that defeat, and since that we have seen him win at Sandown in relatively easy fashion.
Apple’s Jade looks to be the main danger to him, and she has looked as good as ever this season, winning four races, all by a double figure margin from distances ranging between two and three miles. She was incredible last time out, beating Supasundae in the Irish Champion Hurdle by 16 lengths and after that her trainer Gordon Elliott confirmed that she would be heading to the Champion Hurdle, just like every racing fan hoped.
There are a few outsiders that have the form to place, although none of them look capable of getting near the front two if they both run their races. One horse that caught my eye last time out was Brain Power, who came back to hurdling after a disappointing chasing career. He comes from the Nicky Henderson yard like Buveur D’Air and while Verdana Blue needs fast ground, he would appreciate the rain that we are supposedly getting in the lead up to the meeting. He came up the Cheltenham hill to win nicely last time, and looks the sort of horse who could pick up late to grab third in the race.
Champion Hurdle Betting Tips
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