Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 – Champion Hurdle
Champion Hurdle Winner
Get the latest Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 here as Niall Cronin talks to us about this years Champion Hurdle and who to look out for.
The Dublin Racing Festival threw up more unseasonal ground conditions and we even had firm in the description in this unique sort of season, but we did get a spanner in the works of the Champion Hurdle market with Apple’s Jade romping home on Saturday and putting Cheltenham’s opening day feature top of the agenda rather than a distant third behind the Mares Hurdle and the Stayers Hurdle.
Apple’s Jade was undoubtedly phenomenal on Saturday. Dropping back to two miles for the first time in over two years Apple’s Jade made all the running and left her rivals reeling beating last year’s Irish Champion Hurdle winner, Supasundae, by 16 lengths with Melon a further six lengths back.
Michael O’Leary later committed Apple’s Jade to being most likely to run in the Champion Hurdle and what a result that is for racing fans.
The only negative towards Apple’s Jade at the moment is that she was badly in season at Cheltenham and Punchestown last season and that clearly had an impact in her performances at those festivals.
Some people have suggested that Apple’s Jade won’t be able to boss the Champion Hurdle from the front like she did at Leopardstown and her tendency to jump a bit right at each hurdle has put some off over this helter skelter two mile trip.
What we do know is that Apple’s Jade will be running on ground the soft side of good and that should help her get into a good rhythm and having gone over the race a few times since Saturday, it is the manner with which she put such a massive gap between herself and her rivals on Saturday that really impressed.
Diverting the 10 time Grade One winner to the premier hurdle race on the calendar is a major plus for racing fans who will now see one of the most talented horses take on a dual Champion Hurdle winner in Buveur D’air.
On the same afternoon, Buveur D’air finished his public preparations for the Champion Hurdle by bouncing back to winning ways following his shock defeat at Christmas.
Supasundae loomed to challenge but within a few moments there was a 16-length gap. Once Apple’s Jade can stay in the front rank of the Champion Hurdle, her ability to change gear up the straight could well make this Champion Hurdle hers and we can’t forget about that all important 7lbs allowance.
Apple’s Jade is 15/8, her biggest danger could indeed be the other mare, Laurina, and it will be interesting to see if she pitches up at Gowran Park next month, but for now Apple’s Jade is the horse they’ve to beat in this company. Every horse can be forgiven one bad run but you couldn’t imagine Verdana Blue beating Apple’s Jade and I just think there could be a flaw in Buveur D’air.
In these antepost columns we have tried to look for something at a decent price but with BoyleSports now offering the non-runner no bet it is hard not to back Apple’s Jade.
Niall Cronin’s Cheltenham Festival Tips 2019 – Champion Hurdle
Apple’s Jade 15/8
*Prices correct at time of publication.
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