Apple’s Jade to Conquer the Champion Buveur D’Air in Champion Hurdle

The Champion Hurdle is the feature on day one of the Cheltenham Festival and this year it looks as though a huge story will be written. Can Buveur D’Air come out and win a third Champion Hurdle title in a row, to become one of the greatest hurdlers of all time, or can the superstar mare Apple’s Jade beat the boys over two miles? What a thrilling race we have in prospect.

10 go to post for the race, but I make it a match between the front two in the betting, although I am sure Laurina will have her fair share of supporters, and seeing her win wouldn’t be the biggest shock in the world.

Apple’s Jade has been a superstar, and thanks to her wide margin success last time out over two miles, we get to see her take on the boys here, instead of waiting for the race after, which is the Mares Hurdle. She has the speed to cope with two miles, and is a strong stayer, so the Cheltenham hill will pose no problems for her. I don’t think she is far behind Buveur D’Air in terms of talent, if she is behind him at all, but she has one huge factor in her favour. That is the seven pound allowance she gets for being a mare, and I am hopeful that this will make the difference for her when they meet.

Buveur D’Air deserves a huge amount of respect, and his thrashing of Samcro in December in the Fighting Fifth is probably as good a performance as we have seen from him away from Cheltenham. However, as many have said before, has he really been tested so far over hurdles? There is a case to be made for saying no to that question, but he certainly will be on Tuesday when he meets Apple’s Jade.

This should be a thrilling matchup between two lovely horses, but with what Apple’s Jade has shown us this season over distances between 2m and 3m, combined with the seven pounds weight allowance that she gets, I think she will be too hard to beat.

In what should be a great race on day one, I am going with Apple’s Jade to conquer the boys.