On reflection, 2/1 seems a fairly generous price for arguably the best hurdler to have graced Prestbury Park since the likes of Hurricane Fly and Istabraq. As it is, Buveur D’Air heads to Cheltenham as the marginal favourite ahead of Apple’s Jade in what should be one of the most dramatic Champion Hurdles of recent years.
It’s set to be a fascinating Ireland v England super clash between two of the sport’s most exciting icons. We’ll assess the chances of both of these heavyweights whilst taking a look at the potential each way scenarios.
Can Buveur D’Air emulate the mighty Istabraq and bring home a third Champion Hurdle title for trainer Nicky Henderson?
BUVEUR D’AIR: STILL AS GOOD AS LAST YEAR?
The slight worry nagging at punter’s minds is the fact that Buveur D’Air actually failed to win one of his prep races this season. It was possibly down to a couple of errors down the back straight that may have taken Buveur out of his comfort zone.
Nevertheless, he galloped all the way to the line and was simply beaten by a horse in Verdana Blue who clearly ran the race of his life. If this was a blip, it was a pretty impressive one. The demolition of Samcro in The Fighting Fifth was arguably the most authoritative win of his career, therefore, the expectations at Kempton were understandably high.
The significant question mark regarding Buveur D’Air claiming a third title is simply down to the improvement of Apple’s Jade.
So what are the options for backing Buveur D’Air?
2/1 is currently the best price which is available at Betfair although the firm have not committed to Non-Runner No-Bet at the time of writing. Best to check with Betfair for full terms and conditions.
50/1 BUVEUR D’AIR to win Champion Hurdle
Key Terms of the Offer:
New Customers can get Buveur Dair at an enhanced 50/1 to win Champion Hurdle. Max Stake £1. Winnings paid in free bets. Full T&Cs Apply. 18+|Gamble Aware.
Offer ends 15:30pm Tuesday 12th March 2019.
After the Mare’s Hurdle defeat at The Festival last year, the highly rated Apple’s Jade certainly had a few points to prove this season. And she has done this in devastating style.
All her three wins this season have been authoritative, clinical and impressive enough to give owner Michael O’Leary the inspiration to take on Buveur D’Air in what could be a classic match. Doubts regarding her ability at 2 miles were echoed from Gigginstown hence the long term commitment to have another crack at The Mare’s Hurdle.
However, the Irish Champion Hurdle victory over Supasundae and an out of sorts Melon firmly put her on the Champion Hurdle path. If she produces the kind of form seen in Ireland this season, then connections of Buveur D’Air should be fearful especially as Apple’s will receive a mares allowance at the weights.
However, Buveur has proved it at Cheltenham whilst Apple’s Jade’s Cheltenham credentials are open to question.
Betting wise, this was a great coup for ante post backers as her price has absolutely tumbled to practically share joint favouritism with Buveur D’Air.
9/4 best with Unibet although it is unclear whether the price is under the conditions of non-runner no bet. Please check with firm for full terms and conditions.
I firmly believe this will go to either one of the front two in the betting so two horses spring to mind for some decent each way value.
If the ground ends up bottomless, the each way value on Melon cannot be ignored. He ran an absolute blinder in last year’s Champion Hurdle being narrowly edged out by Buveur D’Air.
However, his form this season has been something short of what we have come to expect from this Mullins charge. For those willing to take a chance, a modest wager at 20/1 (William Hill, Betfair, Unibet) would not be the worst decision.
The Nicky Henderson 7 year old who made possibly the headline of the season in beating Buveur D’Air in the Kempton Christmas Hurdle, has had an extremely busy campaign although has not been seen out since that incredible win.
14/1 is a fair reflection of her performances this season and this can be grabbed at William Hill, Betfair and Unibet although all three have still yet to commit to NRNB.
This is a fantastic race to relish on the opening day of The Festival. Early indications point towards Buveur D’Air and Apple’s Jade sharing favouritism although the predicted Irish avalanche of cash on Apple’s Jade might well put the Gigginstown charge ahead on the betting.
It’s a marginal decision in favour of Buveur D’Air consequently. Although Apple’s Jade clearly has the command of the form book, she hasn’t beaten anything overly magnificent. Buveur has the experience to fend off the challenge and claim a third Champion Hurdle title since Istabraq in 2000.
BUVEUR D’AIR (win) with Betfair at 2/1 (NRNB does NOT apply)
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Please note all odds are correct at the time of publishing (12:00 27th February 2019) and are subject to change.