Cheltenham Betting tip: Apple’s Jade a Festival Banker on Champion Day
Recommended Cheltenham Bet:
Apple’s Jade to win the Mares’ Hurdle @ 4/6 (1.67) with Coral
When trained by Willie Mullins, the brilliant mare Apple’s Jade showed an abundance of promise and natural ability, the highlight performance being a stunning win at the Aintree Festival after finishing 2nd to Ivanovich Gorbatov in the Triumph Hurdle at Cheltenham.
But she was often partial to running the odd poor race, never really finding a winning streak. But since joining the Gordon Elliott team and this season in particular, this outstanding six-year-old has been pretty much unbeatable.
Last year, Apple’s Jade showed a lot of heart, guts and class to outbattle Limini and Vroum Vroum Mag in a memorable renewal of this relatively new race. There is a new and improved level of quality in the mares division of late, but Apple’s Jade is definitely the very best around just now.
After beating Nichols Canyon and Supasundae in the Grade 1 Hatton’s Grace Hurdle at Fairyhouse back in early December, she followed up with a determined and stamina laden performance to once again beat the current Stayers Hurdle favourite Supasundae by half a length in a driving finish.
The Mares Hurdle betting odds on Day 1 of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival has Apple’s Jade as the odds-on favourite. But she won the race last year, is much the best horse in the race and she will arrive at the Festival in the form of her life this year. For that reason, she is firmly in the Cheltenham Banker bracket as the big event approaches.
In terms of dangers to the favourite, Let’s Dance is a previous Cheltenham Festival winner (which is always a big positive) and is very talented on her day, while the Warren Greatrex trained La Bague Au Roi was brilliant at Ascot last time out and would be very interesting if taking her chances here. But it’s very much Apple’s Jade’s race to lose and that’s where our money is going on Cheltenham’s Champion Day 1.