Apple’s Jade promoted to 15-8 clear favourite for Champion Hurdle with 10 runners declared for Tuesday’s feature race at the Cheltenham Festival
- Apple’s Jade has been made the 15-8 clear favourite for the Champion Hurdle
- Ground turning soft is said to be behind Coral’s decision to cut the mare’s odds
- Buveur D’Air (9-4) could reclaim the spot of market leader before Tuesday’s race
Apple’s Jade has been promoted to 15-8 clear favourite by Coral for Tuesday’s Champion Hurdle as 10 runners were declared for the feature race of the opening day of the Festival.
Spokesman David Stevens said the Cheltenham ground turning soft was key in promoting the Gordon Elliott-trained mare to market leader.
But Stevens conceded Nicky Henderson’s dual champion Buveur D’Air (9-4) could reclaim the spot of market leader by race time.
Apple’s Jade, seen (left) on the gallops at Cheltenham, is favourite for the Champion Hurdle
Stevens said: ‘Apple’s Jade has been plying her trade in Ireland so the feeling is she will be more used to the ground.
‘But with Buveur D’Air carrying the colours of JP McManus and being a dual winner, it is hard to predict who will start favourite.’
Three mares will run in the Champion Hurdle with Apple’s Jade being joined by Willie Mullins-trained Laurina and Henderson’s Christmas Hurdle winner Verdana Blue.
Ruby Walsh has chosen to ride Willie Mullins-trained Klassical Dream in the Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Paul Townend on stablemate Aramon.
Ground turning soft is said to be behind Coral’s decision to cut the odds on a Apple’s Jade win