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Road to Cheltenham: Buveur D’Air and Apple’s Jade cut for the Festival

| 05.12.2018

Buveur D’Air, Apple’s Jade and Santini all nailed down their respective Cheltenham Festival claims on another exciting weekend of racing across the UK and Ireland.

Champ and Quick Grabim also showed their potential, although the same couldn’t be said for Samcro or Summerville Boy in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle.

We’ve rounded up the latest set of market movers in our Road to Cheltenham.

Buveur D’Air – Champion Hurdle – 5/6 from 5/2

Not since Istabraq in 2000 has a horse landed a hat-trick of Champion Hurdles. Buveur D’Air looks primed to change all that when the Festival rolls around next March.

We now make Nicky Henderson’s charge a 5/6 chance to claim the race for a third time. And it’s difficult to see any way he gets beat, even though he went off as second-favourite on Saturday.

Favourite Samcro was left eating dust as the seven-year-old produced a clean round of jumping before quickening after the last. It’s 11 unbeaten now for the gelding, who will head for the Christmas Hurdle next.

Apple’s Jade – Mares’ Hurdle – 2/1 from 7/2

Apple’s Jade produced her usual smash up job to take a third Hatton’s Grade Hurdle in a row, this time by an incredible 20l from Supasundae.

She’s now into 2/1 for the Mares’ Hurdle. But after suffering defeat in the race 12 months ago and in the 2016 Triumph Hurdle, can she be trusted around Cheltenham?

Last year’s winner Benie Des Dieux is next best at 5/2.

Santini – RSA Chase – 4/1 from 6/1

It’s fair to say that Santini lived up to his billing on his chasing debut. Another for Henderson, the six-year-old skipped clear from Rocky’s Treasure to take the John Francome Novices’ Chase.

The Milan gelding is still learning but looks a worthy favourite for the RSA Chase at 4/1, with second-favourite Delta Work also cut into 6/1 from 16/1 after his Grade 1 win at Fairyhouse.

It’s shaping up to be a fascinating renewal of the RSA. But it’s likely Kempton and the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase up next for Santini on Boxing Day.

Champ – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – 10/1 from 16/1

A cracking weekend for Henderson also saw Champ zoom to the top of the betting for the Ballymore after taking the Ladbrokes Handicap Hurdle by over 4l.

The son of King’s Theatre looked sharp on his seasonal reappearance. He should only come on further for this run and can be backed at 10/1 for his Cheltenham aim.

Quick Grabim – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – 16/1 from 33/1

Willie Mullins had saddled seven previous winners of the Royal Bond Novices’ Chase prior to Sunday. An impressive showing from Quick Grabim ensures that record now stands at eight.

The Oscar gelding controlled the pace and led more-or-less throughout to reverse placings with Aramon, who had taken the spoils at Navan last month.

Such a confident jumping performance had seen Quick Grabim’s odds tumble to 16/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Annamix remains the favourite.

Click to find out more on horse racing bets and our 2019 Cheltenham festival odds.

All Odds and Markets correct as of date of publication



Nick Murphy

Nick is a graduate of the UEA where he doubled up as the sports editor of the student newspaper. He supports Dagenham & Redbridge and previously edited the matchday programme at Victoria Road. Darts and Horse Racing are among his other favourite sports.