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Champion Hurdle Preview - Cheltenham Festival

Published on: 13/03/2018

Champion Hurdle Preview - Cheltenham Festival

March 13, 2018 15:30pm - Cheltenham

Cheltenham Festival

Distance: 2m 87f

Grade: 1

Class: 1

Purse: £400,000

Winner: £266,384

Going: Heavy (soft in places)

In the day`s big race, Nicky Henderson will be confident that Buveur D`Air can land him his seventh Champion Hurdle victory. The record-holding trainer first won here with See You Then back in 1985 and is counting on last year`s winner to repeat that feat on Tuesday afternoon. The seven-year-old has been expertly prepared for this race and is unbeaten this season having won all three of his starts.He jumps well and has exceptional pace although the heavy going might give some of the others hope before they get underway.

Hoping to challenge will be the Willie Mullins-trained Faugheen who won here in 2015. His form this season has left a few scratching their heads as he has yet to show the kind of form that everyone knows he is capable of. However, he has big race pedigree and the going could work in his favour with stamina coming into play.

Another Mullins horse, Yorkhill has also frustrated this term but he does like Cheltenham so his connection will be hoping he can raise his game here. He is another he likes it soft but it is hard to imagine him making a genuine challenge here.

More interesting is Melon, who offer good each-way potential. Relatively unexposed, there is room for improvement here and he seem like the kind of horse that can fill that potential. With prices of 18/1 available, he looks the best value horse of the bunch.

Champion Hurdle Winners - past five years:

2014: Jezki (6) - Barry Geraghty (Jessica Harrington)

2015: Faugheen (7) - Ruby Walsh (Willie Mullins)

2016: Annie Power (8) - Ruby Walsh (Willie Mullins)

2017: Buveur d`Air (6) - Noel Fehily (Nick Henderson)

Latest Betting odds:

Buveur D`Air 4/6

Faugheen 6/1

Wicklow Brave 14/1

Melon 18/1

Yorkhill 18/1

Algin 22/1

You can back Melon (E/W) at 18/1 .

By Neil Morris

Published on: 13/03/2018

Any odds displayed within this preview were correct at the time of publishing (13/03/2018 10:25:02) but are subject to change.