Free horse racing selections for Tuesday March 12

Apple's Jade in action
Apple's Jade in action

Ashley Iveson makes Apple's Jade his best bet for day one of the Cheltenham Festival and has a tip for every meeting in the UK and Ireland.

NAP: Apple's Jade 3.30 Cheltenham

8
711-3OR: 166CD
7/4
Last RunWatch last race

Next Best: Benie Des Dieux 4.10 Cheltenham

2
811-5OR: 151CD
10/11
Last RunWatch last race

Apple's Jade gets the nod in what promises to be an enthralling renewal of the Unibet Champion Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The two-mile showpiece is the centrepiece on a fantastic opening afternoon in the Cotswolds, and it is difficult to look beyond the three at the top of the market.

Considering he is already a dual winner of the race, the public have never really latched on to Nicky Henderson's Buveur D'Air - but that will surely change if he can become the first three-time winner since the great Istabraq.

However, he suffered a shock defeat in the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton, was not all that impressive at Sandown on his latest appearance - and in conceding 7lb to two top-class mares, he appears to face the toughest test of his career to date.

The Willie Mullins-trained Laurina is very much the unknown quantity. The daughter of Spanish Moon is unbeaten in six starts for her current connections and was tremendously impressive against novice mares at last year's Festival.

She is clearly held in the highest regard, but this represents a huge step up in class.

Apple's Jade, on the other hand, has both met and beaten the boys on numerous occasions - including on each of her four starts this season.

She won the two-and-half-mile Hatton's Grace at Fairyhouse by 20 lengths and the three-mile Christmas Hurdle at Leopardstown by 26 lengths, before switching back to two miles for a 16-length demolition job in the Irish Champion Hurdle.

Those victories have advertised her remarkable versatility and the fact she is better than ever.

If she turns up at Prestbury Park in the same form as she has been all season, she should prove very hard to beat.

The 2019 Cheltenham Festival gets under way with the traditional curtain-raiser - the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle. This year's renewal appears particularly wide-open, with several horses holding strong claims.

The vote goes to Aramon, who bids to provide Mullins with a fourth victory in the last seven runnings of the two-mile contest.

Although not as flashy as the trainer's two most recent winners Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015), Aramon is officially the highest-rated runner in the field after three successive efforts at Grade One level.

He shaped encouragingly to finish third in a slowly-run Royal Bond at Fairyhouse before producing a smart display in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown.

The six-year-old returned to the Dublin circuit to finish a narrow second to stablemate Klassical Dream in another top-level contest, and might well have won again but for hanging under pressure on the run-in.

A fast-run two miles should suit him ideally, and he looks a solid bet to make the frame at least at double-figure odds.

Sky Bet's Cheltenham Festival offer - Money back as cash if you lose in the first race everyday
Sky Bet's Cheltenham Festival offer - Money back as cash if you lose in the first race everyday

Glen Forsa is fancied to emerge triumphant in a similarly-competitive Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy.

Lalor was brilliant when winning here in November, but returns with something to prove after disappointing on his next start at Sandown.

The Mick Channon-trained Glen Forsa lines up in the form of his life following three successive wins, most recently producing an exhibition round of jumping in the re-scheduled Kingmaker Novices' Chase at Sandown.

If he can dominate in front again he will take some pegging back.

Give Me A Copper holds strong claims in the Ultima Handicap Chase for Paul Nicholls. It was impossible not to be taken by his hugely encouraging comeback run at Sandown, and that should leave him cherry-ripe.

With Apple's Jade and Laurina not in the field, last year's winner Benie Des Dieux should prove a different class to her rivals in the OLBG Mares' Hurdle.

The fact she has not run this season is of little concern, given her trainer's previous exploits with the remarkable Quevega.

Henry de Bromhead's A Plus Tard could be the answer to the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase, while the Paul Nolan-trained Discorama can provide the Irish with another winner in the National Hunt Chase.

Sporting Life tips:

CHELTENHAM: 1.30 Aramon, 2.10 Glen Forsa, 2.50 Give Me A Copper, 3.30 APPLE'S JADE (NAP), 4.10 Benie Des Dieux, 4.50 A Plus Tard, 5.30 Discorama.

SEDGEFIELD: 1.55 Rocku, 2.35 Legalized, 3.15 Roxyfet, 3.55 Bazarov, 4.35 Reverant Cust, 5.10 Takingitallin.

SOUTHWELL: 1.45 Sooqaan, 2.25 Argus, 3.05 The Great Wall, 3.45 Gupta, 4.25 Rockley Point, 5.00 Amadeus.

WOLVERHAMPTON: 5.45 Lion Hearted, 6.15 Ragnar, 6.45 Cabarita, 7.15 Global Acclamation, 7.45 With Caution, 8.15 Mearing.

DOUBLE: Apple's Jade and Benie Des Dieux.


GET THE FULL PICTURE: Don't miss out on FREE video replays and our fantastic My Stable tracker. Log in now and become a Sporting Life Insider.

Related horse racing links

Like what you've read?
Help your friends Know It All by sharing this article to your social media.

Most Read Racing

Randox Health Grand National profiles1

Meet the 2019 National field

David Ord profiles the top seven in the betting market for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree... starting with Tiger Roll.

Check out our latest daily racing preview2

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes Ballywood his best Thursday bet and he has a tip for every race at all four meetings.

Dynamite Dollars scores at Sandown
3

Absent friends spring to mind

Matt Brocklebank highlights 10 high-class horses who missed the Cheltenham Festival but could yet be capable of lighting up the National Hunt campaign.

Check out the latest Nap selection4

Daily Nap: Dig for Treasure

David Ord fancies Evan Williams to strike at Chepstow on Thursday afternoon - don't miss the latest Sporting Life Daily Nap!

Read the latest Mike Cattermole column
5

Mike Cattermole: Festival reflections

Our columnist reflects on last week's Cheltenham Festival including a controversial National Hunt Chase and an under-appreciated leading jockey.

Most Read Racing

Randox Health Grand National profiles1

Meet the 2019 National field

David Ord profiles the top seven in the betting market for the Randox Health Grand National at Aintree... starting with Tiger Roll.

Check out our latest daily racing preview2

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes Ballywood his best Thursday bet and he has a tip for every race at all four meetings.

Dynamite Dollars scores at Sandown
3

Absent friends spring to mind

Matt Brocklebank highlights 10 high-class horses who missed the Cheltenham Festival but could yet be capable of lighting up the National Hunt campaign.

Check out the latest Nap selection4

Daily Nap: Dig for Treasure

David Ord fancies Evan Williams to strike at Chepstow on Thursday afternoon - don't miss the latest Sporting Life Daily Nap!

Read the latest Mike Cattermole column
5

Mike Cattermole: Festival reflections

Our columnist reflects on last week's Cheltenham Festival including a controversial National Hunt Chase and an under-appreciated leading jockey.

Next Race Off

23:57 Charles Town
4
(4)
Lady Bidder
J: Victor Rodriguez
3
(3)
Nurse Nicky
J: Carlos Delgado
7
(7)
Little Miss Muffin
J: Glenmore Mayhew
2
(2)
Dawn's House
J: Adrian Flores
5
(5)
Sterling Libertad
J: Kelvin Morales
1
(1)
Mariah's Calm
J: Javier Rivera
6
(6)
City Of Clarksburg
J: Keimar Trotman

Racing Tips

Check out the latest Nap selection

Daily Nap: Dig for Treasure

David Ord fancies Evan Williams to strike at Chepstow on Thursday afternoon - don't miss the latest Sporting Life Daily Nap!

Check out our latest daily racing preview

Thursday's racing preview

Nick Grant makes Ballywood his best Thursday bet and he has a tip for every race at all four meetings.

Rathvinden is fancied for Grand National glory

Antepost Angle: Spring Double

After 20/1 and 11/1 winners at Cheltenham last week, our long-range racing expert Matt Brocklebank turns his hand to the two major spring handicaps.