JP McManus is hoping for a good Festival next week
AT 1.30pm next Tuesday afternoon, March 12, a mighty roar will go up from the packed stands at Cheltenham Racecourse to signal the star of the four-day National Hunt racing extravaganza at Prestbury Park.
The feature race on the opening day of the Festival is the Unibet Champion Hurdle due off at 3.30pm.
The JP McManus owned Buveur D’Air is joint favourite to land a third consecutive Cheltenham Champion Hurdle alongside Apples Jade next Tuesday, but the pair face stiff competition from another star mare Laurina.
Laurina cemented her position as a leading contender to win hurdling’s blue ribband next week when producing an impressive performance in the Smart Money’s On Coral Quevega Mares Hurdle over two and a half miles at Punchestown last month.
Willie Mullins’ six-year-old is now unbeaten in six starts since her move from France, and she already has a Cheltenham Festival win under her belt in last year’s Trull House Stud Mares' Novices' Hurdle.
Hat-trick seeking Buveur D’Air and Apples Jade head the betting at 15/8, but the 7/2 available about Laurina makes plenty of appeal.
See limerickleader.ie for more throughout the festival.