Will Apple be walking on Air tomorrow?
Summerhill man Gordon Elliott will have 10 runners on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival (The Festival™ presented by Bulmers) tomorrow, but the stand-out is undoubtedly Apple's Jade in the Grade 1 Unibet Champion Hurdle.
Elliott was the Irish Independent Leading Trainer for a second successive year in 2018 with a record eight winners and he has had 22 winners since getting off the mark with Chicago Grey in 2011.
Elliott has a team of "46 or 47" which is the biggest he has brought to Cheltenham.
"Apple's Jade travelled over on Sunday and was in good form when she went out on the track with the rest of my team this morning," commented the man who won the Meath Sportsperson of the Year award in January.
Running through the rest of his first-day runners, he added:
"Felix Desjy and Vision d'Honneur are both in good form and should run well in the Supreme Novices' and I couldn't be happier with Hardline, which is in very good form for the Arkle.
"Northern Endeavour and General Principle (won the Irish National last year), are both in good order for the Ultima, and all of my three in the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap have chances in what looks a tough race.
"My last runner is Gun Digger in the National Hunt Chase. He disappointed last time but I'm hoping he runs well."
GORDON ELLIOTT CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL WINNERS
Chicago Grey - National Hunt Chase
Carlito Brigante - Coral Cup
Flaxen Flare - Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Tiger Roll - JCB Triumph Hurdle
Cause Of Causes - National Hunt Chase
Diamond King - Coral Cup
Cause Of Causes - Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Handicap Chase
Don Cossack - Bulmers Cheltenham Gold Cup
Labaik - Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle
Apple's Jade - OLBG Mares' Hurdle
Tiger Roll - National Hunt Chase
Cause Of Causes -Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
Fayonagh - Weatherbys Champion Bumper
Champagne Classic - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Samcro - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
Tiger Roll - Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
Veneer Of Charm - Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Shattered Love - JLT Novices' Chase
Delta Work - Pertemps Network Final
The Storyteller - Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Stable Plate
Farclas - JCB Triumph Hurdle
Blow By Blow - Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle