CHRIS HUGHES can go from Love Island star to Cheltenham Festival winner with the horse that leaves him 'shaking'.
Racing-mad Hughes was an 'emotional wreck' after watching his beloved Annie Mc win at Warwick earlier this month.
The seven-year-old superstar could make it three wins on the spin with the world watching at next month's meet.
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Annie Mc is as short as 7-1 to win the Mrs Paddy Power Mares' Chase on Friday, March 19.
And no one will want her to win more than Hughes, who is a co-owner of the Jonjo O'Neill-trained runner through the Coral Champions Club.
In fact, Hughes and Annie Mc are so close that O'Neill joked the horse is the reason Hughes doesn't have a girlfriend.
Hughes, who came third in the reality TV show, recently posted a photo of himself with the horse captioned: "Well this year, and probs next, this is my Valentine, big ears, one month till we're on the main stage."
Speaking after the Warwick win, O'Neill, who has 25 Festival winners, said: "Chris Hughes loves her to bits - I think that's why he hasn't got a girlfriend, he's fallen in love with the mare!
And Hughes tweeted: "I'm gone, emotional wreck. Pure heart. Shaking.
"I love you so much Annie, you've my heart forever. Superstar.
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"Jumps racing gets you like this. Best sport in the world."
Annie Mc scooped the £17,832 first-place prize that day.
Greater riches await at Cheltenham, although the purse for the race has not yet been revealed.
Not that it's about money for Hughes.
He said: "She fills our hearts with happiness, win, lose or draw and she's just such a special, genuine mare to be involved with.
"She's one in a lifetime and all of us connected are so proud. Heart of a lion. Onto Cheltenham we go!"
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