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Supreme Novices Hurdle Tips - 1:30pm Cheltenham

Sadly they’ll be no Cheltenham roar when the tapes go up for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the 2021 Festival with no appreciable crowds but we’re racing and that’s all that matters. The race is run over 2m 87 yards of the old course.

Some interesting stats for this race include nine out of the last ten runnings have been won by a horse who won their previous race whilst nine out of ten of the last winners had run within 59 days. The leading trainer in the race is Willie Mullins who’s looking for his seventh victory in the race. Some big names have plundered the prize over the years including Vautor, Douvan , Altior and last year’s victor Shishkin.

Trainer Willie Mullins always has a good one lined up for the opener it seems and this year is no exception with his Appreciate It who is the one to beat following his victory at the Dublin Festival at Leopardstown although he did have things in his favour there getting a nice early position at the front of the field. He went off favourite when runner up to stable companion Ferny Hollow in last season’s Champion Bumper and has won all three of his starts over hurdles since. He’s currently a 7/4 favourite and though the most likely winner is scant value at that type of price. Mullins currently has a further 30 entries many whom have entries in the other novice hurdles so it’s difficult to know what he will run as back up to Appreciate It.

The shortest price British contender at the moment is Harry Fry’s Metier who’s unbeaten in three hurdle races including the grade one Unibet Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown in early January. He skated away from Shakem Up’Arry that day pulling 12 lengths clear. All of his wins have been gained on very soft ground and you would have to wonder how he would cope with drier conditions although that’s not to say with the Winter we’ve had that the meeting will not start on deep ground. He was to have a prep race in the Betfair Hurdle but with that race being put back a week will go straight to Cheltenham now.

Gordon Elliott’s chief candidate is 6 year old gelding Ballyadam who put a disappointing effort at Leopardstown behind him to run Appreciate It to 3 1/4 lengths at the Dublin Racing Festival. He may not have had the best of runs in that event with a mistake at the last not helping his cause as well and it wouldn’t be a surprise if he was to get closer.

Ronan McNally has done wonders with his gelding Dreal Deal who has risen up through the handicap ranks having won three handicaps on the snaff before taking the Skybet Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown when drifting from 5/1 out to 22/1 with his trainer stating afterwards that his preparation for that race had been far from ideal. He also holds a Ballymore entry but if he turns up here there will be worse 16/1 shots than him in the race.

Thedevilscoachman is a winner of four his five starts including in listed company, owned by JP McManus his trainer Noel Meade hasn't committed him to the race and it wouldn't be a shock to see him take the handicap route.

A northern raider who shouldn’t be dismissed is the Donald McCain’s trained , Tim Leslie owned Bareback Jack. He’s impressed in winning an Irish point and novice hurdles at Catterick and Musselburgh twice. This will be a big jump up in grade but he's going the right way and has plenty of scope.

Appreciate It had the run of the race at Leopardstown with the time actually slower than the juvenile hurdle on the card. It maybe worth chancing Ballyadam who didn’t have the run of the race that day racing wide and blundering at the last and looks each way value.

Punters Lounge Tip: Ballyadam EW @ 9/1 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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