|Monday 4th March 2019|
Ballymore Novice Hurdle - 2019 Cheltenham Festival
The Cheltenham festival and Grand National are fast approaching and there are already a large number of races at the festival that look very exciting. This has led to a lot of punters getting involved on both the Cheltenham and Grand National betting markets. In the novice division it looks all about the Ballymore novice hurdle with many horses looking to have solid chances for the race. This is already looking set to be one of the most anticipated races of the week. Here we cover the leading horses for the opening race of day two of the Cheltenham festival.
The current favourite for the race is the Nicky Henderson trained Champ. He is a general 3/1 shot for the race and deserves to be at the head of the market. The seven year old has won five of his seven starts under rules, including his last four in succession. This includes a very eye catching victory in a handicap, followed by his victory in the Challow Novices hurdle at Newbury. This meant he now has an RPR rating of 150 at present, so goes in as the horse to beat at Cheltenham.
Champ wins the last Grade 1 of the year on ITV Racing - the Betway Challow Novices' Hurdle for Nicky Henderson! pic.twitter.com/nPxhOLdva4— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 29, 2018
The leading Irish hope for the race looks to be Battleoverdoyen, as connections look to land the race for the second year in succession following the victory of Samcro in 2018. The six year old has won his four career starts and is a very exciting horse. He won his first group one effortlessly recently, as he looked still very much in need of the experience. He can be supported at around 4/1 for the race, and goes in as one of the leading contenders.
Another key Irish contender who has been well supported recently is the Willie Mullins trained Klassical Dream. He is unbeaten in his two starts for Mullins that included a recent head victory in a grade one at Leopardstown. This was a very impressive performance in which the horse showed a very good attitude, so is another strong contender for the race.
Another Irish horse that has slipped under the radar due to not being trained by a leading trainer is City Island. The six year old has won both of his starts this season very impressively and has all the attributes to go close in the race. This recent victory earned him an RPR of 145, which shows he is within a couple of pounds of the horses at the head of the market.
The final horse that must get a mention is the Olly Murphy trained six year old, Brewin’Upastorm. He fell most recently in the Ballymore novice hurdle trial at Cheltenham but was in the process of running a huge race. He looked the likely winner and was given an RPR rating of 147 for the performance, so clearly has a huge chance of winning the race. Brewin can be supported at a general 10/1 for the upcoming race.