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Racing News
Wednesday 20th February 2019
Cheltenham Opener – Supreme Novices' Hurdle

Anticipation continues to build ahead of the Cheltenham festival that is set to take place in just a few weeks’ time. Day one kicks off with the Supreme Novices' hurdle, in which punters will be looking to get off to a positive start. This year doesn’t look to have the usual Willie Mullins hotpot, but there are a number of horses who head in with a leading chance.

Al Dancer

Heading the betting now at a general 7/2 is the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Al Dancer. He was an easy recent winner of the Betfair hurdle, which now stamps him down as the leading contender going in. Previous winners of the Betfair have ran well in this race including Kalashnikov last season, so it is difficult to see the horse out of the places. To further enhance his claims he won at the track in devastating fashion earlier this season winning by 11 lengths. Connections cannot speak highly enough of the horse, in what is expected to be one of two horses for the owner in the race.

Fakir Doudairies

A horse that has come in for a lot of support recently is the Joseph O’Brien trained Fakir Doudairies. The four year old will be getting weight, so goes into the contest as one of the leading contenders. It looked likely he would be contesting the Triumph hurdle, but this is now very unlikely as connections have the short priced Sir Erec heading there. Fakir is another horse to have experienced Cheltenham, as he put in a remarkable performance earlier this season to win by 13 lengths. He goes into the race with as good a chance as any and can be supported at a general 5/1.

Angels Breath

The final horse worth a mention is another owned by the Walters (Al Dancer). This is the Nicky Henderson trained five year old, Angels Breath. Following a point to point success he moved to Henderson, and made an eye catching debut for the trainer in winning the Supreme novices hurdle trial at Ascot. Since then he headed the market for the race until the previous Betfair victory of Al Dancer. He was due to make his next appearance at Huntingdon prior to the equine flu outbreak, that saw the meeting cancelled. He is a very inexperienced horse, so will certainly need another race before the festival. He is next scheduled for the Dovecote on Saturday, which we will then find out a lot more about the horse. He has a big reputation and can be supported at a general 6/1 for the Supreme.

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