• Hands Heels

Supreme Novices Hurdle (Grade One)

Updated: Mar 10, 2021

13:20 16/03 Cheltenham day one

EDIT- I will be having a second look at this race, with Dreal Deal confirmed non runner and after Bareback Jack's disappointing run in the Premier Novices, I don't think he ends up going to the supreme either.

With my each way fancies out the race my only bet in this race will now be a win bet on Appreciate it. The race is lacking in depth and he has beaten all of the Irish opposition, and I don't think Soaring Glory or Metier for team UK will get near him.

Last years Supreme was an exceptional renewal with Shishkin winning, a horse who needs no introduction, now favourite for this years Arkle . Abracadabras was second that day, beaten only a head, he himself a very good horse having won the Grade One Morgiana Hurdle earlier this season. Then finishing second to Honeysuckle most recently which is no bad bit of form giving away weight to the incredible mare! Other good horses to come out of that race include Chantry House who has decent chase form this year, Asterion Forlonge who was expected to achieve big things chasing and not quite lived up to it, but by no means a bad horse. Grade 2 chase winning Allart and even back in sixth last year was Edwardstone who place in the Grade Three Betfair hurdle this weekend. I feel this year the quality is somewhat lacking in comparison, I am happy to look a little further down the market for this race as there is good value to be had.

I’m not usually in the habit of taking on short priced Mullins favourites, as they are usually extremely talented and deserve to be top of the market, and arguably the same could be said for Appreciate It here. However, when you consider how fancied he was for the Ballymore Earlier in the year before Ferny Hollow was ruled out, a case can be made for his ideal distance being over further. That being said I would expect him to be winning here, but 6/4 is not a price I’m willing to take in this race, instead I’d be looking for an each way alternative, especially in a race for novices where big improvements can be expected in these younger horses.

Metier could be considered a relatively big price considering he is unbeaten and already the winner of a Grade One, but when you look at that race it was particularly weak and the second, ShakemUp’Arry, in that race will most likely not be a Grade One performer in time, and at 7/1 best price I would be leaving him alone for this.

I’ve seen some talk recently about Ballyadam reversing form with Appreciate It here, but having been comprehensibly beaten by him the last two races, I cannot have that and would even expect a few of the others to get closer to Appreciate it than him, I might be tempted to even lay the place about Ballyadam on the day. Soaring Glory ran well in the Betfair Hurdle on Saturday winning easily, however, he was somehow only rated 133 in the handicap there and made a mockery of his light weight there. But I think stepping up into the Grade One, he will find a few too good here. Winners of the Betfair Hurdle don’t have the greatest record in this race and would put me off him here at a short enough price.

Next in the market is Dreal Deal at around 20/1 in the market, having seen him win last time out extending his winning run in a Grade 2 despite being very weak in the Market and drifting out to 22/1 against a good yardstick in Ganapathi, who I fancy for one of the handicaps if he ends up in one; with a great turn of foot to fly home. I would be interested to see him turn up here as we know he stays that bit further having won over 2 miles 4 and 2 miles 6, earlier in the season which will help with the extra stamina required up the Cheltenham hill. If he turns up here 20/1 will be an excellent price and I would back that each way. The off-putting thing about him here is the trainers comments in a recent interview they have recently found their horses to be suffering with respiratory problems from a fungus in their feed and have been out of form in recent weeks. On Dreal Deal McNally said “If he doesn’t go, there’s Aintree and Punchestown and he has options on the Flat. If he’s not 100 per cent he won’t go.” This concerns me as it shows the issue is enough for them to be reconsidering Cheltenham. That being said, if they run him here it will only be if he is right for it, and on his day I would expect him to be at least placing here and will have an each way bet on him if he turns up.

The one I will be backing currently as my main each way pick would be Bareback Jack, I think 25/1 about him is very good value. He won last time out in the Scottish version of this race beating a fancied Third Time Lucki for the Skelton's, extending his own unbeaten run to 3. If trained by one of the bigger yards, his price would be half what it is currently. I don’t see him being too much shorter on the day and with potential for extra places I would hold out until the day but 25/1 is a great price.

Selections –

Bareback Jack 1pt each way 25/1 (No longer recommended after a poor run)

Dreal Deal 0.5pts each way 20/1 (now a non runner)


Appreciate It 6/4 1pt win (13/8 William Hill at time of writing)

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