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Analyzing the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle


With Cheltenham now less than six weeks away, the final prep races are starting to unfold and punters can expect more than a little turbulence in the ante post markets as contenders opt for different races or drop out of the running entirely. The next month or so will see some dramatic price drops as declarations become finalized and that’s all part of the fun, and risk, of ante post wagering.

The Supreme Novices’ is always an over-bet race thanks to the fact that it’s the festival opener. While the Cheltenham roar is an exhilarating one, it usually coincides with a heavily-backed favourite that, more often than not, can get the festival off to a very underwhelming start, see: Dunguib.

A similar story looks to be developing again this year with many punters getting excited about Cue Card – a fact exacerbated by the fact that the leading novice hurdler, Menorah, has opted to take on Binocular and Hurricane Fly in the Champion Hurdle later that day. The five year-old son of King’s Theatre has only lost once, to Menorah in the Grade 2 International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December, and he’s trading as low as 2/1 at Ladbrokes.

Zaidpour is set to line up in the Grade 1 Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle this weekend and, if he gets the victory, you’ll see his price get clipped by at least 25%. He has won and placed at Grade 1 level and he took a tough beat last time out. He is untested at Cheltenham and that put some punters off. One interesting variable about the son of Red Ransom is that he finished fourth to flat star Byword in France before he started his hurdling career. Punters will find him trading in the 6/1-8/1 neighborhood.

Rock On Ruby will likely be heavily-backed by the Irish if he lines up in this one, as expected. He is placed in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham and scored in a listed bumper there as well. He needs to prove that he’s a Grade 1 horse and this is a great place to do it. If his price holds around the 20/1 margin, he remains a strong each-way contender.

So Young will also be lining up in the Deloitte and he enters off a maiden hurdle score against a large field of 24 that he disposed of with relative ease. It’s likely we didn’t see the bottom of him and if he can pull off a result against Zaidpour this weekend, look for their prices to shuffle considerably. Without that score he looks a tad short at 20/1 but could be set to surprise.