At the beginning of the Cheltenham Festival, the infamous roar greets that season’s renewal of Supreme contenders as the biggest week in National Hunt racing kickstarts in Grade 1 fashion.
Yesterday, we took a look at the current betting for the most prestigious novice events over the larger obstacles.
But today, we shift our focus to the future action over timber with many antepost punters already delving into the bookies’ odds nine months ahead of time while attention on the flat takes precedent over the summer months.
SKY BET SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE | Tuesday 15th March 2022 | 1:20pm
Sir Gerhard proved too strong for Kilcruit in the Champion Bumper but the latter reversed the form with his new stable-mate in decisive fashion at the Punchestown Festival.
That’s put him to the top of the market for next year’s opener, with Nicky Henderson representative Jonbon sandwiching the Closutton duo.
The Seven Barrows candidate was an expensive purchase for JP McManus, being a full brother to Douvan, and won a bumper at Newbury on his first start under rules earlier this year.
Classic Getaway is another point-to-point winner turned National Hunt Flat Race successor and the Cheveley Park Stud contender is a prominent ante-post figure here, with Patrick Mullins stating he’ll be heading over hurdles later this year.
Paul Nicholls’s unbeaten Knappers Hill left a taking impression at the Grand National Festival and looks set to tackle obstacles later this campaign, with Dark Raven completing a Willie Mullins domination at the head of affairs.
BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE | Wednesday 16th March 2022 | 1:20pm
The same quartet feature respectively in the Grade 1 opener on the second day of the Festival, with Kilcruit a much shorter price over an extended trip.
Jonbon is deemed equally as likely to take this route as he is over a two-mile trip, while Sir Gerhard is not a certainty to take the same path as fellow-owned Envoi Allen in taking the step up in distance.
The aforementioned Knappers Hill and Classic Getaway are separated in the market by Henry de Bromhead’s Journey With Me, who represents the same connections that took this race back in March.
ALBERT BARTLETT NOVICES’ HURDLE | Friday 18th March 2022 | 2:30pm
No surprises as Kilcruit features once again, with yard rival Grangeclare West is nearing rival nine months ahead of a possible duel following an unbeaten start to life both between the flags and under rules.
Cheveley Park’s other livewire Classic Getaway is in line and with a point-to-point win in the bag, he is another whose future may lie over a staying trip, with Balco Coastal the shortest price British contender despite his recent Aintree disappointment.
Three Stripe Life looked green in the Champion Bumper but has only had two starts, winning his other, and could be one to keep on side tackling obstacles this season, just shorter than former box-neighbour Sir Gerhard for the second of Friday’s top-level contests.