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CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL 2022: Grade 1 Novice Hurdles | Antepost

Kilcruit dominates the market for the 2022 Cheltenham Festival Grade 1 contests over hurdles

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Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 17, 2021 Rachael Blackmore wins the 4.50 Weatherbys Champion Bumper on Sir Gerhard Pool via REUTERS/Alan Crowhurst

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.

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Yesterday, we took a look at the current betting for the most prestigious novice events over the larger obstacles.

2DYP23A Paul Townend riding Appreciate It after winning the Paddy Power Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown Racecourse, Dublin.
Appreciate It won this year’s Supreme and is a 3-1 favourite for the Arkle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival

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.

WATCH: SIR GERHARD TAKES THE WEDNESDAY FINALE AT THE CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL UNDER RACHAEL BLACKMORE [CREDIT: RACING TV]

That’s put him to the top of the market for next year’s opener, with Nicky Henderson representative Jonbon sandwiching the Closutton duo.

Nicky Henderson reading a racecard at the Cheltenham Festival at Cheltenham Racecourse in Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, England
Nicky Henderson took the 2016 and 2020 renewals of the Supreme

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.

WATCH: CLASSIC GETAWAY IS AN EASY WINNER AT TIPPERARY ON HIS RULES DEBUT [CREDIT: RACING TV]

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.

Kilcruit
Bookmakers are taking no chances with Kilcruit, who is antepost favourite for each of the Grade 1 novice hurdle contests at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival

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.

Henry De Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore
Bob Olinger gave Rachael Blackmore and Henry de Bromhead Ballymore victory three months ago
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.

WATCH: GRANGECLARE WEST RAN OUT AN EASY WINNER AT PUNCHESTOWN IN MAY AND COULD BE SET FOR A CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL APPEARANCE IN 2022 [CREDIT: RACING TV]

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.

Horse Racing - Cheltenham Festival - Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham, Britain - March 19, 2021 Mark Walsh riding Vanillier wins the 2.30 Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle Pool via REUTERS/Michael Steele
Vanillier was a surprise winner of the Albert Bartlett this term

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.

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