Action in Lively Supreme Novices’ Market

Guest post written by Elliot Slater

It was a case of the old London buses routine for National Hunt fans on Wednesday, when after waiting for a seemingly interminable time to see a few contenders for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the “Cheltenham Festival” in March, three appeared on the scene in the space of an hour-and-a-half, winning at all points of the compass in Britain and Ireland, writes Elliot Slater.

First to stake his claim for consideration was Willie Mullins’ Zaidpour, who justified odds-on to win the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novices Hurdle at Fairyhouse in tremendously impressive fashion. A winner on the level in France when owned by the Aga Khan, Zaidpour left some decent opposition for dead and consequently had his Festival odds slashed from 12/1 to 5/1 second favourite, behind Colin Tizzard’s Cue Card. He looks a horse of outstanding potential.

Irish bumper winner Minella Class joined the Nicky Henderson team in the spring after costing connections 95,000 guineas at the sales and made an immediate first repayment of that figure when impressing many observers in winning the hot-looking First Great Western Maiden Hurdle at Newbury.

After tracking the leaders for much of the trip, Barry Geraghty sent the five-year-old into the lead between the final two flights and he kept on strongly all the way to the line to beat Red Merlin and Pateese, receiving a 25/1 quote for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and a quote of just 16/1 with some “gold cup betting”  firms for the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival.

The third horse to throw his hat into the ‘Festival’ ring was Jonjo O’Neill’s Backspin, who jumped particularly well on his hurdling bow to cosily account for his rivals in a decent Bangor novices’ event. A winner of his only previous start (a bumper in Ireland), Backspin is now a best priced 25/1 for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and went some way to justifying his reputed large six-figure price tag.

A broadcast journalist specialising in horse racing for more than two decades, Elliot Slater remains a keen student of the form book and of handicapping. A successful tipster, he combines his knowledge of the on and off-course betting markets with an in-depth appreciation of pedigrees and bloodlines, factors that contribute to his all round understanding of the racing industry.

Michael Wilding

Michael started the Race Advisor in 2009 to help bettors become long-term profitable. After writing hundreds of articles I started to build software that contained my personal ratings. The Race Advisor has more factors for UK horse racing than any other site, and we pride ourselves on creating tools and strategies that are unique, and allow you to make a long-term profit without the need for tipsters. You can also check out my personal blog or my personal Instagram account.
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