Ballymore Novices Hurdle Tips – 2021 Cheltenham Festival Day 2 (1.20pm): Bob to power clear up the hill

The opener on Day 2 at the Cheltenham Festival is the Ballymore Novices Hurdle over 2m5f. Some of the racing greats have won this from the gutsy Hardy Eustace in 2003 to the machine that is Faugheen in 2014.

Last year the unbeaten Envoi Allen powered clear to win well and he could well end up being one of the greats. This year, it looks like the front three in the betting will fight it out and the bookies are struggling to split them in the market. The fourth favourite for the race is Bear Ghylls at 16/1 so there could also be some good each-way value amongst the other runners.

 

 

 

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Main Contenders

  • Bravemansgame
  • Gaillard Du Mesnil
  • Bob Olinger

 

Bravemansgame

We have an interesting renewal for the 2021 edition and Paul Nicholls’ charge Bravemansgame (4/1) heads the market. He has won his last three starts and he was very impressive in the Grade 1 Challow Hurdle last time out at Newbury. However, the form is questionable in my book as Bravemansgame had his own way out in front and his main market rival Star Gate seemed to run flat after a busy start to the season.

There is no doubting Bravemansgame is a very good horse and he’ll be some chaser for Nicholls to go to war with next season but I am happy to take him on here. He has been compared to the great Denman numerous times but not even the great Denman could manage to win this and I think Bravemansgame could prove vulnerable to a horse with a little more speed than him.

 

Gaillard Du Mesnil

The Mullins contender will to be Gaillard Du Mesnil (4/1) who won well at Leopardstown over Christmas and then made a big step up to win at the Dublin Racing Festival in early February. That victory put him towards the head of the market after he beat Gentlemansgame by 5 lengths.

 

Bob Olinger

The Henry De Bromhead charge has impressed this season and he’s a horse with a serious engine. On his seasonal debut, he finished second behind the exciting Ferny Hollow but I think he was just done for pace there over 2 miles. He stepped up to 2m4f next time out at Navan in a weak maiden hurdle but he won on the bridle and went right through the line. The big test came last time out where he stepped into Grade 1 company for the first time in the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle and he was mighty impressive in winning by over 6l. He showed a great turn of foot as they headed into the straight and again he powered clear running right through the line. His jumping is getting better with every run and the faster they go the more it will suit Bob Olinger.

I believe Bravemansgame will give Bob Olinger the perfect toe into the race and Bob Olinger will go past up the Cheltenham Hill.

 

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tip

The opener on Day 2 is a cracker. The Ballymore Novices Hurdle ran over 2m4f and arguably the three best novice hurdlers this season all take on each other here which is great to see. Bravemansgame represents the Paul Nicholls and we all know the horse is held in very high regard by connections. He is going to be some chaser next season I have no doubt but I do worry about the substance to his hurdles form this season and I’m happy to take him on on this occasion.

The one for me is BOB OLINGER NAP (15/8 with Betfred). I think this horse is a serious tool and he appears to be going from strength to strength with each run. On his first run this season he finished second to Ferny Hollow over the 2m distance but the pair pulled way clear of the third that day and Ferny Hollow is obviously a Grade 1 animal himself. Bob Olinger then stepped up to what looks his optimum trip of 2m4f where he won a maiden hurdle before going on to comfortably win the Grade 1 Lawlor of Naas Novices Hurdle last time out in pretty decisive manor. I like that De Bromhead decided to  skip the Dublin Racing Festival and keep Bob Olinger fresh for this. I rate him the nap of the week as touched on in the Antepost preview earlier in the season.

WIN BET: Bob Olinger – 15/8 with bet365.

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Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trends

  • Age – 12 of the last 12 winners were aged 5 or 6.
  • Price – 5 of the last 12 favourites have won, 8/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
  • Last Run – 10 of the last 12 winners won on their last run before the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, 12/12 winners at least placed on their previous run, 9/12 winners ran within the last 66 days
    Previous Course Form – 2/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 2/12 winners had a previous win at Cheltenham.
  • Previous Distance Form – 12/12 winners had at least 1 previous run over 19-21 furlongs, 8/12 winners had at least 2 previous runs over 19-21 furlongs, 12/12 winners had a least 1 win over 19-21 furlongs.
  • Previous Hurdle Form – 12/12 winners had at least 2 runs over hurdles, 10/12 winners had at least 3 runs over hurdles, 11/12 winners had at least 2 previous wins over hurdles.
  • Rating – 11/12 winners were rated 146 or higher.
  • Graded Wins – 9/12 winners had at least 1 previous win in a grade 1-3 race.
  • Season Form – 11/12 had at least 3 runs that season, 12/12 had at least 1 win that season, 11/12 had at least 2 wins that season.

 

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Last 10 Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2011 First Lieutenant Davy Russell M F Morris
2012 Simonsig Barry Geraghty Nicky Henderson
2013 The New One Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2014 Faugheen Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2015 Windsor Park Davy Russell D K Weld
2016 Yorkhill Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Willoughby Court David Bass Ben Pauling
2018 Samcro Jack Kennedy Gordon Elliott
2019 City Island Mark Walsh Martin Brassil
2020 Envoi Allen Davy Russell Gordon Elliott

 

Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2020 Result

1st – Envoi Allen (4/7)

2nd – Easywork – 12/1

3rd – The Big Getaway (9/1)

4th – The Big Breakaway (8/1)

 

2021 Cheltenham Festival Tips