Ballymore Novices Hurdle Tips: The 9/1 chance taken as alternative to odds-on Sir Gerhard

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle tips: Sir Gerhard is the odds on favourite.
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle tips: Sir Gerhard is the odds on favourite.

First race up on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival is the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle run over two miles and five furlongs. A race which has been dominated by Irish winners in recent years, yielding seven winners from the last eight years, it's the Willie Mullins trained Sir Gerhard who heads the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle odds.

Willie Mullins will be bidding for a record fifth win in the race and first since Yorkhill won in 2016.

As an odds on shot at 8/11, Sir Gerhard will be the cornerstone of a lot of Wednesday's accas and scouring the nations best tipsters to find an alternative...

Seven year old Sir Gerhard is unbeaten in his two races over hurdles this season, both at Leopardstown. He won his maiden by eight lengths in impressive fashion on Boxing Day before hacking up in the Grade 1 novice hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival last month. Both of those wins came over two miles so he'll be stepping up to 2m 5f here.

The tipsters on Horseracing.net are certainly behind the novice, with six putting him up as their selection for the race including newspapers the Guardian, Express, Mirror and Star.

Untested at the trip, he did suffer defeat to Kilcruit at the end of last season at Punchestown so isn't bullet proof but who are in opposition on Wednesday?

Cheltenham festival tips

Course Winners

  • I Am Maximus
  • Sir Gerhard

Distance Winners

  • Stage Star

The unbeaten Journey With Me runs for Henry De Bromhead. Stepping up in class here, he has form over two and a half miles having beaten the one-time Albert Bartlett favourite Minella Crooner on his debut over hurdles at the end of 2021 and won by three lengths last time out at Naas. At 7/1 he could offer some each-way value with the Telegraph and Daily Record putting him up as their selection whilst jockey Rachel Blackmore has a 100% record when riding for these owners at Cheltenham.

At 15/2, Paul Nicholls trains the unbeaten Stage Star who is three from three this season amassing 20 lengths in winning margins in the process. The six year old who finished third in the Aintree bumper last season was the winner of the Grade 1 Challow Novices' Hurdle at Newbury on his last start and looks to represent the best chance of a home-trained winner.

The Gordon Elliott trained Three Stripe Life was beaten behind Sir Gerhard last time at Leopardstown and also second in the Grade 1 novice hurdle at the same course over Christmas. The six year old was fourth in last season's bumper and best price 7/1 for Wednesday's Grade1 attracting the attention of three tipsters, Rob Wright of the Times, Robin Goodfellow of the Daily Mail and Templegate of the Sun.

I Am Maximus is the entry of Nicky Henderson who last won this race back in 2012 with Simonsig. The six year old was last seen here at Cheltenham beaten a couple of lengths by Hillcrest who is one of the favourites for the Albert Bartlett on Friday. He's a bigger price at 16/1 but the selection of Lambourn of the Racing Post and Nicky Henderson is in good form with two winners on Tuesday.

Willie Mullins also enters Whatdeawant who is best price 20/1. The six year old won it's maiden in December but was beaten eight and a half lengths by Ginto who is one of the favourites for the Albert Bartlett on Friday.

Whilst Sir Gerhard has obvious claims here, he dodged the Supreme which was won so impressively by Constitution Hill on Tuesday beating his Irish rivals out of sight. I'm looking for something of the same for another English trained horse in the shape of STAGE STAR, who, like the Supreme winner was a runaway winner of his Graded trial last time out and feels underrated in the market at 9/1 with Paddy Power as an each-way play. The selection of Racing Post Spotlight, Topspeed and their West Country column, we're hoping he makes it 4/4 this season.

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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle
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