Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Tips: Back Gaillard Du Mesnil to sparkle

Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Tips: Gaillard Du Mesnil is a premier challenger in a thrilling renewal.
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Tips: Gaillard Du Mesnil is a premier challenger in a thrilling renewal.

Tanya Stevenson gives her Ballymore Novices' Hurdle tip for a race that will see some exciting youngsters do battle on day two of the Cheltenham Festival...

Tanya Stevenson's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Tip

Gaillard Du Mesnil at 11/4 with bet365

Here’s hoping Day One was kind to you all and you’re ready to go again for another day of a rollercoaster of emotions and pure excitement.  This is a race that really suits the six-year-olds for 28 have won in 49 runnings in comparison to just 16 five-year-olds.  It is a race where 17 favourites have won at a strike rate of 34%.  Seven of the last ten winners have been Irish-trained.

Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger has been very popular in various Cheltenham Festival previews in the lead up to this which has attributed to his price contracting, bullish words from those ‘in the know’ always help and confidence is strong with this one.  However, having watched the replay of his last run I’d hope he has improved again.  He did put six lengths between himself and Blue Lord who ran in the Supreme, but its down to personal choice whether you think that is more impressive than Gaillard Du Mesnil defeating Gentlemansgame by five lengths.

I tend to prefer the latter’s performance as he ground out the victory and for me got stronger running on from the last hurdle.  The style of his racing he is not the type to sit there ready to pounce he will start his run a fair way out which will make him very hard to pass.  Willie Mullins is going for his fifth win in the race.

Cheltenham Festival Tips

It’s the smallest field in history of just seven, there are little imponderables surrounding all of them.  No surprise there are many fans of Bravemansgame, yet amazingly this is a race that Paul Nicholls has yet to win.  Another burden for the horse is Challow Hurdle winners have an atrocious record in the race as none have won from the last 16 that have tried.  He is a warrior and a determined sort so I won’t be holding a stat against him but its whether he is has progressed enough from that Newbury run 78 days ago or whether being off the track that long is too much.  

Does He Know appeared to be promising winning twice at Cheltenham before running out at Newbury in the Challow, to me that was a loss of concentration rather than misbehaviour in my mind, but his Exeter run in harder to forgive.  

Collecting my thoughts in what is an intimate field of runners and recollecting all that I’ve seen again and again in race replays, I’m going to go with Gaillard Du Mesnil.

Other thoughts for Wednesday including a few left field thoughts.  Put The Kettle On to be the first mare to win the Champion Chase, she loves the course and won the Arkle last year, the favourite Chacun Pour Soi has yet to run round the course and together with Nube Negra to trouble him early that might see Put The Kettle On reverse form.

A sporting selection with Sporting John at 13:55 in the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase, I was so impressed by him at Sandown that he only started to run on from just before the last, there is so much undiscovered improvement in him that he has been overlooked.

Heaven Help Us is my pick in the Coral Cup, she was seventh to Shishkin in last year’s Supreme, she won her maiden hurdle in Cheltenham in October and then last time won a really competitive race at Leopardstown.

Wed 13:20 - Ballymore Novices Hurdle
Gaillard Du Mesnil silk

Gaillard Du Mesnil

Cheltenham Gold Cup Runners
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