Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2022: Sir Gerhard backed into favourite for Cheltenham opener

Sir Gerhard won the Champion Bumper last season.
Sir Gerhard won the Champion Bumper last season.

Last year's Champion Bumper winner Sir Gerhard has been heavily backed in the ante-post betting for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, and the Willie Mullins-trained star now sits as the favourite for the Grade 1 contest, which kickstarts the 2022 Cheltenham Festival on March 15.

The seven-year-old has been touted as the Mullins' team potential leading contender for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle over 2m 5f on day two of the meeting - and it's a race he still remains an 11/10 favourite for - but support for the classy Closutton inmate over the last few days in the Supreme market has seen him leapfrog Constitution Hill to the head of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting.

Now as short as 2/1 with some bookmakers, Sir Gerhard will be looking to win at back-to-back Cheltenham Festivals, as he produced a fine display in last season's Bumper, as he fended off stablemate Kilcruit by half-a-length,

Making a smooth transition to the hurdling sphere, Sir Gerhard started his hurdling campaign with a facile eight length victory at Leopardstown on Boxing Day, while he followed that up with a six-length romp in the Grade 1 Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival in Ireland. Both of those victories came over two miles, which the Supreme will be contested over, so the Mullins' raider will stand a huge chance of landing the prize, should he opt for the festival curtain-raiser instead of the Ballymore.

The Supreme Novices' Hurdle is one of the most hotly-anticipated races of the entire meeting with a host of classy novices set to do battle, and not only will Nicky Henderson have the aforementioned Constitution Hill, but the Seven Barrows handler will also saddle Jonbon, while Sir Gerhard's stablemate Dysart Dynamo adds more depth to the head of the betting.  Adding in potentially Kilcruit and Mighty Potter, the Supreme is destined to be one of the best renewals in recent times.

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Cheltenham Festival 2022
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