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3.30 - Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (formerly the Hyde Novices’ Hurdle) (Grade 2)
Key Stat - Nine of the last ten winners had already won that season.
- Seven of the last ten winners were aged five (three aged six).
- Philip Hobbs (2) is the only trainer to have won this race more than once in the last decade.
- Only three winning favourites in the last ten years but the last two winners were sent off as 11/8 market leaders with the bookmakers.
- Paul Nicholls has NEVER won this race. He’s responsible for ante-post favourite Gelino Bello.
Future form - None of the last ten winners of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle have gone on to win the race of the same title at the Cheltenham Festival (only three runners in the race).
Best bet - Gelino Bello looks like going off a warm order should he line up for this but his trainer has never won this race and favourites don’t have a great record in this Grade 2 contest. Off Your Rocco wasn’t extended in running away with a Listed Limerick contest last month and he could be a big threat if allowed to take his chance by Gordon Elliott and his team.
12.30 - JCB Triumph Trial Juvenile Hurdle (formerly the Prestbury Juvenile Hurdle) (Grade 2)
Key Stat - Paul Nicholls has a tremendous record in this race, winning it five times and having a further seven runners placed.
- Every one of the last ten winners had already won at least once over hurdles.
- This is a race that has been dominated by horses near the top of the market. Only one horse bigger than 100/30 has won in the last ten years, seven of which have been 2/1 or shorter.
- None of the last ten winners had previously run at Prestbury Park.
Future form - Defi Du Seuil (2016) is the only winner of this race to go on and win the Triumph Hurdle back at Cheltenham in March.
Best bet - Paul Nicholls is the trainer to follow in this race so Magistrato will be a big runner if taking his chance. This French recruit absolutely bolted up at Chepstow and his trainer was very enthusiastic about his future prospects.
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1.40 - From The Horse's Mouth Podcast Novices' Chase (formerly the November Novices' Chase) (Grade 2)
Key Stat - Nine of the last ten favourites have finished in the first three. 2020 market leader Fusil Raffles was pulled up.
- Nine of the last ten winners were aged five or six (only two horses older than that have won the race this century).
- Henry De Bromhead (2019) is the only Irish-based trainer ever to win this race.
- Every winner of this race in the last decade either had a chase rating of 140+ or no chase rating at all.
Future form - The Arkle is the obvious end-of-season target for any horse that wins this race but only Azertyuiop (2002-03) and Put The Kettle (2019-20) On have gone on to win that festival race having landed this prize since the turn of the century.
Best bet - Third Time Lucki looks certain to go off a very short price here and understandably so after bolting up over this C&D on chasing debut, although he did let favourite backers down at this meeting 12 months ago (Supreme Trial). Henry De Bromhead’s record in this race means that Dancing On My Own demands a good deal of respect despite the fact that he has a fair but to find on the numbers.
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2.15 - Paddy Power Gold Cup Handicap Chase (Grade 3)
Key Stat - No favourite has won this race in the last ten years. However, only three winners have an SP greater than 10/1.
- Chasing experience is key. Nine of the last ten winners had run at least five times over fences, the exception being Caid du Berlais in 2014.
- Eight of the last ten winners of this race were aged seven or above.
- Eight of the last ten winners carried 11st or less.
Future form - No winner of the Paddy Power Gold Cup in the last decade has gone on to win at that season’s Cheltenham Festival.
Best Bet - If Zanza can get his act together in the jumping department then he has to be a live one in here but Al Dancer makes more appeal given he can race off a 5lb lower mark than when only beaten around four lengths in this race last year. He has a great record fresh and the yard switch might just rejuvenate him.
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2.20 - Shloer Chase (formerly the Cheltenham Chase) (Grade 2)
Key Stat - Every Shloer Chase winner in the last decade was sent off favourite or second favourite.
- The last ten winners had all run at least once at Cheltenham previously.
- Nine of the last ten winners had at least six previous chase runs.
- Only one of the last eight winners was aged older than seven.
Future form - Only two Shloer Chase winners have gone on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase back at Cheltenham later in the season. 2019 winner Defi du Seuil is the only Shloer Chase winner in the last decade to go on and win the Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown.
Best Bet - Put The Kettle On is unbeaten in four starts at Cheltenham but there was only half a length separating her and Nube Negra in the Queen Mother Champion Chase and Dan Skelton is likely to have targeted his charge at this meeting.
2.55 - Unibet Greatwood Hurdle (Grade 3)
Key Stat - No Greatwood Hurdle winner in the last decade had already won more than two handicap hurdles.
- No favourite has won the Greatwood Hurdle in the last decade.
- No 4-year-old has hit the frame in the last five years (seven runners).
- Nine of the last ten winners had run at least five times over hurdles.
- Only one Irish-trained contender (2020) has won the Greatwood in the last decade.
- Only one horse has carried more than 11st to victory since 2012.
Future form - No Greatwood Hurdle winner in the last decade has gone on to Champion Hurdle glory in the same season.
Best Bet - It’s best to avoid the lightly-raced ‘sexy’ runners that tend to be prominent in the market. Glory And Fortune looked a handicapper to follow when bolting up in the Welsh Champion Hurdle (second handicap win) and an 8lb rise might just underestimate this 6-year-old.
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3.30 - Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle (Grade 2)
Key Stat - Only one favourite has been out of the first three in the last 13 editions of this race.
- Only one horse older than five has won this race in the last ten years.
- Only one favourite has won this race since 2012.
- Only two of the last ten winners had raced on the Flat previously.
Future form - This might be a Supreme Novices’ Hurdle trial in name, but in reality, it hasn’t really turned out that way. Only Altior (2015-16) has gone on to win the Supreme in the same season this century.
Best Bet - I Like To Move It is a general 33/1 chance to win the Supreme later in the season but those odds will collapse if he can follow up his impressive success at Cheltenham in October and shoulder a penalty to success here. The unbeaten Washington has stacks of potential but this is a marked step up in terms of calibre of opposition.