Supreme Novices Hurdle Tips - 1:30pm Cheltenham

2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Preview

The curtain raiser to the whole week and the race that gets the crowd going is the Supreme Hurdle. At one time it seemed like a penalty kick for the Irish raiders and although it is a bit more even nowadays you can’t escape the fact that they have captured the prize a dozen times since the turn of the century.

Willie Mullins has won it four times in the last seven years and it’s a good place to start when looking at this year’s renewal. As per usual he has plenty of ammo and perhaps the most impressive of his battalion has been Asterion Forlonge.

He won his bumper at Thurles last November and then duly won on his hurdles debut at Naas by an easy 10 lengths. He beat a fancied Gordon Elliott horse that day and on the strength of that was pitched in to the deep end at the Dublin Festival.

He had won a point over three miles so was originally thought of as a Ballymore type but it was decided to give him his chance at Leopardstown. Well he couldn’t have been more impressive that day dishing out a 9 ½ length beating to Easywork who came into the race unbeaten.

After the race Willie Mullins was very bullish about his chances here and saw no reason to step him up in trip apart from the fact that owner Joe Donnelly also has an interest in the shape of Shishkin who has been as equally impressive for trainer Nicky Henderson.

Shishkin won a point and his bumper debut, he was then made an odds-on favourite for his hurdles bow at Newbury but came down at the second flight. A month later he went back to the same venue and bolted up by 11 lengths and went into many people’s notebooks a Cheltenham type.

Henderson won this race with Altior in 2016 and has had plenty of near misses so anything he sends here has to be taken seriously. Chantry House is also from Seven Barrows stable and is owned by J.P.McManus who always has at least a couple of darts to throw at the target.

He won his bumper at Warwick last March and was given plenty of time before making his hurdles debut at Cheltenham in December. It was a decent race for the time of year and he absolutely hosed up in the style of a very good horse. A winning pointer so will stay much further in time but looks a very exciting prospect.

A third runner from Seven Barrows is Allart, he actually fell on his hurdles debut at Ascot but then made no mistake next time out at Ludlow, winning by 9 lengths. He then went to Doncaster and bolted up by 14 lengths and has yet to be tested in this type of company.

Staying with the English challenge for a moment, Colin Tizzard has a couple of nice types in the shape of Fiddlerontheroof and Master Debonair.

Fiddlerontheroof beat the well regarded The Big Getaway this time last year in a bumper before going to Tizzard and making his hurdles debut at Chepstow in October. He was second to the useful Thyme Hill that day over 2m4f. He was dropped back to the minimum at Wincanton next time but probably found the track too sharp that day when second to Edwardstone.

Since then he has won twice at Sandown and both times with plenty of give in the ground. He has a good chance here if the conditions suit. Edwardstone has upheld the form with a win at Aintree since and a good second at Haydock.

Master Debonair has also won his last two starts, both at Ascot and was very impressive when slamming Ribble Valley by 8 lengths last time out. He was 12th in the Champion Bumper here last season and is going the right way.

Back to the Irish and Gordon Elliott who has a couple of runners owned by Gigginstown Stud who have a chance. The main hope is Abacadabras who won his first two races over hurdles and then was beaten by stablemate Envoi Allen when contesting the Grade 1 Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse.

He lost nothing in defeat that day as the winner is very smart indeed and duly made amends next time out when winning the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown at the Christmas meeting. I’m not sure what he beat that day but remains a nice prospect.

Henry De Bromhead has Captain Guinness in the line-up and he will be popular with the travelling army of supporters from across the Irish Sea. He opened his account by winning a small race by 7 lengths at Navan and then stepped to run in a Grade 2 contest next time.

He ran well to finish second to the useful Andy Defresne, the pair finishing well clear of the pack. The winner is well regarded so that form could be decent.

Punters Lounge Tip: Asterion Forlonge 3/1 at William Hill - Click Here To Bet
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