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Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05

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Look to embryonic chaser from Ireland

BALLYMORE NOVICES’ HURDLE WEDNESDAY 1.20

JAMES HILL

Since the turn of the century, as many as 15 winners were six-year-olds The success of Envoi Allen last year means that every running since 2014 has gone to that age group. National Hunt-breds can take a while to come to hand with many too backward to be winning this at four or five, while there have been only two winners older than six since this event began in 1971. Can Flat horses win this? Istabraq did in 1997, but he was the exception to the rule, and as many as 20 of the last 22 winners came from bumpers. It’s very much a race for the embryonic chaser. Ireland have now won six of the last seven runnings. We should particularly make note of any unbeaten horses trained by Willie Mullins. The Mullins stable has won this race four times and those four had won all their races over hurdles under his care. Verdict Mullins has the current favourite in Gaillard Du Mesnil, but he falls down as he is only a five-year-old. Both Bob Olinger and Bravemansgame are strongly fancied and they fit the trends nicely, with Irish-trained Bob Olinger edging it because of his country’s terrific record in this event.

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Cheltenham - The Ultimate Guide

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