With a few days off we felt we should provide you guys with something to keep the blood pumping, so we’ve taken a good look at a couple of the Graded Races at Cheltenham and the market leaders for those events, starting with the Supreme Novices Hurdle which has resulted in a very confident NRNB advice.
Supreme Novices Hurdle:
Angels Breath heads the market more on hype than substance, but he could do no more than on his hurdles debut when winning well at Ascot. The form of that race is okay and he showed a nice turn off foot, but in only 4 flights we believe that day, he could do with another run before Cheltenham and time is now running out. No doubt he could be as good as reports suggest, but we’re not sure he deserves to Fav on what we’ve have seen so far.
Fakir D’Oudairies is next in the market and could perhaps have claims to be Fav after 2 from 2 since joining the Joseph O’Brien yard. A good winner on his debut at Cork in a race that has worked out well enough, he then bolted up in a Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham, what is probably the best 4yo hurdling performance on these shores this season, which saw him head the market for the Triumph Hurdle at the time. He beat what was a decent field in extremely impressive fashion and gaining valuable course experience. Having seen a stable mate take over at the head of the market for the Triumph he’s been well supported for this race. As a 4yo he’d receive a valuable weight for age allowance. The main issue is will he run here. It does look likely with Sir Erec a short priced Fav for the Triumph, but it’s not set in stone. At this stage you could only get involved in the NRNB markets, where he is a 5/1 shot.
Klassical Dream is the shortest priced runner from the Willie Mullins camp and is another that’s 2 from 2 over hurdles, where his maiden hurdle victory has just seen one winner come from the race. His victory when winning a Grade 1 was a decent run beating stable mate Aramon who’d already won a Grade 1 himself and with a well touted Gordon Elliot runner beaten 6 lengths back in third. He’s looked very solid thus far without the wow factor.
Aramon holds similar claims to his stable mate, as there was nothing between them last time, but the form of his previous Grade 1 victory looks substandard and perhaps both aren’t up to what you’d expect from a Supreme winner.
Al Dancer gained valuable course experience here last time when winning a handicap off a mark of 129 in very impressive style by 11 lengths. That form has received boosts by the horses he despatched with ease and he was raised to a mark of 141. A pity he couldn’t strut his stuff in the Betfair Hurdle but he’s had 3 runs over hurdles now and won’t lack for experience. On a form point basing his emphatic victory off 129 and looking at Seddon who finished 3rd to Angels Breath and was then beaten 4 lengths off a mark of 137 in handicap company you could argue that Al Dancer has shown at least as much as the same owner Ante Post Favourite.
Of the other contenders we weren’t overly impressed by Mister Fisher last time and his stable clearly have a preference for Angels Breath. Elixir De Nuts has proven himself ultra-tough but his form looks just slightly below what you’d need to win this.
In conclusion, the way Fakir D’Oudairies powered up the Cheltenham hill in January and the manner of victory that day, suggests he’s a very high class animal. Let’s put it into context; he received an RDPR rating of 147 when winning last time. Looking at recent winners of this race, Douvan ran to a rating of 160 when winning the Supreme by 4 ½ lengths having run to 149 prior to Cheltenham. Altior was given a rating of 166 when beating Min in 2016 by 7 lengths, 157 before Cheltenham. Labaik was given an RDPR of 157 when winning in 2017, 143 beforehand and Summerville Boy 156 when winning last year, 150 beforehand. So Fakir D’Oudairies has already run to a level not far off a rating of that shown by recent Supreme winners, we say normal as Altior doesn’t come under that bracket. When you add to that messages suggesting it’s felt he has a lot more improvement to come, and from a short career so far why not then it’ll take an awfully good horse to beat him. Only worry is will he run, so let’s take advantage of the Non Runner No Bet concession. Put it this way, if the main contenders lined up tomorrow, we’d be having a MAXIMUM BET.
Supreme Novice Hurdle: Fakir D’Oudairies (NRNB at 5/1 with Skybet and Paddy Power) – MAX BET.
26th February – currently 4/1 best price and generally 7/2.