Ballymore Novices Hurdle Odds 2023

Bob Olinger ballymore novices hurdle

Bob Olinger ridden by Rachael Blackmore coming home to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle during day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is the opening race on day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival. It is over two miles and five furlongs and is an alternative option for novices entered for either the two-mile Supreme Novices’ Hurdle or three-mile Albert Bartlett. This route has been taken by subsequent Champion Hurdle winners Istabraq (1997), Hardy Eustace (2003) and Faugheen (2014).

Irish-trained runners have become increasingly dominant in recent years. The victory of Bob Olinger in 2021 was their seventh in the last eight seasons. The only British-trained winner during that period was Willoughby Court in 2017. The Ballymore Novices Hurdle Odds 2023 suggest that trend is likely to continue with the Willie Mullins-trained Sir Gerhard currently a short-priced favourite.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Odds and Entries 2023

The Ballymore Novices Hurdle odds inevitably feature plenty of horses that will ultimately run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on the opening day. Nicky Henderson’s duo of Constitution Hill and Jonbon will almost certainly take that route along with the Willie Mullins-trained Dysart Dynamo. That leaves Sir Gerhard a very strong favourite, although it is not inconceivable that he could also be switched to the earlier contest.

Sir Gerhard joined Mullins from the Gordon Elliott stable prior to last season’s Cheltenham Festival and won the Champion Bumper. He has been impressive in his two victories over hurdles, beating Three Stripe Life by six lengths at Leopardstown in February. He has yet to race beyond two miles and will be a major player in his chosen event.

Mullins has plenty of other options here including the unbeaten The Nice Guy and easy Limerick winner State Man. Neither have been tested at this level and have bags of potential. Gordon Elliott also has an embarrassment of riches in this division and could call upon Mighty Potter and Ginto. The former was third to Statuaire at Fairyhouse in the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle in November. He then beat stable companion Three Stripe Life in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown, both over two miles.

One horse that is guaranteed to want two and a half miles is Ginto, a gelding by Walk In The Park. He has won all three starts over that trip and was particularly impressive at Naas in January. Henry De Bromhead’s Journey With Me will bid to emulate stable companion Bob Olinger who won this race last season in the same colours. The best of the British-trained runners could be Stage Star for Paul Nicholls, a comfortable winner of the Challow Novices’ Hurdle at Newbury.

Latest Ballymore Novices Hurdle Betting Odds *

*Best prices correct at time of writing

Sir Gerhard 11-8

Dysart Dynamo 9-4

Constitution Hill 5-2

Jonbon 5-1

Ginto 11-2

Journey With Me 7-1

Stage Star 7-1

Walking On Air 8-1

Minella Cocooner 10-1

State Man 10-1

Kilcruit 12-1

Three Stripe Life 12-1

Classic Getaway 16-1

Hillcrest 16-1

Mighty Potter 16-1

I Am Maximus 18-1

El Fabiolo 20-1

Hollow Games 20-1

Skytastic 25-1

The Nice Guy 25-1

Whatdeawant 25-1

Ballymore Novices Hurdle News

The Ballymore Novices Hurdle betting odds could face a major shake-up with several of those prominent in the market almost certain to run elsewhere. If the going came up very soft or heavy, the emphasis will be on stamina which would favour the proven two and a half milers.

Ginto and Journey With Me look the obvious ones in that regard. Gordon Elliott is adamant that stamina is Ginto’s strong suit and the better the race, the better he will be. He had to cut out the running last time to avoid the race turning into a sprint and he could be even better with a strong pace at Cheltenham.

Journey With Me was briefly at the head of the Ballymore Novices Hurdle odds 2023 after upsetting the odds-on Kilcruit in December. He landed the odds comfortably at Naas last time out and should give Rachael Blackmore another great ride at the festival meeting.

Paul Nicholls was initially reluctant to commit Stage Star to the Ballymore but has warmed to the idea in recent weeks. The son of Fame And Glory quickened impressively at Newbury to beat West Balboa by six and a half lengths and the stable seem to have recovered from a recent dip in form. 

Nicky Henderson has earmarked Walking On Air for this race after his 13 lengths victory at Newbury in mid-January. He was beaten by the useful Shallwehaveonemore at Kempton in a bumper last season and he looks another exciting prospect for the Lambourn trainer. Henderson could also run I Am Maximus, runner-up to leading Albert Bartlett fancy Hillcrest at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.