Cheltenham Day 1 Tips: Supreme Novices’

  • 28/12/2019
  • 13:30

2020 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Tip

Gordon Elliott dropped an almighty bombshell at a recent preview evening when he said the prospect of heavy ground makes it likely Ballymore favourite, Envoi Allen would be switched to the Supreme. The three-time Grade One winner has since been backed into favouritism and could be very hard to beat and he’s sure to be popular in Cheltenham Festival free bets. I. however, feel he could be vulnerable over two miles, in with several horses who’ve shown an eye-catching burst of late speed.

Britain looks set to play a strong hand in the 2020 Cheltenham Festival opener, with Nicky Henderson’s Shishkin heading the betting. The market leader has been super impressive on his last two outings, winning a Listed contest at Huntingdon by 11-lengths without coming off the bridle. FIDDLERONTHEROOF is currently 8/1 with Betway and carries Grade One-winning form into the Supreme. Soft ground should suit Colin Tizzards’ charge perfectly. He looks the best each-way Cheltenham Festival tip in this year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle.

Anyone who’s read my ante-post Supreme tips will know I don’t think much of Abadcadabras’ chances. So, Ireland’s hopes seem to lie squarely on the shoulders of ASTERION FORLONGE, and I think Willie Mullins’ grey will be good enough to cope with the pressure.

Following an easy victory in a bumper, Mullins’ charge powered clear of a future winner to secure a taking victory on his novice hurdles debut. Asterion Forlonge then took on Easywork in a Grade One at the Dublin Racing Festival and again displayed an impressive turn-of-foot to seal a nine-and-a-half-length triumph.

The time of that Chanella Pharma was a second quicker than the Spring Juvenile Hurdle run that same day. Triumph Hurdle contender A Wave Of The Sea came from well off the pace to win the juvenile contest, as the pace-setters faltered close to home. Asterion Forlonge helped make the running with Easywork on very tacky ground, but still had more than enough in the tank to pull clear and eventually win going away from a rival rated 146.

I’ve been so impressed with the way Asterion Forlonge’s jumping has improved with each of his starts and he’s shown a smart burst of speed to seal victory on all of his outings this far. It’s clear this dazzling grey is on a steep upward trajectory, and he’ll be the first of my Cheltenham Festival day one tips.

The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race

The traditional curtain raiser for the Cheltenham Festival, the roar that erupts from Prestbury Park as the starter sends the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle runners on their way can be heard for miles around. Only the slickest novice will be good enough to triumph over this trip and earn themselves a spot in horse racing folklore.

Flyingbolt and L’Escargot won the Supreme during the 1960s and they’ve since been joined on the honour’s boards by Brave Inca, Douvan and Altior, who all went on to secure more prestigious prizes at future Cheltenham Festival.

The opening day of the Festival features a full seven races. Find all of our Cheltenham day 1 tips here to get full coverage of Champion Day.

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