Last years Supreme Novices Hurdle was a very good race, one of the best ever renewals of it. This year looks to be lacking in the same strength in depth though.

[adrotate banner=”18″] have a very good offer, in that they will refund your win stake up to €50, if your selection comes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the 2014 Supreme. Given that they are also non runner no bet on the race, now seems like a good time to see is there anything worth backing, that could be much shorter on the day.

Willie Mullins has the 2nd and 3rd favourites for this, in Vautour and Wicklow Brave. While both have chances, at the current prices it is his other contender, Valseur Lido that makes easily the most appeal. After two runs in French Bumpers, he made his debut for Willie in a maiden hurdle at Cork in November. He jumped very well, and sauntered to a 13l victory.

The form of that isn’t bad either for a maiden. The 2nd horse home won its bumper on its previous start, and is a promising sort. The 3rd horse was Valmy Baie who went into handicaps off 116 on his next start. He won easily off that mark, and is now rated 127 which looks pretty lenient. The 4th horse home, Blow the Doors off is rated 121, while the 5th Kylestyle came 2nd to Western Boy, beaten just 3 1/2l, before easily winning at Thurles, and is now rated 128.

Western Boy is the horse who gave Vautour a real fright when running him to under a length at Punchestown in January. In short as maiden hurdles go, this was a good one. Yes beating horses rated 128 or so, is a good way short of Supreme Novices standard, but he absolutely hammered them, and even a negative view of the form would see him rated somewhere in the 140’s, with potential to rate much higher.

Last time Valseur Lido easily won a conditions race, but it told us little as the opposition was weaker than what he faced on his first start. Both his runs so far have been on very soft ground, but his action doesn’t suggest he needs it, and he should be fine on better. For a horse with loads of scope to do better, that already has a decent level of form in the book, and is trained by a top trainer, his price of 16/1 is insulting, and seems to be based on the fact that he’s the supposed 3rd string for the yard.

Ruby wouldn’t be ridding him anyway, as he’s owned by Gigginstown, and even if Ruby had picked the 10/3 shot ahead of him, it wouldn’t be a negative to a 16/1 shot’s chances, as it could still mean he though Valseur Lido had a great chance. There is a lack of hype about him, but his owner wouldn’t send a potential star into battle at Cheltenham, unless his trainer was very happy with him, and he looks a cracking bet at 16/1 non runner no bet to me.

Willie is quoted as saying he is an intended runner, but the non runner no bet concession, is valuable in any case. With the very good Paddy Power offer of money back on the win part, if your 2nd, 3rd, or 4th, and with them also being joint top price, then we should have the bet with them.

Supreme Novices Hurdle Tips – Cheltenham 2014

1 PT EW Valseur Lido at 16/1 with [adrotate banner=”18″] [adrotate banner=”17″]


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Stakes are on a scale of 0-8 points. A 20/1 shot will generally be a 1 point bet, where as at the opposite end, a 6/4 shot will generally be an 8 point bet. The aim is to return around 20 points on the win part of each bet. I will aim for higher than 20 points with stronger selections, and lower for ones that I’m not as strong on. For more on staking read my Staking Plans.

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NRNB means Non Runner No Bet

BOG means best odds guarenteed

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