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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2022 Racecard

The Ballymore Novices Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race which takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March. Open to horses four years and older who are novices (meaning they hadn’t won a race over hurdles prior to that season), the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about two miles and five furlongs (2 miles 5 furlongs and 26 yards), with 10 hurdles to be jumped.

1:30 Wed 16 Mar BALLYMORE NOVICES' HURDLE

Distance: 21f 0y Age: 4yo + Prize: £135,000 Going: Soft

Analyst's Verdict

SIR GERHARD wasn't foot perfect in the Brave Inca at Leopardstown but still proved way too good for the opposition in what has traditionally been the key novice trial for this meeting. That sets the clear standard and, with hopes high that he will stay this trip, he'll take some stopping. Stage Star and Journey With Me have done everything right over hurdles so far and they head the opposition.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
ODDS
1
jockey silks 1. HAXO (FR)
J: S. F. O'Keeffe
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
5
11-7
*
*
French bumper winner for E. Leray. Off 10 months and runner-up on hurdles debut at Punchestown 3 weeks ago (2m). In top hands but this is a huge ask at this stage of his career.
2
jockey silks 2. HEMLOCK
J: D. J. O'Keeffe
T: T. Gibney, Ireland
5
11-7
*
*
Eased in class and made sole run for Robert Widger a winning one in bumper at Perth in June. Runner-up both starts over hurdles for current yard this winter but looks out of his depth.
3
jockey silks 3. I AM MAXIMUS (FR)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-7
* * *
* * *
Won sole bumper at this track in 2020. Found wanting for know-how on hurdling debut but made no mistake at Newbury. Took form up another notch when runner-up over 20.3f at listed level here latest.
4
jockey silks 4. JOURNEY WITH ME (IRE)
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
6
11-7
* * * *
* * * *
Wide-margin bumper scorer and made most impressive winning debut over hurdles at Leopardstown (2m4f) in December. That race worked out well and he did his bit for the form at Naas. Exciting prospect.
5
jockey silks 5. SCARFACE (IRE)
J: Brendan Powell
T: Colin Tizzard
5
11-7
* *
* *
Related to hurdling winners and found only one too good on hurdles debut at Exeter in January. Stuck to his task when occupying same spot over 19.3f at Ascot and more to come as stamina is drawn out.
6
jockey silks 6. SIR GERHARD (IRE)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
7
11-7
* * * * *
* * * * *
£400,000 point recruit who was unbeaten last term, notably in the Champion Bumper. Landed odds both starts over hurdles (2m), looking every inch a top-class prospect despite odd error at Leopardstown.
7
jockey silks 7. STAGE STAR (IRE)
J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
6
11-7
* * * *
* * * *
Highly-promising bumper winner who is unbeaten over hurdles, taking the step up in class in his stride when slamming the opposition in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury. Limit not yet reached.
8
jockey silks 8. THREE STRIPE LIFE (IRE)
J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
6
11-7
* * *
* * *
Fourth in the Champion Bumper last year and very positive start over hurdles, successful at Fairyhouse before a brace of runner-up efforts in Grade 1 company over 2m. Promises to stay this far.
9
jockey silks 9. WHATDEAWANT (IRE)
J: D. E. Mullins
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-7
* * *
* * *
Beat Ginto in a bumper and made a successful debut over hurdles at Navan in December. Shaped better than the result suggests in Grade 1 at Naas subsequently, so well worth another chance.

Betting Forecast : 8/11 .72 SIR GERHARD, 6/1 6 JOURNEY WITH ME, 7/1 7 STAGE STAR, 17/2 8.5 THREE STRIPE LIFE, 20/1 20 I AM MAXIMUS, 28/1 28 WHATDEAWANT, 125/1 125 SCARFACE, 200/1 200 HAXO, 300/1 300 HEMLOCK

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is the first race on day two of the Cheltenham Festival.

The race was first established in 1971, and was won by the Harry Thomson Jones-trained Midsprite under jockey Macer Gifford.

In 1974, Sun Alliance (an insurance company which was later know as Royal & Sun Alliance) began sponsoring the race and as a result the contest became known as the Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle.

The association lasted over 30 years until Ballymore Properties backed the event for the first time in 2006.

Just four years later, Neptune Investment Management took over the reins as main sponsor, and the race was run under their banner for seven years, before Ballymore resumed sponsorship for the 2018 running. Their support was well-founded when City Island – trained by Martin Brassil and owned by Founder and Group Chief Executive of Ballymore, Sean Mulryan – won the 2019 renewal.

The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle has produced some top-class hurdlers in the past, notably three-time Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq and two-time Champion Hurdle winner Hardy Eustace .

Faugheen produced one of the best performances in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle since the turn of the century when successful in 2014, beating Ballyalton by four and a half lengths under Ruby Walsh, overcoming a bad mistake at the third last in the process.

Faugheen also went on to win the Champion Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival the following year, further enhancing the record of winners of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle that go on to do well in that race.

More recently, the Gordon Elliott-trained Samcro was another impressive winner of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle when sauntering clear of his rivals to win the 2018 renewal. He produced the best performance in the race since the aforementioned Faugheen when readily justifying favouritism.

The most successful Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle trainer in recent times is Willie Mullins , who has won the race four times, with: Fiveforthree (2008), Mikael d’Haguenet (2009), Faugheen (2014) and Yorkhill (2016).

The most successful Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle jockey in recent times is Ruby Walsh , who has won the race four times, with: Fiveforthree (2008), Mikael d’Haguenet (2009), Faugheen (2014) and Yorkhill (2016).

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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

2 miles and 5 furlongs and 26 yards

How many obstacles are jumped in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

10

What day of the festival is the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

Day 2

What time is the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

13:30

What weights are carried for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

10st 13lbs (4yo). 11st 7lb (5yo+). 7lb allowance for fillies and mares.

What is the purse for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

£125,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle*?

Ruby Walsh

Who is the leading trainer in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle*?

Willie Mullins

Who won the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

You can check out our Ballymore Novices' Hurdle results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?

Click the link to visit our Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1972

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2022

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

65 The number of OASIS DREAM's progeny that have won on flat debut (Sires GREEN ZABEEL)
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