Appreciate It (Supreme Novices' Hurdle)
The Cheltenham Festival hasn’t been without its share of eleventh hour withdrawals down the years; in 2020, it was Chacun Pour Soi’s no-show that removed the figurehead star in the two-mile division and meant the Champion Chase took far less winning than expected. This season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, however, has been hit with two ‘Chacun Pour Sois’ during the course of the campaign, with potential standout novices Ferny Hollow and Dusart having both fallen by the wayside since sparkling starts over hurdles.
As such, it’s highly likely this season’s Cheltenham opener won’t take the winning it normally does, yet to suggest that makes Appreciate It the clear-cut form choice - as the betting implies - arguably doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the reality. Yes, Appreciate It is Timeform top-rated based on his win in an admittedly stacked renewal of the Brave Inca at the Dublin Racing Festival, but he isn’t all that far clear and, what’s more, his form over hurdles so far – and indeed his fine second to Ferny Hollow in the Champion Bumper – has come on testing ground, conditions that seem increasingly unlikely to prevail at this season’s Festival given the current climate and look-ahead forecast.
Appreciate It has a running style more reminiscent of a Champagne Fever than a Douvan and the feeling is that something will find him out in the Supreme – he could overdo things in front if ridden to bring his stamina into play, or else he promises to be vulnerable to a quickener if he fails to go hard enough. Either way, his success or failure in the Supreme will have a big say in defining my own over the course of the week punting-wise!
We've been here before - Willie Mullins strikes in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper!— Racing TV (@RacingTV) March 11, 2020
Ferny Hollow leads home Appreciate It for a stable 1-2 in the day-two finale 👏 #CheltenhamFestival pic.twitter.com/BhnuSkGm23