13:30 Cheltenham

Wednesday 13 March 2024

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All13:3014:1014:5015:3016:5017:30

Gallagher Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered As The Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle) (GBB Race)

  • 4YO plus  |   Class 1  |   2m 5f  |   Soft (Heavy in places)  |   7 Runners  |   Turf  |   Weighed In
  • Off time: 13:45  |   Winning time: 5m 22.96s
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1
Horse silk
Ballyburn38
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-7| J: P Townend| T: W P Mullins| OR:  157
1/2
No match for Firefox on hurdles debut but has emerged as a most exciting prospect in the meantime, destroying his rivals over 2½m at Leopardstown at Christmas before slamming Slade Steel by 7 lengths back over 2m there last month in a race won by many stable stars over the years. Could be top-class.
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Timeform
2
Horse silk
Handstands34
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-7| J: H Cobden| T: B Pauling| OR:  136
20/1
Has made the perfect start over hurdles, winning for a third time in listed Huntingdon event last month, again jumping well in the main. Has bags of stamina and open to further improvement. Yard took this in 2017 (the only British-trained winner of the race in the last decade).
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Timeform
3
Horse silk
Ile Atlantique61
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-7| J: Mr P W Mullins| T: W P Mullins| OR:  148| BF
9/2
Looked a good prospect back over hurdles after 7 months off when making all in 2m maiden at Gowran in November. Ran at least as well when edged out close home by stablemate Readin Tommy Wrong in Grade 1 at Naas subsequently and he could have an even bigger performance in him.
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Timeform
4
Horse silk
66/1
Ex-French performer who got off the mark despite an indifferent round of jumping in extended 2m Clonmel maiden hurdle 9 weeks ago. Open to improvement but this is a whole different test up markedly in trip.
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Timeform
5
Horse silk
Jingko Blue39
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-7| J: N de Boinville| T: N J Henderson| OR:  140| D
20/1
Has made a promising start, displaying a fine attitude when opening account at Newbury (2½m) before impressively winning handicap at Sandown. Good prospect and more to come quickly upped in grade.
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Timeform
6
Horse silk
Mercurey37
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-7| J: B Hayes| T: W P Mullins
40/1
Missed all of last year but opened his account over jumps with the minimum of fuss in a 17f Punchestown maiden hurdle last month, jumping well in the main. Plenty more needed to get involved here but longer trip will suit and he's surely capable of better.
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Timeform
7
Horse silk
Predators Gold39
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-7| J: D E Mullins| T: W P Mullins| OR:  150| BF
7/1
Impressive winner on hurdles debut at Punchestown (19.4f, soft) in November and good efforts in defeat in Leopardstown Grade 1s since, just unable to peg back a stronger stayer having possibly taken a bit too much out of himself in the early stages over 2¾m 5 weeks ago. Respected.
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Timeform

Non-Runners

8
Horse silk
The Grey Man35
Weight: 11-7|  Age: 5
T: H Dickin  J: Benjamin Poste
NR

Forecasts

Ballyburn (1/2), Ile Atlantique (9/2), Predators Gold (7/1), Handstands (20/1), Jingko Blue (20/1), Mercurey (40/1), Jimmy Du Seuil (66/1), The Grey Man (200/1)

Verdict

BALLYBURN is considered one of the bankers of the week and it's very hard to oppose him. Willie Mullins has an exceptional bunch of novice hurdlers once again and he is the highest-rated of the lot going into the Festival on the back of a stunning victory in a Leopardstown Grade 1 won by some of the stable stars over the years. He promises to do even better over this sort of trip and can land the odds. Ile Atlantique can complete a 1-2 for the yard, ahead of Ben Pauling's unbeaten Handstands.

Previous Winners

2023
Impaire Et Passe
Weight: 11-7  |Age: 5
5/2

Prize Money

1st: £75,964.002nd: £28,620.003rd: £14,324.004th: £7,155.005th: £3,591.006th: £1,796.007th: £891.008th: £459.00

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