13:30 Cheltenham Wed 13 March 2019
- Ballymore Novices' Hurdle (Grade 1) (Registered as the Baring Bingham) (Class 1)
- 2m 5f, Soft (Good to Soft in places)
- 16 Runners
- Surface: Turf
Winner of an Ascot maiden hurdle over this distance in December, seemingly relishing soft ground and testing conditions (headwind). Runner-up over shorter trip at Exeter since, he has plenty improvement to find in this line-up.
Already a Grade 1 winner in Ireland this year over 2m4f, he has yet to encounter soft ground but looks a real talent in the making. Trainer/jockey won this last year and set to have another big say now.
Good winner of a Warwick Grade 2 (2m5f, good) in January, making it 2-3 over timber in the process. Has handled soft going effectively so no concern if forecast conditions deteriorate further. Entitled to go well for the Skelton team.
Impressive Huntingdon winner over 2m on debut in December then rather caught flat-footed when fourth behind Champ at Newbury in Grade 1 Challow at Christmas (2m4½f, good). Challenging in C&D trial in January when fell at the last. May offer more.
Back-to-back wins at Newbury and Leicester both came over 2m and ran well (second) in a Supreme Trial at Haydock on soft in January behind Mister Fisher. Unbeaten under this rider, though has stamina to prove and more called for tackling new trip.
Showed likeable attitude to win a maiden at Leopardstown over Christmas (2m4f, good to yielding), with second winning next time and form working out well. Stable jockey jumps off in favour of Easy Game for the rise in class.
Perfect 4-4 over timber since going down narrowly to Vinndication at Ascot (2m5½f, soft) in January 2018. Had Brewin'upastorm behind when smartly quickening to win Newbury Grade 1 in December. Trainer had strong team for this; sends just one to war.
Would be 3-3 over timber bar losing a 2m5f soft-ground Galway maiden last summer for a positive test. Continues to improve, winning at Naas (2m3f, good to yielding; 1-5f) last month and could be a player again.
Looked useful when scoring on debut over timber at Fairyhouse (2m4f, good to yielding) in December. Post-race tests confirmed he wasn't at his best since at Leopardstown when tackling 2m6f Grade 1, but could easily put that behind him now.
Has plenty experience and a dual graded hurdles winner. Defied share of bad luck in run to win 2m4f Navan Grade 2 in December and Ruby Walsh has pinned his colours to the mast. Likely capable of better for trainer/jockey with four wins since 2008.
Yet to be beaten in five starts under rules, three of them over hurdles. Has done it all over 2m so far and likely needs improvement for the longer trip but represents potent Elliott/Russell combination.
Absolutely bolted up when winning in Listed company here on New Year's Day but he was put in his place on Trials Day over C&D in a race won by a stablemate of Champ. Likely was held by Brewin'upastorm had he stayed on his feet there too.
Progressing over hurdles and ran fair race in Thurles Grade 3 in February (2m4f, good), though that still leaves form well shy of what should be needed now.
Game scorer in 2m Cork maiden in November and twice placed since in graded company, latest when 2¾L behind Battleoverdoyen at Naas (2m4f, good) in January. Stays 3m so likely that he will appreciate this sort of test and can offer a bit more.
Stratford maiden winner in November over 2m, has run well to be third all three starts since in graded races up 2m3½f but seems up against it to land a similar result upped in trip/class.
Consistent in bumpers, though took his time getting off the mark. Maiden hurdle winner at Naas (2m, good) on debut, he was swatted aside next time in a 2m Leopardstown Grade 1 landed by Klassical Dream. Up in trip and seemingly has stacks to find.
Last Year's Winner
|T: G ElliottJ: J W Kennedy|
Battleoverdoyen (3/1), Champ (9/2), Easy Game (7/1), City Island (8/1), Sams Profile (9/1), Brewin'upastorm (11/1), Galvin (12/1), Beakstown (14/1), Jarveys Plate (20/1), Bright Forecast (25/1), Castlebawn West (25/1), Seddon (33/1), Dunvegan (33/1), Ask Dillon (50/1), Notebook (50/1), Valdieu (66/1)
- Easy Game
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