he Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle has produced a number of star names in recent years, including Envoi Allen 12 months ago, and it looks another high-quality renewal to kick off day two of the Cheltenham Festival.
The trio at the head of the market are all already Grade 1 winners and will be meeting for the first time. Bob Olinger, trained by Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore, won the same Naas contest as Envoi Allen en route to the Festival and has been backed into favouritism after numerous strong shouts on the preview night circuit.
Connections decided to bypass the Dublin Racing Festival last month, where Gaillard Du Mesnil announced himself as a contender with victory over a slightly further trip over 2m6f and he represents Willie Mullins’ best chance of a record fifth win in the race.
The English challenge is headed by Bravemansgame, winner of the Challow at Newbury in December, and a horse who has been compared to the great Denman by trainer Paul Nicholls.
Of the outsiders, Nicky Martin’s unbeaten Bear Ghylls looks the most intriguing contender, though his preparation has been blighted by a number of missed engagements due to waterlogged tracks.
When is the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle?
The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle will be run at 1:20pm on Wednesday, March 17, 2021, the second day of this year’s Festival.
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle odds
(Odds provided by Betfair and are subject to change)
- Bob Olinger 15/8
- Gaillard Du Mesnil 5/2
- Bravemansgame 11/4
- Bear Ghylls 7/1
- Keskonrisk 12/1
- Does He Know 50/1
- Optimise Prime 66/1
How to watch the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
TV channel: The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle will be shown live on ITV1 and Racing TV.
Live stream: TV licence payers can stream the race for free via the ITV Hub website and app. Subscribers can also stream the action via the Racing TV website.