2022 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Odds
*Odds taken on 15/2/22*
The Home Challenge
After a resounding thrashing by their Irish counterparts at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, British fans will be hoping for a fast start to this year’s Festival. Thankfully, four-time winner Nicky Henderson has two excellent chances of landing the 2022 Supreme.
Topping the market we find Constitution Hill, who bolted up by 14 lengths on his first start of the season at Sandown. Henderson’s five-year-old then made light of difficult ground conditions to win the Tolworth Hurdle, where he powered to an impressive victory without ever being asked a serious question.
Expensive purchase Jonbon, who’s full brother Douvan won the 2015 Supreme, is also unbeaten over hurdles. Henderson’s star won easily on debut, before surging clear in the closing stages to land the Kennel Gate at Ascot before Christmas. Jonbon was then workmanlike on his most recent run at Haydock, but Nico De Boinville’s mount still managed to win the Rossington Main fairly cosily and that experience will stand him in excellent stead.
Top Irish Raiders
Not wanting to be outdone by Nicky Henderson, Willie Mullins – himself a seven-time winning trainer of the Supreme – could throw a handful of runners into the mix. Sitting prominently in the betting is last year’s Champion Bumper
winner Sir Gerhard
, who’s powered to two impressive hurdles wins around Leopardstown so far this season.
Dysart Dynamo won both of his starts in bumpers last season and has made all to secure two lengthy wins over hurdles. Kilcruit, who avenged his defeat to Sir Gerhard in the Champion Bumper by winning the Grade One flat race at Punchestown in April, was surprisingly beaten on his first couple of hurdles runs but earned a spot in the Supreme by winning well at Punchestown on his most recent outing.
Mullins could run State Man, who powered to a 12-length victory at Limerick in February. The Nice Guy and El Fabiolo have also been handed Supreme entries. As have talented mares Allegorie De Vassy, Brandy Love, Statuaire and Brandy Love, but all four are more likely to turn up in the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle.
Gordon Elliott watched Mighty Potter win a Grade One at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival, and he’s a live outsider to watch out for in this year’s Supreme. Three Stripe Life followed Mighty Potter home that day and was only beaten six lengths behind Sir Gerhard on his second Grade One outing at the Dublin Racing Festival.
There’s a chance Elliott could split his runners up and send one to the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle
. He does, however, have the likes of Ginto, Gerri Colombe and Hollow Games entered in the two-and-a-half miler, so I wouldn’t be surprised to see both Mighty Potter and Three Stripe Life turn up here.
Lorna Fowler’s second-season novice, Colonel Mustard stayed on to place second behind Jonbon in the Kennel Gate and finished a distant third as Sir Gerhard beat Three Stripe Life at Leopardstown. My Mate Mozzie was well-beaten after being held up that day, despite impressing under front-running tactics earlier in the season, and he too wouldn’t look out of place in a Supreme.
Shallwehaveonemore hated heavy ground when well beaten by Constitution Hill in the Tolworth. Gary Moore’s rising star bounced back from that defeat with an easy maiden hurdle win at Sandown on Scilly Isles day and he could bolster the British contingent in the Supreme. As could Donald McCain’s A Different Kind, despite losing his unbeaten record when third behind North Lodge in the Ballymore Trial in January.
2022 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Best Bet – Dysart Dynamo
While both clearly have an enormous amount of ability, I’m struggling to size up Nicky Henderson's Supreme Novices' Hurdle
runners. Constitution Hill has beaten nothing of note on his two starts so far and we’re yet to see how much he can produce when truly tested. I wasn’t enamoured by the way Jonbon travelled or jumped at Haydock and, although he was able to find an extra gear when asked a question, that turn of foot only took him three lengths clear of 132-rated Richmond Lake.
To me, Willie Mullins has the strongest hand to play. Sir Gerhard brings course form to the table and set a mightily impressive time when winning at the Dublin Racing Festival. Despite ticking every box for the Supreme, Mullins’ charge is shorter in the betting for the Ballymore. Willie has often run staying types in the Supreme, preferring a speedier sort for the Ballymore and Sir Gerhard’s jumping – which hasn’t been particularly polished thus far – won’t be under so much scrutiny in the longer of the two races.
I backed DYSART DYNAMO for the Ballymore at the start of the season. Willie Mullins’ six-year-old is bred to stay much further than two miles and the way he travelled in his bumpers made it inevitable, in my eyes, that he would be stepped up in distance.
Dysart Dynamo has been just as keen and free-going in his two hurdles starts so far. Yet, the early gallop Paul Townend’s mount set in both of those races was far too quick for his rivals to cope with, allowing Dysart Dynamo to comfortably collect a pair of 19-length victories.
In the Moscow Flyer, Mullins’ charge beat Challow Hurdle third, Gringo D’Aubrelle into second. The Little Yank, who’s won since and is rated around 130, was beaten some 50 lengths. Guily Billy, an expensive purchase for Cheveley Park Stud, attempted to keep up with Dysart Dynamo during the early stages, but soon beat a retreat and was pulled up well before the end.
There were two further two-mile hurdles races run on the Moscow Flyer card. Supreme Jet and Hiaou were both kept up to their work to claim wins, whereas Dysart Dynamo was being eased down well before the line. Willie Mullins’ star was fractionally slower from the third-last to the line than the two maiden winners, but the overall time of his race was 12 seconds faster than both.
That exceptionally high cruising speed, combined with a tendency to run very keen in his races, will almost certainly see Mullins run Dysart Dynamo in the Supreme. If Paul Townend’s mount jumps well and saves a little in the tank for the uphill run to the line, then I can’t see anyone being strong enough to peg Dysart Dynamo back.
2022 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Value Bet – Mighty Potter
A surprising change of tactics at the Dublin Racing Festival backfired badly on My Mate Mozzie. Gavin Cromwell’s rising star was held up by Sean Flanagan and found himself too far adrift of Sir Gerhard when the pace ramped up.
My Mate Mozzie looked impressive when making all to win twice at the start of the season. Cromwell’s novice was narrowly beaten in the Royal Bond, but would probably have won that Grade One had he not made a mess of the final flight, which he approached with a little too much speed and lost vital momentum on landing.
I’m convinced My Mate Mozzie is a horse of Grade One class and 33/1 is far too big a price. That being said, MIGHTY POTTER
can currently be backed at 14/1 and, to me, he’s the best value bet in the opener on day one of the Cheltenham Festival
Having surged to an impressive victory in a bumper last season and again on his hurdles debut, Mighty Potter was thrown straight into the Royal Bond. Bryan Cooper’s mount was held up and was forced to weave across the track to find a clear path to the post. Once Mighty Potter met open air after the last, his late challenge came up a length short of Statuaire and My Mate Mozzie.
Jack Kennedy rode Mighty Potter more prominently at Leopardstown over Christmas. Elliott’s charge hit the front turning in and had more than enough left in the tank to hold Three Stripe Life at arm’s length on the run to the line, sealing his first Grade One win. Like Dysart Dynamo, Mighty Potter looks certain to stay two-and-a-half miles at least, but he’s a proven winner at the highest level over two miles and he’ll ruffle a few feathers should he turn up in the Supreme.