2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle - Champ to be crowned Ballymore champ at Cheltenham

Champ heads a big market for the 2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle
(Getty Images)

2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle Preview, Predictions & Betting Tips


Date: Wednesday March 13, 2019 
Track: Cheltenham 
Distance: 4,248m 
Status: Grade 1 
Prize Money: £125,000 
Age: 4YO+

The Ballymore Novice Hurdle isn't the most famous race during the Cheltenham Festival but it has unearthed some talented winners in years gone and a big field will look to add their name to the list.

Topping the betting is the aptly-named Champ, which is one of only two runners quoted at single-figure odds. Punters will have no trouble finding value in the 2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle, which runs on Day 2 of the festival.

2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle Best Bet - Champ @ 5.00


Clearly connections knew something good was going to come from Champ, which has won five of his seven starts and his only two defeats were close second placings.

Trained by Nicky Henderson and owned by John P McManus, the well-related seven-year-old has been tough to beat since suffering defeat at Ascot on January 20, 2018, and his last two wins at Newbury were classy.

He will face tougher opposition this time around and the size of the field could pose some problems, but he has many more wins in store and he deserves to be the top pick.

2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle Best Each Way - Battleoverdoyen @ 7.00


Battleoverdoyen deserves to be on the second line of betting after remaining unbeaten from four starts leading into this. The clearly-talented six-year-old is trained by Gordon Elliott and has been tipped as one of his main chances on Day 2.

The son of Doyen scored by 2.75 lengths at Naas last time out and his other impressive wins include a 13-length win and a 6.5-length victory at Punchestown. That form on paper alone is enough to see him go close to Champ and there's good value with his odds.

We're expecting punters to see that unbeaten record and come for the talented gelding late in the betting. He could even firm to favouritism.

2019 Ballymore Novice Hurdle Best Roughie - Al Dancer @ 21.00


Nigel Twiston-Davies lines up the four-time winner which has hit top form at the right time. The six-year-old grey gelding scored an 11-length win at Cheltenham in December and that showed the hurdling world that he's good enough to compete at the festival.

The French-bred runners have a good record during the Cheltenham Festival and Al Dancer could provide punters with some great each-way value.

Best Bet: Champ @ 5.00
Best Each Way: Battleoverdoyen @ 7.00
Best Roughie: Al Dancer @ 21.00
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Daryl Curnow 15 February 2019

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