Cheltenham Festival Betting Tip: The Ballymore Novice HurdlePublished February 27, 2018
Recommended Cheltenham bet:
Ballymore Novice Hurdle (Weds 14th March) – On The Blind Side (EW) at 11/2 (6.50) with Coral
The young Irish superstar
The Irish-trained Samcro is one of four horses likely to start as an odds-on favourite at the forthcoming Cheltenham Festival which starts on 13th March. The six-year old, owned by Ryanair CEO Michael O’Leary, has won all of his six lifetime starts in his native Ireland starting at odds-on on each and every occasion.
Indeed he has been spectacular and following his latest triumph in Grade 1 company at Leopardstown, some leading Cheltenham tipsters have declared that the horse could win any race at the Festival, including the two-mile championship, the Unibet Champion Hurdle.
But connections are running him over two-miles-and-five-furlongs in the Ballymore Hurdle, it is a race for novices and very much an easier race to win.
Winning his last four races by an average distance of 12 lengths and with all that expert praise, how can Samcro be beaten at the Cheltenham Festival?
The answer is, quite easily…
You see at the 2010 Festival there was another Irish trained novice who had an equally awesome record, in fact Dunguib had won eight races on the spin including the very same Leopardstown race that Samcro recently won.
Dunguib duly arrived at the Cheltenham Festival with expectations akin to Mike Tyson taking his first crack at a World Title. He started odds-on favourite ahead of his 17 rivals and… performed like the great boxer did against Buster Douglas. He bombed out, spectacularly.
Make no mistake Samcro is beatable and while the hype surrounding him has seen bookmakers run for cover, until he takes on the best of the British, he cannot be declared a champion.
Blinding home defence
In 2010 it was one of those British-trained horses that broke the hearts and bank balances of Irish fans, Menorah, trained by Philip Hobbs. Eight years later and Nicky Henderson’s On The Blind Side could be the one to put up an invincible home defence.
Unbeaten in three career starts, our Cheltenham betting tip has both experience of the Cheltenham racecourse and its demanding uphill finish and the Ballymore Hurdle trip of two-miles-and-five-furlongs. The favourite has neither.
Naturally we will not know how good either horse is until they meet and one is beaten. The handicappers give a slight nod to the Irish horse but given On The Blind Side’s last form comments read: “drew away, impressive”, judging his true ability is like measuring a piece of string.
Ultimately one horse is a ‘talking horse’, one arrives under the radar. One is odds-on, one can be backed at 11/2.
It would be crazy to put good money on what could be an expensive failure while small money could yield the same return if you believe in the ‘Best of British’. We do, that’s why we will be backing On The Blind Side each-way in the opening race of Day 2 of Cheltenham 2018.