The Ballymore Novices Hurdle (previously known as Neptune Novices Hurdle) is a Class A Grade 1 hurdle race run over two miles and five furlongs, with ten hurdles. Henry de Bromhead and Rachael Blackmore teamed up for more Cheltenham Festival glory with Bob Olinger (6/4f) in last year's edition. This article contains our Ballymore Novices Hurdle race preview with free predictions, tips, betting trends, best odds, free bets and no deposit bonuses on the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.
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The Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle will open day two of the Cheltenham Festival. The race has changed sponsor in recent years, as it had been known as the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle. The contest is a Grade 1 hurdle race covering two miles and five furlongs, for horses aged four years and upwards. It is one of the best novice hurdle races of the season and usually brings together some of the best up and coming horses.
In the last ten years alone we have seen the likes of Faugheen, The New One, Simonsig, Samcro and Yorkhill stride to victory in the Ballymore.
And now we take a closer look at this year's Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.
Who will win the Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2022?
SIR GERHARD won at the Cheltenham Festival last year - the Champion Bumper - on his stable debut for Willie Mullins. He won the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle over two miles at Leopardstown last time, defeating Three Stripe Life by six lengths. The Cheveley Park Stud-owned horse is unbeaten on his two starts over hurdles so far and his only defeat came at the Punchestown festival behind stablemate Kilcruit.
JOURNEY WITH ME won a bumper at Gowran Park in March before winning a 2m4f maiden hurdle at Leopardstown in December. On his hurdling debut he had both Minella Crooner (who finished second in a Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival last time) and Kilcruit behind him. He recently made it two out of two over hurdles winning an Auction Novice Hurdle at Naas.
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. He clearly loves Prestbury Park having finished fourth in the Champion Bumper last year.
STAGE STAR finished third in the Grade 2 bumper at Aintree last spring and he hasn’t put a foot wrong in three starts over hurdles this season, easily scoring at Chepstow and Newbury before returning to the Berkshire track to land the same Grade 1 contest that stablemate Bravemansgame claimed 12 months earlier.
Dark horses?WHATDEAWANT efeated Ginto in a Fairyhouse Bumper before finishing third behind Kilcruit in the Grade 1 bumper at the Leopardstown Festival, demonstrating that he possesses a touch of class. He disappointed when recording a below-par fifth in the Grade 1 Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle.
I AM MAXIMUS was last seen being beaten by Albert Bartlett favourite Hillcrest at Cheltenham while STATE MAN fell on his stable debut for Willie Mullins at Leopardstown on Boxing Day before justifying odds of 1/7 to win at Limerick last time out.
SCARFACE finished 2nd on hurdles debut at Exeter in January. and followed up with another second place at Ascot. Doubts remain over his stamina.
HAXO and HEMLOCK look unlikely to cause a major upset at odds of 100/1 and 150/1 respectively.
At the moment, the most backed horses are the following:
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BALLYMORE NOVICES HURDLE TRENDS
- 3 of the last 4 favourites won, but only 6 of the last 20
- The last 10 winners finished in the top two last time out
- 10 of the last 11 winners were aged six years old
- 7 of the last 8 winners were Irish trained
- 6 of the last 8 winners were rated 150+
- 9 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 previous win in a grade 1-3 race
BALLYMORE NOVICES HURDLE PREDICTIONS
Check out below our free predictions on the Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2022. Feel free to copy our Cheltenham Festival recommended bets and get the highest odds available on the market by clicking the 'Bet' button!
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2022 BALLYMORE NOVICES HURDLE FAQs
What time is the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
The Ballymore Novices Hurdle is the first race run on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival. That falls on Wednesday March 16, 2022 and the official starting time is 1:30pm.
How many obstacles are jumped in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
There are 10 hurdles to jump for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle runners
What is the distance of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
The Ballymore Novices Hurdle is run on a distance of 2 miles and 5 furlongs and 26 yards
What is the prize money for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
The total prize money on offer for the Ballymore Novices Hurdle at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival will be £125,000.
Who won the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle last year?
Last year's renewal was won by Bob Olinger at SP of 6/4, trained by Henry De Bromhead and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.
What weights are carried for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
10st 13lbs (4yo), 11st 7lb (5yo+), wih 7lb allowance for fillies and mares.
Who is the leading jockey in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
The joint-most successful jockey in the history of the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle is Ruby Walsh, who has ridden four winners of the race. Hence, take a look at Paul Townend. Davy Russell has won the race three times, most recently on Envoi Allen in 2020.
Who is the leading trainer in the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle?
Willie Mullins is the winning-most trainer with four winners and 8 placed in last 15 years. Gordon Elliott has won two of the last three renewals, indeed he saddled the one-two in 2020.