Below is an extract from Graham Richards Cheltenham Festival 2016 preview:
1.30 The Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Race 2m ½f
Official ratings (OR) in the past decade range from 138-155. Since 2010, 142-155. Six-year-olds have won four renewals, five-year-olds five renewals. Irish trainers six wins (W Mullins four), UK trainers four. Five winners priced 10/1 or higher, five 17/2 or lower. Ten of the last eleven winners won their prep race. Ten of the last eleven winners had their prep-race fifty-two days or less away from the Festival. Nicky Henderson last won the race in 1992.
As with many of the races at this year’s Festival, the words “Mullins” and “Favourite” will be mentioned in the same sentence. MIN TR 153P is at the head of the market following two easy wins over hurdles. By the same sire as Douvan, he is a powerful sort that looks sure to continue to improve. He jumps well while his Timeform Rating going into the race puts him on a similar mark as the three previous winners. ALTIOR TR 155p has shown improvement each time he has stepped on the track this season. He is top rated by Timeform. ALTIOR jumps well, has a course win to his name looking strongest at the business end of the race. MIN’S stablechum YORKHILL TR 150P is progressing with experience. His recent win at Sandown Park was impressive. He travelled well before putting the race to bed on the run-in. Not as electric from the final flight as MIN and ALTIOR, rain, wind, and atrocious ground made for a ground out victory. YORKHILL’S breeding suggests he will prove best on good or good to soft while his trainer indicated he is not short of speed on the gallops. BUVEUR D’AIR TR 146P followed his facile Newbury win with a stroll round at Huntingdon. Likely to have another run prior to the Festival, he looks highly talented. TOMBSTONE TR 140P and SUPASUNDAE TR 140p look others open to improvement. TOMBSTONE TR 140P found BLEU ROUGE TR 142p too strong at Leopardstown. Having looked likely to win jumping the last, he appeared to be out battled by the improving winner on the run-in. SUPASUNDAE TR 140p beat SILVER CONCORDE last time out having run well on his debut. It’s worth remembering he beat YANWORTH in a Bumper Ascot in December 2014. 2015 Festival Bumper hero MOON RACER faces a race against time to make it to the Festival.
Agrapart’s win in the Betfair Hurdle enhances Yorkhill’s Tolworth Hurdle form. Both O O Seven and Cyrius Moriviere won their next race.
Extract from the Cheltenham Preview. More details @ grahamrichardsonline.co.uk