Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Leicester Bigot » Thu Feb 16, 2017 5:52 am

Nicky Henderson said he had Charli Parcs ready to run in the Contenders Hurdle and would have run against Defi Du Seuil but for the deteriorating ground. I think it's worth considering that fact, compared to other years where something might have missed a bit of work,or had had a setback, leading to them going to the festival without a run.
But that would be the same for most years. There's very few years where there's no soft ground over the winter period...
What I was saying is that the horse hasn't been absent because he is not ready to run. Every year you will get horses who have not managed to get a run in because the trainer is not quite happy with the horse. This could be a minor injury or some other setback in their training schedule. If we compare Moon Racer for example, he was said to be likely to run in January, hasn't been entered since and you have to ask yourself why? That is different to Charli Parcs, who was declared and only pulled out at the last minute because the ground deteriorated. I was alluding to the horse's well being and only being derailed by the ground. That is different to not having run because there was some sort of setback.
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Supreme Novices' Preview

Postby stopwatchracing » Sun Feb 19, 2017 12:57 pm

The overall profile of the race:


A flying 2 miles on the Old Course, in recent years the curtain-raiser has been run at a reliably strong gallop. I don’t place great in stats, but if you’re looking for a “type” it’s a 5 or 6 year old horse who can:

• Travel well within himself at championship pace and race prominently
• Jump efficiently
• Find for pressure
• Stay a stiff 2 miles well

Unfortunately, most of the dozen horses I’m about to preview meet most or all of those parameters, so it’s going to come down to the form-book, their clock performances and an instinctive feel for who’s best going to be suited by the race. I’ll be going through each horse in turn, descending from shortest Betfair SP, before summing up at the end. Without further ado.

Individual analysis:

Melon has been this season’s hype horse, trading as short as 8/1 before he’d even seen a racecourse. According to Rory Delargy and others, the horse has been present in a number of “schooling races” in Ireland, and therefore went to Leopardstown for his hurdle debut fit and knowing his job. I was taken by that performance; the pace was solid, if not spectacular, and he tanked his way through the race jumping well and quickening away from Broken Soul after the second last. The form of that race is difficult to get a handle on; the clock performance was good (if slightly short of what Petit Mouchoir and Lets Dance did that day) but it was a performance full of potential and he is going to be ideally suited by the conditions of the race. He has a little bit to find with the best clock performers thus far, but I fully expect him to do that and I can understand why he’s at the top of the market.

Moon Racer is a tricky proposition for me. If you take his literal beatings of Ballyandy, then he would be the clear form pick. But, given the nature of his two runs, I’m unable to do that. His debut run at Perth was excellent, despite his jumping not being brilliant, he fought on well clocking a very decent time (I’ve rated 140p). His second win at Cheltenham was a farce run at walking pace and the victory owes as much to his positioning in the field as to the performance. They were around 12 seconds slower than North Hill Harvey’s race between the 1st and 3 out, and only made up around 2.5 seconds from 3 out. He jumped more than a little sketchily that day, and won’t be able to get away with that at Cheltenham. He could, of course, improve for a strongly run race, but he’ll have to and I have a suspicion his jumping won’t stand up to this kind of test.

Charli Parcs is the joker in the pack. Far from certain to line up, he could be absolutely deadly if they do indeed chose to go down this route. As a 4yo, he’ll receive 8 pounds from the rest of the field which could be the decisive factor. His only UK performance thus far was in a Juvenile Hurdle at Kempton at Christmas. The relative time performance was superb for a debutante juvenile; a good deal quicker than Bigmarte (a 135 rated hurdler). I’ve given him a rating of 145, but he could be a deal better, and with the additional 8 pounds, that Kempton performance is the single best performance on the clock thus far. The raw form has been boosted too, and the fast run race is likely to suit perfectly. He has a huge chance if he lines up, but that is factored into the current price. My one concern is whether there’s a tougher, battle-hardened horse who could out-fight him up the hill.

Bunk Off Early is another strong traveller, who did well to go so close at Leopardstown last weekend. He’ll be able to travel well within himself and well undoubtedly be moving well with a few furlongs to go. But the raw clock and form performance of that 2nd is a good deal short of what’s required and I can’t see him coming up the hill as well as others. I’m happy to swerve him.

Ballyandy and Movewiththetimes both put up performances well above their handicap marks when coming clear in the Betfair Hurdle. Both were suited perfectly by the end-to-gallop that day, jumping and travelling well. Movewiththetimes is likely to the better horse in time, but whether Cheltenham comes to soon is debatable; he’s still quite raw and is likely to jump a fence next season. Ballyandy is more about the here and now, and that is reflected in that he is half the price of Movewiththetimes. I’d imagine Ballyandy will find one or two horses too good in the Supreme, but he’ll undoubtedly run well and I’d fancy him to finish in the four anyway.

High Bridge is a decent animal, and has put up a couple of decent performances. He looks a good bit below what is required when push comes to shove here though.

Beyond Conceit likewise has been quite impressive, without ever hitting the big-time. His performance yesterday was his best yet; I rated it 140p. Yesterday’s race wasn’t run to suit – he was held up off a slow pace and took too keen a hold. He was outpaced late on, but rallied gamely, outbattling two solid yardsticks after the last. Had the race been run at a strong gallop, he would have won comfortably and the fast 2 miles should suit perfectly as he lacks a change of gear. He has a live outside chance.

Finians Oscar and Neon Wolf both look more likely to end up in the Neptune, but the latter particularly would have a huge chance if lining up. His performance at Haydock was just about the best form on offer clock-wise and, although the hustle and bustle of a Supreme may not be to his liking, he would have an obvious chance. Finians Oscar has been the UK hype horse, and although he has been visually impressive, none of his 3 wins have seen him crack 140. I can happily avoid him for whatever race he turns up in.

Crack Mome ran another commendable race latest, when beaten by a potential superstar in Any Second Now. That race was run at a strong gallop, although he was still keen. The sectional performance was excellent and the form rock-solid. The big worry with him is he always seems to be at his poorest in the 17th furlong and that’s got to be a concern coming up the Cheltenham hill. That, combined with how fresh and keen he is in his races, will probably be his undoing.

Last, but certainly not least, is Saturnas. Saturnas put up a huge clock performance on penultimate start – arguably the best on offer of any of these – before badly disappointing on his latest start when reported to have made a noise. A repeat of the penultimate performance would see him go close, but that’s clearly a terrible preparation to have made going into a big race, and the vibes have also been more toward the Neptune than the Supreme. He would be of interest if he turned up, he is probably best avoided until we know that for sure.

The verdict:


I’m happy to rule out the following on form terms:
Moon Racer
High Bridge
Finians Oscar
Bunk Off Early


I’m also (for now at least) ruling out:

Movewiththetimes [as I don’t think he’s the finished article for a race like this]
Neon Wolf [as he’s almost certainly Neptune bound]
Saturnas [due to the last run, and the question mark over the target]

Which leaves us with:
Melon
Charli Parcs
Ballyandy
Beyond Conceit
Crack Mome

Ballyandy is rock-solid, but I’m convinced one or two will improve past him. Crack Mome is still growing up, and will likely let his inexperience and keen-ness see him beat.

I’d therefore recommend the following bets although, if you’re like me, you might struggle to get on with certain bookmakers:
35 points Melon @ 7/2 NRNB
25 points Charli Parcs @ 5/1 NRNB
7.5 points Beyond Conceit @ 25/1


Hope this has been helpful, and looking forward to previewing some of the other races in the next few weeks.


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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby The Market Man » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:19 pm

Great post !

However, i'm not quite sure how it's possible to have Ballyandy as a Positive but Movewiththetimes as a Negative. There's the Betfair Hurdle and then strong collateral form with Moon Racer.

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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Gman84 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 1:42 pm

Very informative post stopwatchracing, good read.

It highlights why I like Ballyandy despite the form tie ins with Moon Racer but the problem with all these novice races is knowing how much we've seen and how much more there is to see. It's a puzzle I enjoy reading about and thinking about though.
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Gman84 » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:18 pm

Broken Soul, who was second behind Melon last time, beaten and beaten quite badly when odds on at Navan (a bit of interference from a loose horse but doubt it made a difference). Broken Soul had run in a lot of bumpers and took a while to win a race and had never won over hurdles but to be fair to Melon it could do what it did but as a form boost it's not happened today.
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Robmull » Sun Feb 19, 2017 2:38 pm

Interesting post stopwatchracing and I think you have hit the nail on the head when you state that the race will be run at championship pace.

However, I disagree with your assertion that most of the dozen entries have proven that they travel well within themselves at Championship pace, based on the current Racing Post Topspeed figures.

In my opinion the 2 entries that standout on Topspeed figures are BALLYANDY and MOVEWITHTHETIMES, who both recorded 136 when fighting out the finish of the recent Betfair Hurdle and seemed to improve on previous form for the faster pace.

As far as I can see 136 is the highest figure amongst the 12 entries that you have mentioned, so whilst some of the other horses may improve when racing at Championship pace, there is always a chance that they will struggle to adapt.

I suspect that BALLYANDY or MOVEWITHTHETIMES will need to improve again to win this event, but the are at least proven at Championship pace and I am comfortable with my NRNB Each Way wagers at this stage.

With so much interesting discussion on this race, I thought it would be an ideal time to update my trends based blog (see link below), which has identified 4 score based qualifiers amongst the top 9 entries in the betting market, albeit the position is probably not a simple as seems.

SkyBet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Key Race Trends – 14 March 2017 – Updated on 19 February 2017
https://www.olbg.com/blogs/post.php?id=412239

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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Leicester Bigot » Sun Feb 19, 2017 10:23 pm

Finian's Oscar IS rated over 140. His official handicap mark is 149.

It's folly to dismiss this horse. Nothing has managed to give him a proper race yet.
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Brownie3 » Mon Feb 20, 2017 12:24 pm

Surely a Neptune horse....well target anyway?

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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby Leicester Bigot » Mon Feb 20, 2017 4:22 pm

Surely a Neptune horse....well target anyway?
Colin Tizzard is having problems pulling the trigger on Finian's Oscar's target. He talked earlier about perhaps going Supreme if it is soft enough ground. He stated going into the Exeter race that it might help them decide where he went but that level of opposition was never going to tell us anything. I suspect they will play their cards late.

I don't mind where he goes really, as I have him at 25/1 for this race and, admittedly a much bigger wager at 6/1 for The Neptune. I hope he runs in the longer race but I just felt it was folly to be ruling him out "Wherever he turns up at Cheltenham"
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby bishbosh » Wed Feb 22, 2017 3:24 pm

Charming zen was out today and won nicely enough.
Was available at 100-1 on Betfair last night so took a bit ew but since cut to 40-1
SkyBet have cut it to 16-1 which is quite skinny
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby jackh1092 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:37 pm

Charming zen was out today and won nicely enough.
Was available at 100-1 on target='_blank' href='http://olbg.info/6/L3/D/words'>Betfair> last night so took a bit ew but since cut to 40-1
SkyBet> have cut it to 16-1 which is quite skinny
couldnt imagine him staying at 2miles...looked to me in need of further up in class
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Re: Supreme Novices Hurdle 2017

Postby jackh1092 » Wed Feb 22, 2017 8:52 pm



I do not understand how people call Melon woefully short etc, and incredibly hyped....yet then turn and favour Charli Parcs?

Isnt he every bit a terrible price? Winning a Juvenile race...Master blueyes franked the form in as you say a terrible race...i know people will come back with "Master Blueeyes won a race of 132 blah blah blah" Juvenile marks always end up far too high when coming into open company.

There's as much chance CP turns out to be the next Peace and co in my opinion....yet he's mainly 5/1, one firm 8s and some 6s...

Can't get my head around it maybe you can enlighten me!?
It's all about visual impression. Rarely have I seen a horse take a race by the scruff of the neck with 3 hurdles still to take and settle the race in a matter of strides the way Charli Parcs did on his debut. He looks a completely different type to Peace And Co, he has more pace. Peace And Co won the Triumph Hurdle by the way, so he rewarded his ante-post supporters who took 16/1 that Winter.

Charli Parcs won a Grade 2 race at Kempton, as I said, Master Blueyes later won a race by 18 lengths, the 7th horse, beaten 42 lengths by Charli Parcs in a hack canter managed to win a race next time as well. It may be blah blah blah to you but it's the only form we have to go on and if you are not bothering to look at the form then that's your choice.

Night Of Sin, who lost by 42 lengths to Charli Parcs was recently awarded a rating of 128 for winning the Bangor Hurdle race. What rating do you then put on Charli Parcs, when he was able to beat him by a huge margin, and hardly came out of second gear?

I was convinced I had watched a horse who had just run to a level of roughly 150 when I watched Charli Parcs win at Kempton. The Racing Post put him onto 139 but they were hamstrung to some extent by the miserly 115 rating they had for him to begin with. I said just before Charli Parcs ran that subsequent form had shown clearly that Charli Parcs had to be already roughly 130.

My opinion is that Charli Parcs has stronger looking form than Melon for now, he's more lightly raced than Melon and I was able to back him at DOUBLE the odds of the Mullins horse.

If you can't get your head round that, then there is little else I can say.
Firstly, Charlie Parcs won a class 2 introductory hurdle at Kempton not a grade 2. I do look at the form, and every year, juvenile horses are poorly handicapped once in open company hence why i wouldn't take the Master Blueeyes form or NOS form literally.

You say you think CP ran to roughly a level of 150 at Kempton, on one run you are basically putting him up with Douvan's Supreme win....

For all i love a nice winner, that the worlds the oyster with CP has plenty to prove, and considering he's a general 5/1 (BP 7/1 Betfair) for the supreme...i think its crazy...considering he's not even certain to run? Nicky would like him to run in the Triumph? JP will make the call, but for one that's likely to run in yet another juvenile race this weekend (Adonis) it will again be very difficult to weigh up the form VS proper novice events.

I know Peace & Co won the Triumph....that again, was part of my point :win:
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