2021 Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Guide

Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
2
Rachael Blackmore

Bob Olinger

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 150

The six year old sits prominently in the market off the back of a brilliant novice hurdling campaign. 

Henry De Bromhead’s charge made his hurdle debut in November but was unlucky to bump into Champion bumper winner Ferny Hollow. 

He soon shed his maiden tag when moved up in trip, running out a ready winner by 14 lengths. 

We last saw Bob Olinger in the Lawlors Of Naas hurdle in early January where he showed his class and pace to cruise to record a Grade One victory. Beating Blue Lord by close to seven lengths easily, reading as some solid form. 

He’s got tactical pace, a decent sized engine and cuts through soft ground. He’ll have no problem holding a position and coming through the field with a turn of foot. 

Looking the one to beat having won the same race as Envoi Allen did on route to a Ballymore win last term. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/01/23NAA15.5Sft11-33
28/12/22LEO24Sft11-105
13/11/22NAV20Y11-32
26/04/22PUN24.5Gd/Y11-10PU
17/03/22CHL20Sft11-41
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
5
Paul Townend

Gaillard Du Mesnil

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 151
Days: -44

Hailing from Willie Mullins’ yard, Gaillard Du Mesnil is a recruit from France for Closutton and the Donnelly family. 

Slightly disappointing when sent off favourite for hurdle debut, he was out gunned by Holymacapony. The two pulling well clear but the De Bromhead gelding having in the tank from the last hurdle. 

It wasn’t long before he tasted victory and bolted up in his next start beating Mr Incredible handily, the form being franked since. 

Tested for quality at the Dublin Racing Festival, Gaillard Du Mesnil was a well backed favourite for the 22 furlong Grade One.

An impressive performance by the 5 year old saw him forge clear of Gentlemansgame and ease down at the finish. 

In behind last time out were leading fancies for the Albert Bartlett and old rival Holymacapony well beaten back in 8th. 

Highly impressive, the only query would be should he have been aimed at the Albert Bartlett instead of the Ballymore? The Nathaniel Lacy Hurdle has produced some smart staying sorts recently, like Latest Exhibition last year. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/02/23LEO21Y11-103
29/12/22LEO24Sft11-101
04/12/22FAI20Sft11-122
18/04/22FAI29Y11-83
16/03/22CHL24.5Sft11-43
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
3
Harry Cobden

Bravemansgame

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 150
Days: -23

The first runner from this side of the Irish Sea, Bravemansgame was beaten on hurdle debut by subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory. 

He’s since steadily moved up in trip from two miles and has won all three starts since. A win at Exeter was followed up by an equally comfortable win over 2.5 miles at Newbury despite his penalty. 

The Nicholls' charge went for the Challow Hurdle on his most recent start and was an empathic winner of the Grade One. 
Justifiably prominent in the markets for this, you could have the concern that the Challow Hurdle is a poor trial race for the Ballymore.

The tally for Challow winners in the Ballymore is 0/17. Most recently Champ adding to this statistic. 

He’s clearly a class individual and has the scope for going chasing next year. A Grade One winner with plenty of pace, he looks to have a good chance if he can overcome the curse of the Challow Hurdle. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22KEM24Sft11-101
29/10/22WET24GS11-51
08/04/22AIN25GS11-44
12/02/22NBY23.5GS11-81
26/12/21KEM24Sft11-71
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
6
Donagh Meyler

Keskonrisk

J:
 
Donagh Meyler
T:
 
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 140
Days: -44

Dual purpose trainer Jospeh O’Brien has Keskonrisk entered here. The six year old was an impressive winner of a bumper last season and wasn’t seen again until late November in a maiden hurdle. The six year old obliged at the first time of asking and ran on well to lead at the line. 

As with many of the Irish contingent he bumped into two mile novice ruler Appreciate It at Christmas and was well held back in third behind the Mullins first string for the Supreme. 

He stayed on well that day to snatch third and could well appreciate the switch to a stiffer course and moved up in trip. 
Not sort of speed, he'll likely come into his own when sent over further. 

Clearly classy he could be running on into a place again. 

Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
1
Matt Griffiths

Bear Ghylls

J:
 
Matt Griffiths
T:
 
Nicky Martin
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 140

A really likeable sort for Nicky Martin, the 6 year old is a perfect four from four under rules. 

A eye popping 19 length winner in his bumper, Bear Ghylls then made a perfect start to life over hurdles running away a smart winner by 4.5 lengths over 2.5 miles. 

Dropped in trip for his next start he looked beat approaching the last but stamina kicked in and he showed a tremendous attitude to rally back to victory. 

Moved back up slightly in trip when last seen, Bear Ghylls took on open company in a handicap hurdle at Exeter.

A blunder at the first was quickly left behind as he took up the running three out and stayed on strongly to assert victory. 

He hasn’t been tested in any real deep contests as of yet but giving weight away to more experienced rivals on his last start looked smart enough.

He’s a relentless galloper and could just grind it out into a place. Not one to be dismissed. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
04/02/23MUS20.5GS11-104
20/11/22UTT22.5Sft11-107
30/10/22CRL20Sft10-123
17/03/21CHL21GS11-74
10/01/21EXE18.5Sft11-101
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
4
David Bass

Does He Know

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Kim Bailey
Age: 6
Weight: 11-7
OR: 142

Kim Bailey and David Bass team up with Does He Know and the six year old has probably slipped under a few radars this campaign. 

A point to point winner, he made his hurdle debut back in 2019 and was second to Milkwood, this was quickly followed by another second to House Island. 

Given time off to develop and strengthen up he made a winning return to the track this season winning twice in novice races handily. 

Upped markedly in class for the Grade Two Ballymore trial at the November meeting, he again ran out a ready winner over course and distance. 

A strange run in The Challow followed when he lost focus and ran out at the fifth flight, so we didn’t get to compare him to Bravemansgame in the finish. 

Last seen dipping his toe into handicap company at Exeter, he struggled on deep ground over three miles in a Pertemps qualifier and finished well down the field.

He is however a two time course and distance winner, recency bias has made him a big price and he’s one who could surprise a few if returning to form back at Cheltenham.

Not without hope to hit the frame. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
13/11/22CHL27.5Gd12-01
22/10/22KEL26GS11-8F
15/03/22CHL25GS11-019
19/02/22ASC24Sft11-31
14/11/21CHL24.5Gd11-82
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:20
7
Daryl Jacob

Optimise Prime

J:
 
Daryl Jacob
T:
 
Ben Pauling
Age: 5
Weight: 11-7
OR: 130

A five year old representing Ben Pauling’s yard, Optimise Prime has scored twice over hurdles this campaign in low grade novice events. 

Winning at a massive price of 50/1 on debut, he swiftly followed up under the penalty, both his wins coming at Hereford. 

Last seen when contesting a listed novice race at Market Rasen, the rise in class seemingly found him out and he could only manage third behind rivals who beat him for pace. 

Another who’s likely to find success in handicaps, he’s out of his depth here and is a big price to get involved. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22KEM21Sft11-513
15/11/22LIN19.5Sft11-131
19/03/22UTT23.5Sft11-9PU
19/02/22HAY24.5Hy10-11PU
17/12/21ASC21.5GS11-83