The Cheltenham festival is now less than five weeks away and with that in mind we have picked out an ante-post selection for the Grade One Ballymore Novices' Hurdle on the second day of the four day meeting.
The 2023 Grade One Ballymore Novices' Hurdle is set to be an absolute cracker with some very talented horsed potentially going to post but we think we have found the value in the field and that is Inthepocket for Henry De Bromhead.
A three mile PTP winner in November 2021 he was then bought for £290,000 by the master owner JP McManus and given to De Bromhead and he has shown a lot of strong form over hurdles this term.
Making his rules/hurdles debut at Wexford in October he went on to bolt up by six lengths over two miles and was then sent up in trip to 2m4f at Naas in a good Grade Two.
The form of this race has worked out superbly, with Inthepocket making it 2/2 over hurdles and relishing in the step up trip, seeing off Three Card Brag, who has since gone on to win well and heads to the Albert Bartlett and back in third was Absolute Notions also for Gordon Elliott who has since finished a good second to Good Land over 2m6f in the Grade One Nathaniel Lacy Novice Hurdle at the DRF.
Good Land only went on to see off Absolute Notions but 1 1/2 lengths over 2f further at the DRF and is now a 9/2 chance for the Ballymore, Inthepocket saw off Absolute Notions by 4 3/4 lengths and is 14/1 for the Ballymore so the value shows off the back of that form.
Inthepocket was last seen at the DRF back down at two miles when running a stormer to chase home Il Etait Temps in the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle.
If Rachael Blackmore had her time again she might say she could have give the horse a slightly better ride, but the way he stayed after the last to grab second showed he wanted to go back up in trip and holding a lot of strong form, at 14/1 he looks overpriced in the Ballymore market.