Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trends

Cheltenham Ballymore Novices Hurdle Stats And Trends

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trends 2023

Day two of the festival opens with novice hurdlers competing over 2 miles and 5 furlongs. Superstars like Faugheen and Envoi Allen have taken this race in years gone by and last year the race was won by the superstar Sir Gerhard

This has been a race dominated by favourites over the last few years and we will be looking whether the stats and trends point us in the direction of another one.

Stat One

First off, 15 of the previous 16 winners were aged five or six years old, with Sir Gerhard breaking this trend last year being a seven year old.

It’s an obvious starting point to start drawing up a shortlist, despite the four year olds getting a weight allowance for age, they just struggle to be competitive here.

This holds up for those aged 7+ too, Champ was just held on the run in two years back and continued the poor run of those out of the age bracket, but like we mentioned before Sir Gerhard was the anomaly to this stat.

Good Land and Champ Kiely look vulnerable under this stat both being seven years old.

Stat Two

As with most big money high profile races, class shows itself prominently. All of the previous 16 winners have been rated 131 or more.

14 of the last 14 winners have been rated 142 or more. Finally, each of the last 11 winners were rated 146 or more.

As the years have gone by the race has seemingly gotten more competitive and those who are proven in the ratings are standing head and shoulders above the rest.

146 would look to be the basement mark to work with. Those rated lower just won’t be of the quality needed if it is a good renewal of the race.

We still have to wait for the handicappers assessment of the Irish contingent but native runners below the threshold can be scratched off the shortlists.

Stat Three

Coming into the festival on form proves handy again in the Ballymore, with 15 of the last 16 runners being placed in the top two on their prep run.

In fact all of the last 15 winners were placed top two on the run before Cheltenham, so you should really be looking for those with a good run behind them before lining up here.

Most of those prominent in the betting ran well last time out, if you’re scouting for one at a big price keep in mind they ideally need to have put in a good performance before the festival.

Stat Four

An interesting angle to consider is 12 of the previous 16 winners didn’t run in the previous year’s Punchestown festival.

Furthermore, 11 of the 16 had never run at the Cheltenham Festival before and for the most part the winners of the Ballymore were not contesting the big profile bumpers in the previous season.

Again, like many of these trends Envoi Allen and Sir Gerhard did not go along with this trend having won the Champion Bumper the year before at the festival. However, Bob Olinger two years ago did stick to this

Something to keep in mind is only 2 of the previous 13 winners had a win at Cheltenham, course form maybe doesn’t ring true in this race.

Stat Five

With this contest being over an extended two and a half mile trip, stamina plays an important role.

12 of the last 16 winners had a win at two miles and three and a half furlongs.

You have to be able to stay the trip, so look for those who have notched up a win this season over the noted distance before adding them to any shortlists.

A lot of these stats were not good for backers of Sir Gerhard, but he still went on to win the race anyway.

Stat Six

Finally, class of previous races shows itself as potentially misleading in this race as nine of the last 16 winners were not a previous Grade One winner.

The winner of the Ballymore can come from those who are less proven on the big stage, but this trend has not held up for the last three year's with Envoi Allen, Bob Olinger and Sir Gerhard all winning a Grade One on route to the festival, so maybe the race is changing.

Value Angle - Impaire Et Passe

The five year Impaire Et Passe for Willie Mullins looks a good proposition and one that could be the surprise in the field having only been seen twice this term.

A winner of the Grade Two Moscow Flyer when last seen, he has never been seen at the Cheltenham festival and was only seen in a bumper once during his career over in France.

He looks a highly talented animal that won't be far away, but the race does look seriously competitive.