Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trends

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Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trends 2022

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 Bob Olinger

Having had a dominant favourite take the race last year, it could be the case again at the 2022 festival with Sir Gerhard now as short as 11/8.

We will be looking whether the stats and trends over the last few years uncover which horses are more likely to go on and win the race.

Stat One

First off, each of the previous 15 winners were aged five or six years 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 and before that Decor Irlandais also finished down the field.

Favourite Sir Gerhard looks the only seven year old heading to post in this race and that makes him slightly vulnerable.

Stat Two

As with most big money high profile races, class shows itself prominently. All of the previous 15 winners have been rated 131 or more.

13 of the last 13 winners have been rated 142 or more. Finally, each of the last 10 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 14 of the last 15 runners being placed in the top two on their prep run.

In fact all of the last 14 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 15 winners didn’t run in the previous year’s Punchestown festival.

Furthermore, 11 of the 15 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 did not go along with this trend having won the Champion Bumper the year before at the festival.

However, Bob Olinger last year did stick to this and putting all this together again singles out Sir Gerhard as being vulnerable.

Something to keep in mind is only 1 of the previous 12 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 15 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 will not be good for backers of Sir Gerhard, and that could see a bigger priced winner of the race this year.

Stat Six

Finally, class of previous races shows itself as potentially misleading in this race as nine of the last 15 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 two year's with Envoi Allen and Bob Olinger both winning the Grade One Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle on route to Prestbury Park.

Although there have been some high class winners of the race in the past, don’t be too put off by a runner who’s yet to dip their toe in graded company but still performing to a high level.

This trend plays to the strengths of the likes of Journey With Me.

Value Angle

The seven year old Sir Gerhard was a smart bumper horse last term, landing his first three events in taking style including winning the Champion Bumper, he rounded off last season with a tame third at the Punchestown festival.

Sent hurdling this term the £400,000 purchase won a 18 runner maiden at Leopardstown on Boxing Day and then last time out over the same course and distance landed the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival.

He steps up to 2m5f for the first time in his career but having won over three miles comfortably in his point to point he should get the trip and he looks the class angle against the field.

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