Cheltenham Grade Two Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Guide 2022

Harry Haskell | @HarryHaskell4

Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
1
Jonjo O'Neill Jr

Collectors Item

J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T: Jonjo O'Neill
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 35

Collectors Item got off the mark over hurdles last time at Chepstow, from Hugos New Horse (won since) with the pair pulling twelve lengths clear of the remainder.

He had previously finished second in a decent P2P, and a bumper, won by the reopposing Weveallbeencaught, though Collectors Item was only just held by a half-length.

Collectors Item impressed with his hurdling fluency on debut, and he’s fancied to improve for that – he could be a very live player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/10/22CHP16Gd11-01
05/03/22NBY16.5Sft11-32
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
6
Harry Skelton

Quid Pro Quo

J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 128
Days: 35

Quid Pro Quo - a brother to the very useful Gypsy Island no less – is relatively experienced over hurdles compared to a few of these.

He’s ran three times over the obstacles, winning twice. His latest effort over hurdles was in the G2 Persian War at Chepstow, where he finished fourth of six – but it’s worth noting that that race is working out particularly well thus far.

He is a strong traveller, so he would appreciate a bit of a gallop, but he does have a tendency to hang under pressure. He’s clearly very talented – but he does seem a bit fragile – like his sister!

He’s a nice horse but if he’s street-wise enough to take this is another question.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/10/22CHP19.5Gd11-04
01/06/22NAB21.5Gd11-91
18/05/22WAR19Gd11-41
07/03/21HUN16GS11-96
02/11/20HER16GS11-51
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
5
Jack Kennedy

Music Drive

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: 131
Days: 21

Music Drive ran to a fairly decent level during his season in bumpers, finishing eighth of twenty in the Champion Bumper at Cheltenham.

He made a bright start to life as novice hurdler when winning at Galway in facile fashion.

Next time out, he ran here over course and distance, but ultimately finished behind the promising Mofasa, and The Wounded Knee – who ran a big race. He’s already at a fairly useful level, and given his connections – he simply must be respected.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/11/22CHL21Gd11-22
21/10/22CHL20Gd11-53
04/10/22GAL19Sft11-121
28/04/22PUN16Gd/Y12-05
16/03/22CHL16.5Hy11-58
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
4
Paul Townend

Hubrisko

J: Paul Townend
T: W P Mullins
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 40

Hubrisko won an AQPS NH flat race over in France on his very first racecourse appearance. He was immediately sourced by Willie Mullins and he’s gone from strength to strength since.

He won a maiden hurdle on the second time of asking a Galway in September, and he recently ran a decent third behind the promising looking Champ Kiely and Brazil respectively.

That was a Grade 3, so he’s already ran to a high level, as opposed to some of these, and he may well have a class edge on a few. Highly interesting for a formidable team.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
02/10/22TIP16Gd/Y11-13
05/09/22GAL16.5Gd11-121
30/07/22GAL16.5Sft11-122
01/01/22FAI20Y12-03
12/08/20LEL12Hy9-121
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
3
Harry Cobden

Hermes Allen

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 27

Hermes Allen has quite the reputation. First up, he ran in a P2P at Rathcannon, but he could only manage third. He made amends next time out at Kirkistown, winning well.

This season, he’s made a bright start to life as a novice when absolutely bolting up at Stratford. He won by twenty-seven lengths there, in a hack-canter.

It’s always nice to see them win like that, especially when the vibes surrounding this horse prior to that success were only positive.

He steps up in class now, but he’s as good a chance as any – it’s worth noting that the Paul Nicholls team is absolutely flying at the moment too – so he may well be a tough nut to crack.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
15/10/22STR22Gd11-41
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
2
Kielan Woods

Getaway Drumlee

J: Kielan Woods
T: Ben Pauling
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 31

Getaway Drumlee is relatively unexposed compared to some of his rivals here, as we’ve only seen him under rules the once.

He was second in a P2P in November 2021, and won on his next start under the flags in April. He made his rules debut at the start of October, and he won quite comfortably.

He jumped left on a few occasions which isn’t ideal, but he was quick from A to B nonetheless. I’m not really sure what he beat there at Hereford, but visually he was quite impressive.

Probably will lack a class edge against a few of these.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/10/22HER19.5GF11-01
Cheltenham - November 11 2022
Cheltenham 15:30
7
Sam Twiston-Davies

Weveallbeencaught

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
N/A
Age: 5
Weight: 11-2
OR: N/A
Days: 251

Weveallbeencaught is the only horse in the field who’s yet to taste defeat (including P2P’s). He won his P2P at Dromahane on soft ground in late 2021, in good style.

He won on rules debut in a bumper at Newbury, again on soft ground, when getting the better of the reopposing Collectors Item.

He stayed on right to the line there, and despite only winning by half a length – he always looked in control.

The going is good-to-soft at time of writing, and he may need it softer to have his ideal conditions. He’s a nice horse, but he makes his hurdles debut in a very hot race.

Big ask.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
11/11/22CHL21Gd11-23
05/03/22NBY16.5Sft11-01

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