ITV Racing's Leonna Mayor Is Tipping Hermes Allen To Strike Gold In The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Leonna Mayor

ITV and Sky Sports Racing broadcaster Leonna Mayor can't look past the current favourite for the 2023 Grade One Ballymore Novices Hurdle Hermes Allen, with Mayor explaining Paul Nicholls' stable star will be shorter than his current price of 5/2 on the Wednesday of the festival.

One of the most expensive PTP horses this season, the French bred gelding cost £350,000 at Cheltenham's December meeting and was given to Paul Nicholls.

Unleashed for the first time over 2m6f in October at Stratford when easily landing the Maiden hurdles event by 27 lengths, he was last seen being sent to Cheltenham on the Friday of the November meeting up into Grade Two company and saw off a very smart field by nine lengths going away.

The Cheltenham markets reacted accordingly to the strong performance with Hermes Allen going from 33/1 into 10/1 for the Ballymore in March but after his win on Saturday he has gone even shorter for the race now a 5/2 with William Hill.

He is the ante-post NRMB second favourite for the race after a superb victory in the Challow, beating You Wear It Well by close to five lengths, with Facile Vega ahead of him but unlikely to go for the race.

His trainer Paul Nicholls has explained he will not be seen again until the Cheltenham festival in March being kept fresh for the race and Leonna Mayor thinks that is a positive for the horse.

Hermes Allen is looking to become the first horse for Paul Nicholls to land the race.