Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle (Sky Bet Supreme Trial) Guide

Runners

Several top novice hurdles look to cement their claims for the opening race of the 2019 Cheltenham Festival - the Supreme Novices Hurdle, with a victory in the Grade Two trial at Haydock this Saturday - registered as the Rossington.

The current favourite for the Cheltenham contest looks set to take his place here - Nicky Henderson's Angels Breath.

After making the move from France, the 5yo grey skipped clear on his British debut at Ascot in a similar trial days before Christmas.

The gelding responded sharply to Nico de Boinville's urgings, and there looks to be more to come here, which is definitely what is expected by most, having already been made a short price for the Supreme.

Standing in his way is stablemate Mister Fisher, who landed the 32Red Casino Novices Hurdle at Kempton on Boxing Day - comfortably brushing aside the likes of Thomas Darby - who will seek a return to form here, The Big Bite and Didtheyleaveuoutto, who had all stacked up some solid form this season beforehand.

The main danger to the Henderson duo is arguably Ben Pauling's Bright Forecast, who has back-to-back to his name on his first two starts in England.

Victories at Leicester and most notably Newbury - where he charged home up the run-in has seen him rise in the market for the Supreme, and he can certainly push his claims closer to the summit with another solid display here.

Idee De Garde looks to hold solid claims from the remainder for Dan and Harry Skelton, whilst Esprit Du Large and Shantaluze - unbeaten this term, cannot be discounted.

Trends

The race has a number of clear trends.

All of the last 12 winners had been victorious 1-2 times over hurdles previously. Of the horses near the head of the market this rules out Dan Skelton's Idee De Garde.

Be sure to select horses that have been active over the last month or so. Eleven of the last 12 winners had run in the previous six weeks.

The race has also been remarkably favourable to horses near the head of the betting.

Eleven of the Last twelve winners have been priced at 4/1 or shorter.

At time of writing this leaves us with a choice of four horses based on this statistic. It is also worth focusing on horses that won last time out.

Eight of the last twelve winners had done so. Six of the fourteen declared runners go into this race on the back of victory including the top three in the betting.

Five years olds are also the age to focus on, 50% of the runners have been that age when winning this race over the last 12 years.

Eight of this years 14 declared runners are aged five.

When all things are considered it is easy to see why the favourite is as short as 5/4. 50% of favourites have obliged in the last twelve years.

When you add to this that Nicky Henderson's Mister Fisher won last time out, has been active this season and is five years of age, he ticks many of the boxes and should be very tough to beat.

When The Fun Stops. Stop.