Fakir D’oudairies can reward new owner JP McManus with a victory in the opening Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on day one of the Cheltenham Festival.
FAKIR D’OUDAIRIES- 5-1 with William Hill. 1.30pm Cheltenham Tuesday 12th March.
Following his smooth victory in the re-run Betfair Hurdle at Ascot the Nigel Twiston-Davies-trained Al Dancer is now no bigger than 3-1 for the opening Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the opening contest at the 2019 Cheltenham Festival. The six-year-old has a similar profile to that of stablemate Ballyandy who won the valuable Newbury handicap before finishing fourth in the 2017 Supreme behind the enigmatic Labaik as the 3-1 joint favourite.
The grey son of Al Namix is likely to prove better than his stable companion as the mount of Sam Twiston-Davies has yet to be tested over hurdles but the transition from handicap company to Grade 1 level is significant, making his current skinny odds short enough. Angels Breath, Mister Fisher, Elixir De Nutz, Klassical Dream and Aramon all have solid claims in an open contest but it is Irish challenger Fakir D’oudairies who could prove a bargain buy for new owner JP McManus.
Made favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle on the final day of the festival after storming home by 13 lengths at Prestbury Park in January, the Joseph O’Brien-trained Fakir D’oudairies was later purchased by top owner JP McManus who is also responsible for the stable’s Group-class Flat recruit Sir Erec. With that horse subsequently running out an impressive winner of a Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle trial at Leopardstown it looks almost certain that Fakir D’oudairies will now be re-routed to the first race run at the four-day extravaganza, leaving 6-4 favourite Sir Erec to represent McManus in the juvenile championship.
A top price 5-1 with William Hill in their Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting odds, the ex-French four-year-old will be in receipt of 8lb from his main rivals, a significant advantage for the son of Kapgarde who has looked a hurdler of the highest class in his two victories since joining O’Brien from his native country. The last four-year-old to prove successful in the race was Hors La Loi 111 in 1999 who went on to win the 2002 Champion Hurdle, a feat which Fakir D’oudairies may attempt at some time in the future.