With Charli Parcs disappointing over the weekend and Willie Mullins’ Melon drifting in the pre-race market for the Supreme Novices Hurdle of Day 1 of Cheltenham betting, the race has been blown wide open.
At Cheltenham odds of 7/1 (8.00) on the Betfair Sportsbook, the Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Ballyandy makes a lot of each-way betting appeal for success at the Cheltenham Festival 2017 curtain raiser in two weeks time.
Ballyandy is a very tough horse, the Champion Bumper winner at the 2016 Cheltenham Festival refused to be denied in that race last year and despite an imperfect hurdles career since.
His form has steadily improved in recent months and he was a good winner of the Betfair Hurdle last time out. With a handicap mark of 135 that day he was very well-handicapped for the Newbury race in early February and along with Movewiththetimes, this turned into a battle of the novices. But it was Ballyandy who came out on top and produced a Racing Post Rating of 151 in the process.
Clearly suited by a big field and a fast pace, Ballyandy took a big step up in hurdling form here and given his form at the unique Cheltenham racecourse, a big run is very likely from the six-year-old son of Kayf Tara.
Ballyandy is a horse that isn’t the most physically imposing, but what he lacks in size and scope he makes up for with quality and determination to win.
Movewiththetimes can certainly run well in the Supreme and will have plenty of each way supporters too, while Melon – despite drifting out to 9/2 – is also massively respected as a dark horse.
Moon Racer hasn’t had the most consistent career, but his form stacks up very well and he too is worthy of his place toward the head of the Cheltenham betting markets for this race.
Overall though, Ballyandy is a really solid looking horse racing tip with a likeable blend of experience, ability and of course that all-important Cheltenham Festival form.