Willie Mullins and Rich Ricci have won the last two renewals of the Skybet Supreme Novices Hurdle and their highly touted Min is a short price at 7/4 with the sponsors to make it a hat-trick of wins in the race for the powerful trainer/owner combination.
A tall and handsome son of Walk In The Park, he is unbeaten in two hurdle runs in Ireland so far and was very impressive at Punchestown back in January. But his form took a bit of a knock on Sunday last with Attribution and Gurteen both soundly beaten in a novice hurdle and at 7/1 with sponsors Skybet and a few others, the Nicky Henderson trained BUVEUR D’AIR could be the value play in the Cheltenham Festival curtain raiser on Tuesday.
This gorgeous five-year-old gelding was backward in two bumpers early last year and was always going to appreciate time and patience and of course being put in front of some obstacles given his size and scope. On his hurdling debut at Newbury in late November, he jumped like an old hand and quickened really well to beat off a smart field on his first run since April.
Next time out at Huntingdon in January he went off at 2/11 favourite under Noel Fehily and of course was expected to win easily, but it is just the ease in which he does things which makes him a clear candidate for the Supreme Novices Hurdle. The race itself should suit very well and at an each way price, he gets the vote against the favourite over his equally exciting stablemate Altior who is short enough at 4/1.
In the main event on Champions Day, ANNIE POWER looks to have inadvertently stumbled upon a gilt-edged opportunity to finally win a big race at the Cheltenham Festival. Cruelly denied following a final hurdle blunder last year, she was out-gunned by More Of That in the World Hurdle in 2014 but stepping back to a strongly run two miles, this top class mare has what it takes to take advantage of the absence of her two esteemed stablemates Faugheen and Arctic Fire.
You can’t take anything away from the likes of Identity Thief, My Tent Or Yours and The New One, but all of them are vulnerable to a really classy animal and Annie Power, at her best, is just that. She gets 7lb from her male rivals which is significant in a race of small margins and provide she jumps cleanly, she can give her legion of fans a huge thrill by winning the Champion Hurdle in the hands of Ruby Walsh.