Cheltenham Supreme Hurdle tip analysis: Trends point to Tahmuras for each-way value

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Iceo was sent off at 5/1 at Sandown on Saturday, but was available at 9/1 the night before the race, all reinforcing the notion that studying recent winning patterns can help narrow down the field to reveal the best value bet.

Today I am looking at the Supreme Novices' Hurdle, which is the Cheltenham Festival's curtain raiser and is usually met with one of the biggest roars of the week as the twenty runners start the meeting.

The two-mile race involves the best novice hurdlers and is usually run at a frenetic pace. The favourite for the Champion Hurdle, Constitution Hill, won this renewal by a record 22-length margin last season, leaving the highly-rated Jonbon in his wake.

I used the following positive trends to try and narrow the field:

  • 23 of the last 26 winners won their previous race

  • 14 of the last 19 winners had raced in at least four hurdles races

  • 11 of the last 13 winners came from the first four in the market

  • 10 of the last 11 winners had won a graded Novice Hurdle

  • 21 of the last 28 winners ran in the last 45 days

  • Irish-trained horses have won 17 of the last 31 runnings

  • 5 and 6-year-olds have won 16 of the last 18 runnings

  • Willie Mullins has won the race seven times

  • Five of the last 10 winners were trained by Mullins

  • Three of the last 10 winners were trained by Nicky Henderson

  • 26 of the last 28 winners had raced that same calendar year

  • Six of the last nine winners had been rated 153 or more

  • Nine of the last 10 winners returned a single-figure price

  • Nine of the last 14 winners were previous bumper winners.

This narrowed the field down to Il Etait Temps, Facile Vega, Tahmuras, Marine Nationale and Inthepocket. I was able to eliminate three more for the following reasons:

  • Marine Nationale - no run this side of Christmas

  • Facile Vega - very poor run last time and too short a price

  • Inthepocket - definitely a threat but probably held by Il Etait Temps

I was reasonably keen on the chances of Il Etait Temps after he won the Grade 1 Tattersalls Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown, but he has a massive negative trend to overcome.

This five-year-old wears a hood when racing and runners in this contest wearing any type of headgear are 0-38, so I ruled him out. This left the Paul Nicholls-trained Tahmuras who does need to improve from his Grade 1 win in the Tolworth Novices Hurdle, but will relish the ground and will be staying on past flagging runners here. This leads me to recommend an each-way bet on Tahmuras with a bookmaker offering four places.

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