Supreme Novices Hurdle - Will Ballyburn run in the Festival opener?

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Supreme Novices Hurdle - Will Ballyburn run in the Festival opener?

Ballyburn heads the betting in the Cheltenham odds for the opening race of the 2024 Festival, although you might want to hang fire before placing your bets.

The Willie Mullins-trained charge has been the market leader for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle for the past few weeks, although it’s possible that the six-year-old will bypass the meeting’s first race and line up in the opener on Day Two instead.

The latest odds suggest that Ballyburn could be diverted to the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, a race previously known as the Ballymore. Many think that the horse is a good thing wherever he ends up, although that is still unknown at the time of writing. 

Several betting apps are now offering non-runner no bet when it comes to the principal races of the 2024 Cheltenham Festival and we recommend taking advantage of this concession if you were to consider backing Ballyburn for either of the above races.

Much depends on whether Willie Mullins thinks that the Supreme trip of two miles, half a furlong will be to the horse’s liking. 

There’s the alternative of travelling over the longer distance of two miles and five furlongs in the first race on Day Two. 

The betfair exchange is always an accurate barometer of where a horse could be running, with Ballyburn available to back at 3.35 and lay at 3.75 for the Supreme where antepost rules apply.

DRF Performance Oozed Class

When it comes to the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, we have seen the horse trading at 2.6 to back and 2.7 to lay, indicating that the latter could now be the more likely destination.

He has only lost one of his six races and it appears as though antepost backers of Ballyburn for the Supreme might be about to lose their money. 

Some would argue that the horse isn’t suited to the stiffer test of two miles which the Supreme would provide, with noises coming from the stable that Ballyburn would benefit more from the extra furlongs provided by the Baring Bingham.

Another pointer is the fact that Mystical Power has been backed in for the Supreme with betting sites, with this being another Mullins horse which has been matched at some massive prices for this race on the exchanges. 

Patrick Mullins (son of Willie) recently told Paddy Power: "Ballyburn could go either way – he’s not your natural two-miler, but neither was Champagne Fever and ridden appropriately, he won the Supreme.

"Vautour wasn’t really a two-miler and ridden appropriately, he won it too.

"But like Sir Gerhard, Ballyburn could go two and a half miles. I think he’s good enough to win either race."

Ballyburn was last seen winning the Grade One Tattersalls Ireland 50th Derby Sale Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Racing Festival over two miles, with this coming after a facile two miles and four furlongs victory, also at Leopardstown. 

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