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Supreme Novice Hurdle Jockey Tips
Mon, Mar 12th, 2012

We have rounded up the latest jockey tips for the Supreme Novice Hurdle. AP McCoy writing two Saturdays ago in the Telegraph mentioned that whether he has a good 2012 festival might be decided after the first four rides. In this morning's column he added:

My festival starts with Darlan (1.30) for Nicky Henderson in the William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle. One Festival preview evening had Nicky winning nine races at the Festival so I hope this is one of them. He was half a length down and, I thought, coming through to win the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury when he fell at the second last and gave me quite a heavy fall. Critics thought him a "bridle horse" before that but he was certainly responding for me at Newbury, although it was some way out. It appears he was not as battered by the fall as I was and when we schooled him he did not jump like a horse who might have lost his confidence. In fact it was quite the reverse. Until then he was unbeaten in novice hurdles, including one here in December and, however good a horse, it is always nice to know they handle the track. Had Darlan won the Betfair he would be one of the odds-on shots but, on what he has actually done, he is a short enough price. On paper it looks an open race with no hotpots in it although that is what we said about last year's Triumph which, form-wise, turned out to be just about the best race at last year's meeting. I hope we will win. I have a lot of respect for Steps To Freedom and I have heard good reports of how he is going at home. If you fancy him then Prospect Wells, whom he beat here in November, should also appeal to you at a good price.

Graham Lee was a guest at Sunday's Centuar preview and tipped Darlan, confirming that he spoke to the Champion Jockey and "he likes him (Darlan) a lot". Graham also liked Galileos Choice and  Prospect Wells e/w .

Ruby Walsh rides Prospect Wells and he told Paddy Power " The best I have is an each-way shot in this race. Prospect Wells is probably a good price for value".

Barry Geraghty didnt provide a Supreme Novice tip in our jockeys tipping contest  ("Simonsig in whatever race he goes for" ) but told Paddy Power " I think Steps of Freedom is the best of the Irish and Darlan may be the best of the English."  In his ATR blog Barry has had this to say about the race and his mount Tetlami:

Darlan is a horse that I've won on twice and is fully entitled to start favourite. I was very impressed when winning average races with my hands full.It would have taken a brave man to say he wouldn't have won the Betfair Hurdle at Newbury last time when he fell two out, in which case he's the one to beat as far as I'm concerned. He could be a player at a higher level this time next year. Tetlami will certainly make his presence felt because he has the pace to operate around Cheltenham. He's done everything asked and a bit more because he won a 'jumpers bumper' last time at Kempton and he comes into this fresh and well and something of an unknown quantity because he's won his two hurdles quite cosily. There's definitely more to come from him and it's just of a case of if it will be enough. There are other horses to mention which emphasises just how open this race is. Colour Squadron might be unfortunate not to be unbeaten as he fell at Newbury and hung his chance away when I beat him at Sandown on Captain Conan. Cinders And Ashes is a class horse that's been given a nice, quiet build-up and from Ireland there's Steps To Freedom – Jessie Harrington's sweet on him – and there are very good vibes for Charles Byrnes's Trifolium.

Paddy Brennan was at the Coral Preview Night in the loose Cannon Club London on 6 March and put in a good word for Charlie Longsdon's Vulcanite. He was very complimentary regarding work he'd done on the horse at home, using the word "unbelievable".

At BoyleSports Leopardstown Preview Night Davy Russell was undecided between Midnight Game or Trifolium. He has choice between the two and says "both should go well". He was disappointed with Mullins update on Midnight Game at the evening but todays decs will tell a tale.

Choc Thornton tipped Mountabazon ( at 12s) in our tipping contest and Anthony Bromley reported at Leopardstown that the horse had done "a sparkling piece of work ".



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