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2019 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle tips – 3/1 shot to announce Supreme intentions with Leopardstown triumph

Leopardstown races.

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade One novices hurdle and provides readers with his tips for Leopardstown on Sunday.


Once this year’s crop of talented juveniles has departed the track at Leopardstown, a strong field of first season hurdlers will battle for supremacy in the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle. Better known under its former guise of the Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle, this two-mile Grade One has been won by some fantastic young horses, with the names of Istabraq, Brave Inca and Vautour shining brightly on the roll of honour.

Gordon Elliott ended Willie Mullins winning streak in this Grade One 12 months ago, with Samcro cruising to victory before repeating the trick in the Ballymore at Cheltenham. Vision D’honneur (11/4 Unibet) will be Elliott’s, and Gigginstown’s, leading light in this year's renewal and he’s edged his way to the head of the market.

After finishing fourth on his debut under rules, Elliott’s French import made a strong impression on his second start. Vision D’honneur was backed into favouritism before the off, powering to a near-five-length victory over Elixir D’ainay (16/1 Unibet) and earn himself a spot at the upper-end of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting at the Cheltenham Festival.

Despite carrying a short-price on his debut, Vision D’honneur was no match for Klassical Dream (3/1 Unibet) when they clashed here at Leopardstown, with Willie Mullins’ novice running out a convincing winner. During his time in France, the five-year-old clashed with the likes of Magic Saint and Master Dino over fences and it’s perfectly possible he could build on that maiden triumph in Grade One company.

Willie Mullins’ search for a seventh victory in this race could see him pitch several of his stablemates against one-another. Aramon (3/1 Unibet) also sits prominently in the betting, for both this race and the Supreme at Cheltenham, having stormed to an excellent Grade One victory in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle at the Festival here over Christmas.

Elixir D’ainay has plenty of ground to make up on Vision D’honneur, but ran well enough on first start over hurdles and should improve. Nine-year-old Prince D’Aubrelle (16/1 Unibet) made a winning return to action, after spending two-and-a-half-years off the track, but it would be a shock if he was good enough to feature in the finish. 

Gordon Elliott looks likely to throw Felix Desjy (7/1 Unibet) into the Chanelle Pharma mix, after his six-year-old ended a run of three defeats in the Moscow Flyer at Punchestown. While he looked a class above his rivals back over two miles, that was a very weak renewal of that popular Grade Two and preference is certainly for his stablemate near the head of the market. 
Joseph O’Brien has been enjoying his best jumps campaign to date and Triplicate (14/1 Unibet) looks to be the best of his trio of entrants. Since beating Aramon back in September, the JP McManus-owned six-year-old has been beaten three times in Graded company, twice coming out second-best to Quick Grabbim before a distant fourth in the Future Champions at the Christmas Festival, when carrying the tag of favouritism to post.

Four of Henry De Bromhead’s horses hold up the field at the bottom of the betting and, while Dancing On My Own (25/1 Unibet) has done himself justice in clashes against Buildmeupbuttercup and Klassical Dream, none of them stand much of a chance.

Of those sitting on an each-way price, Valdieu (11/1 Unibet) holds the most appeal. After claiming a maiden victory on the flat at the sixth time of asking, Noel Meade’s charge comfortably saw off 18 rivals on his first crack at a hurdles race and remains completely unexposed over jumps.

While Valdieu certainly looks to be a horse to follow moving forwards and Triplicate deserves respect, only three horses since the turn of the millennium have carried double-figure odds to victory and there are three talented horses locked in a battle for favouritism on Sunday. Klassical Dream dealt with Vision D’honneur easily over course-and-distance and he’s favoured to repeat those placings, but of Willie Mullins’ entrants, ARAMON holds the most appeal.

It seemed Willie Mullins had made the wrong decision in dropping Aramon back in trip, following a wide-margin maiden victory over 20 furlongs with that defeat to Triplicate over two miles. Yet, the Supreme Racing Club-owned six-year-old has shown he has more than enough raw speed to cope with the minimum trip in his three starts since.

True, he did finish third behind Quick Grabbim and Triplicate in the Royal Bond, but his victories either side of that have been excellent. Especially his most recent triumph in the Future Champions at Leopardstown, where Ruby Walsh held his mount up at the rear for much of the race before finding some clear air on the run to the last. Sancta Simona jumped it the better, but Aramon had plenty of gas left in the tank, bolting up to win by six lengths.

All of the past ten winners of this race had gathered Graded experience, either over jumps that season or during their time in bumpers. Klassical Dream and Vision D’honneur may be unexposed and will be gaining a couple of pounds at the weights, but Aramon has the form in the bag and experience on his side. I expect him to claim victory at Leopardstown on Sunday before a bold bid in the Supreme. 

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2019 Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle tips – 3/1 shot to announce Supreme intentions with Leopardstown triumph

Our expert takes a look through the betting for this Grade One novices hurdle and provides readers with his tips for Leopardstown on Sunday 3rd February.

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