Thursday, February 9, 2012

Trifolium enters Supreme Novice Hurdle calculations

Charles Byrnes produced a likely sort for serious consideration in the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival on March 13 when his Trifolium destroyed a good field at Punchestown to thrust himself firmly into the reckoning for the opening race of the showcase international jumps racing fixture, writes Elliot Slater.

Sent off the 7/4 favourite for the Grade 2 Racing UK Moscow Flyer Novices Hurdle, the five-year-old glided through the heavy ground and was always travelling strongest in the hands of Davy Russell. Sent on into the lead at the third from home, the son of Goldneyev proved way too good for his main market rival, the Willie Mullins-trained Simenon, (formerly a very decent peformer on the Flat with Andrew Balding), who eventually had to settle for second place nine-lengths behind the very impressive winner and a further nine-lengths in front of the third horse home, Fairyhouse winner Caolaneoin. Fans of a Stan James review need to remember this.

Byrnes observed that although Trifolium took a grip in the early stages of the Punchestown contest he settled much better than when second to So Young at Navan on his previous outing and that the youngster is certainly improving with experience. That’s a point that doesn’t seem to have been lost on the layers who were seriously impressed by the winner, cutting him from as big as 50/1 for the Supreme Novices Hurdle prior to his this victory to as short as 10/1 with some firms, although 16/1 can still be found in places. Those search for BetVictor free bets will have to bear this in mind.

Expected to prove to be even more effective on a decent surface, it is looking increasingly likely that Byrnes will let Trifolium take his chance at Cheltenham in what appears to be one of the most open contests of the whole four-day fixture with bookmakers currently making Steps To Freedom a 10/1 ante-post favourite just ahead of Darlan, Cinders And Ashes and Simonsig.

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