Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle Tips: Ballyburn to light up Cheltenham

 | March 12 | 

2 mins read

Gallagher Novices tips

The Gallagher, or Ballymore/Baring Bingham until recently, is the opening race on Wednesday and this year is all about the Willie Mullins-trained Ballyburn, who is one of the most-fancied runners of the Cheltenham Festival.

Is he my idea of the winner? Here's my Gallagher Novices' Hurdle tips.

Gallagher Novices' Hurdle Tips

  • Ballyburn @ 1/2
  • Predators Gold @ 9/1

I would love to write about how vulnerable odds-on favourite BALLYBURN is in this race and that someone like Ile Atlantique - who I tipped at 20/1 back in November last year - can down him, but unfortunately I can't.

Willie Mullins' six-year-old is comfortably the best around in this discipline and this is arguably the weakest of the three novice hurdles this week, so he looks as bombproof as it gets in this brilliant sport of ours.

He was beaten by Firefox - who runs in the Supreme on Tuesday afternoon - on his jumping debut over the minimum trip in early December, but that was during a time when his trainer's string were very much needing the run.

That was evident next time out when the son of Flemensfirth stepped up to 2m4f at Leopardstown just over three weeks later and beat a subsequent winner by a whopping 25 lengths.

Dropped back to two for the Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival, he put away Slade Steel - also engaged in the Supreme - with ease, confirming his status as the season's leading novice. He should prove hard to beat.

Ballyburn to win the 13.30 Cheltenham at 1-2

If there is any doubt, it's that he can sometimes run keenly and if he does that on what promises to be extremely testing ground, he could be vulnerable. But that is nothing more than a small doubt.

In that case, I can see stablemate PREDATORS GOLD picking up the pieces.

I love Ile Atlantique, but ultimately the aforementioned five-year-old is rated a couple of pounds superior to him - and a further 12 to fourth-favourite Handstands for Ben Pauling - is a little more experienced and for me has the second-best jockey available to Closutton in Danny Mullins.

He will love this trip/ground combination and if you do see chinks in Ballyburn's armour, I wouldn't put you off backing him at the prices.

Predators Gold to win the 13.30 Cheltenham at 9-1

Betfred will have a Price Boost or Distance Special on this race, with the full details to be confirmed at 11am on Wednesday.

Find more Cheltenham Tips here at Betfred Insights

Share Article

(Visited 56 times, 1 visits today)