Adrian Wall’s Road To The Cheltenham Festival 2020 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Blue Sari Champion Bumper Cheltenham

Our Irish National Hunt expert Adrian Wall is going to share his Cheltenham Festival ante-post adventure with you all, starting with a 16/1 tip for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

It’s that time of the year again. Once the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe is done and dusted, my mind starts to go into Cheltenham Festival overdrive. Many of you will feel that backing a horse in October for a race that will take place in March is utter madness, and I do see your point.

However, there is no better feeling than finding something at juicy odds and having a proper sweat on come the big week. The Road to Cheltenham Series always has it’s up’s and down’s, tears of joy and tears of anguish, but isn’t that the beauty of betting?

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

There’s one horse that is jumping out at me like a sore thumb for the opening race of the festival and that is the Willie Mullins trained BLUE SARI who is currently a 16/1 chance with bet365. There’s no shrewder owner in the game than J.P. McManus and he purchased this horse after his bumper win on Thyestes Day at Gowran Park last Janaury.

Ridden by Patrick Mullins on the day, he could not have been more impressive, tanking through his race and going on to score by a whopping eleven lengths. The second that day, Front View, has since gone on to win a decent looking Punchestown bumper and looks an exciting prospect himself this coming season so that form could turn out to be top notch.

Patrick Mullins on Blue Sari after the bumper win: “When I gave him a squeeze I couldn’t believe how he picked up. Derek [O’Connor] was gobsmacked, he was in second and he said he thought he was going to win and in two strides my fella left him for dead.”

After his runaway bumper success, Blue Sari wasn’t seen again on track until the Cheltenham Festival and in the famous McManus colours took his place in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. Going off a 7/2 chance and ridden by course specialist Barry Geraghty, he lost out by three quarters of a length to the very talented Envoi Allen of the Gordon Elliott stable.

As you can see from the replay here, J.J. Codd got first run on Geraghty turning for home and that few lengths he had turned out to be the difference. Blue Sari hit 1.17 in-running on the Betfair Exchanges and approaching the final furlong looked like he was going to come upsides and possibly go past.

Considering that was Blue Sari’s second race ever, it was a hugely impressive run and I think he is a better horse than Envoi Allen, in fact I am in no doubt whatsoever. The winner was having his fourth start under rules at Cheltenham and was also a point to point winner before being snapped up for £400,000. He might be a Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle prospect this season and will be much better over further in time. Blue Sari on the other hand looks a very speedy type and if he jumps well this season, he could be extremely high class.



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