The betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle currently revolves heavily around Willie Mullins’ Min, who is the clear 3/1 favourite despite having only had the one run since being recruited from France.
His victory over 2m2f at Punchestown was visually impressive, but quite what he beat remains open to question as the opposition looked moderate at best. No doubt the fact he is owned by Rich Ricci is heavily factored into his odds.
Ricci has been responsible for the last two Supreme winners in Vautour and Douvan and this pair have gone on to be high class.
However, what Min’s price has done has meant there is lots of ante-post each-way value lurking further down the betting for the Cheltenham Festival opener, with one eye-catching option being the 33/1 available on Tycoon Prince.
Gordon Elliott’s six-year-old racked up a trio of victories in bumper company last season, with his only defeat coming on debut when fourth behind eventual Cheltenham Champion Bumper victor Moon Racer. This indicates that he is not short in the speed department.
His first start over hurdles was a shocker, as Bryan Cooper employed hold-up tactics for the first time and the horse lacked any real jumping fluency to be a beaten odds-on favourite at Navan.
But Tycoon Prince’s one run since suggests that this run can be forgiven as a blip.
Coming to the second-last obstacle in the Navan Novices’ Hurdle, Tycoon Prince was travelling just as well as the highly regarded Bellshill before a jumping error cost him obvious momentum at an important time in the race.
He eventually lost by 12 lengths, but the way he jumped and travelled was encouraging and given how quickly they tend to go early on in the Supreme, his tactical speed could be critical at the business end of the race.
The fact he has now stayed 2m4f, albeit in a race where they went fairly slowly in the middle section, points towards Tycoon Prince having a bit of extra stamina too.
Considering Bellshill is 12/1 in the Supreme betting and would probably be shorter if the Neptune Novices’ Hurdle didn’t look a more likely Festival target, Tycoon Prince appears considerably overpriced.
This is also true based on how well thought of he was in bumpers last season.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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