Hidden Universe may be overpriced at 20/1 in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle as trainer Dermot Weld feels that he is far better than his recent performance at Leopardstown suggests.
Running in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle earlier this month, Hidden Universe was one-paced in the closing stages after challenging for the lead entering the home straight and could only finish fourth.
However, Weld believes that there were many elements of the Grade One contest that did not suit his horse, which were predominantly the heaviness of the ground and the added distance of the race in the testing conditions.
The return to two miles should suit Hidden Universe far more than the 2m2f in the Deloitte Hurdle, while the horse seems better suited to faster ground.
Weld said: “By bringing him back in distance on better ground I think you’ll see a big run from him. He’s a good-ground horse and he won the Grade One bumper at Punchestown last year.”
Cue Card is the strong favourite in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting at 9/4 and trainer Colin Tizzard is pleased with the progress being made by the five-year-old.
Last year’s Champion Bumper winner performed amicably in better company when running on gallantly behind Champion Hurdle fancy Menorah in December and has not been seen since.
But Tizzard is keen to give the horse one more racecourse gallop ahead of the Festival, which could take place in the coming week at Newbury.
Tizzard said: “He’s absolutely fine, but I’d just like to give him a gallop to put my mind at ease before Cheltenham.”
Cue Card has won four of his five career races to date and should have no problems with the demands of Cheltenham, having already raced at the track on three occasions.