Zaidpour to continue Irish Supreme Novices’ dominance

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The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is one Cheltenham Festival race that has been largely dominated by the Irish in recent years and this fact could enhance the chances of Zaidpour securing victory.

Zaidpour has drifted out to 10/1 in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting following two less than impressive performances at Leopardstown, finishing second in both of the Group One contests.

However, there is the argument that both of these defeats came on heavy ground and the horse is still highly regarded by trainer Willie Mullins despite these reverses.

Irish trainers have won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle on seven occasions since 2000, despite being responsible for under a third of the total runners during this period.

Ireland’s other leading hope for victory in the Cheltenham curtain raiser is Hidden Universe at 14/1, who is also likely to run a decent race if a firmer surface is provided.

Cue Card is the heavy favourite in the Cheltenham betting at 9/4 to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and this is understandable given the quality of his form to date.

But fancied favourites have often underachieved in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle before, with Dunguib only managing to finish third 12 months ago despite being the Festival banker of many punters.

A favourite has not won the race since Brave Inca obliged in 2004, while eight of the 11 runners in the last 30 years to be priced at 9/4 or shorter have been beaten.

Another statistic that does not bode well for Cue Card is that 12 of the last 14 winners have won their final preparation race ahead of the Cheltenham Festival.

Cue Card finished second on his most recent start, which was no disgrace as it was behind leading Champion Hurdle fancy Menorah in the International Hurdle at Cheltenham in December.

A £25 stake on Zaidpour winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle would return £250. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.