Many punters may lump on Cue Card in the hope of getting their Cheltenham Festivals off to a winning start in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but Spirit Son may be the horse to be on to extend the poor record of short-priced favourites in the race.
Only 12 months ago Dunguib was backed into odds-on to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, but could only finish third.
In total, 12 of the last 15 horses to have started the race at shorter Cheltenham odds than 3/1 have been turned over, while only four of the last 20 favourites have won.
This does not bode well for Cue Card at 2/1, although he is arguably deserving of his short price because of the strength of his novice form.
However, better value can certainly be found elsewhere in the betting and 6/1 seems more than a solid each-way price for Spirit Son.
He has won on all three career starts over hurdles and the slickness of his jumping has been especially notable, which could be a vital asset in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Furthermore, each of these victories have come on testing ground and with conditions expected to be soft at Cheltenham, this could play into his hands.
Spirit Son’s stablemate Sprinter Sacre should also be considered at 8/1 in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle betting, although the fact that Barry Geraghty has opted to ride the former when given a choice may highlight who he feels the better of the pair are.
At bigger prices, Marsh Warbler will like the soft ground, receives 7lb from the opposition for being a four-year-old and was victorious in a hot Grade One at Chepstow in January.
He is interesting at 25/1, which is the same price as Magen’s Star, who has not been extended at all in winning on her only two hurdles starts in Ireland and could be a bit of an unknown quantity.
A £20 stake on Spirit Son winning the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle would return £120. New customers can sign up here for a free £60 bet.