Considering New Year’s Eve finished ahead of the likes of Jezki and Moscow Mannon when finishing second to Champagne Fever in the Champion Bumper at the last Cheltenham Festival, it is somewhat of a surprise that he is priced so far behind both for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle this time.
Jezki was only eighth in the Bumper after being caught for a bit of a speed, but it is no surprise that he has taken to hurdles, especially considering Grade One winner Jered is among his relations.
Four wins from four over hurdles has resulted in Jezki shortening to 5/2 for the Supreme Novices’, but this price does look on the short side regardless of his form to date.
When looking for an each-way alternative for the Supreme Novices’, punters will not do much better than 25/1 on New Year’s Eve, with Ladbrokes offering the best price on John Ferguson’s runner.
Since taking second at last year’s Festival, the horse has slightly disappointed in his two starts, but they have both been on woefully unsuitable ground.
Ideally, New Year’s Eve wants ground no slower than good to soft and his last two starts have come on ground classed as heavy.
He tailed off on his final start of last season at Punchestown, but made a pleasing enough return when going down by seven lengths to River Maigue (10/1 for the Supreme Novices’) at Kempton.
Although River Maigue would have also preferred the ground a bit firmer, he was better suited to the conditions and had the added luxury of having already raced this season in a decent performance behind Dodging Bullets at Cheltenham.
Furthermore, the early hurdling of New Year’s Eve left a lot to be desired, but he did settle down as the pace quickened and any flaws would have surely been ironed out at home in the months since.
With conditions soft for the majority of the season, there is a chance that numerous better-ground horses are overpriced in the Cheltenham betting for a few races and New Year’s Eve looks one example.
All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date