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Cheltenham Festival Surpreme Hurdle tips: High hopes for Firefox and Tellherthename could surprise

The dozen runners that line up for the Supreme Hurdle will be sent off to the sound of the “Cheltenham Roar” that traditionally accompanies the Festival’s eagerly anticipated curtain-raiser.

13:30 - Sky Bet Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (2 miles 87 yards)

With half of the 12-strong field made up of Willie Mullins-trained horses, it’s hard to see past the Master of Closutton kicking off the Festival in all-too-familiar winning fashion..

His first-string Tullyhill looks the pick of his bunch after stringing together numbers of 12211 since making his track debut a year ago, and Paul Townend’s presence in the saddle only strengthens his claims.

Planet Sport Bet Special: Bet £5+ on any Cheltenham race, get a £5 free bet if Harry Cobden rides a Festival winner

However, it would be unwise to overlook the presence of Henry de Bromhead’s Slade Steel, who was unfortunate to bump into the burgeoning talent of Ballyburn last time out, and this likeable six-year-old is open to further improvement in the capable hands of Rachael Blackmore.

Gordon Elliott rarely sends runners to Cheltenham for the sake of it, and it’s worth pointing out that his sole entrant Firefox saw off the same highly-regarded Ballyburn with more than two lengths in hand when landing a 24-runner maiden at Fairyhouse in December.

A step-up in trip on his first Grade 1 outing proved less fruitful last time out, but this return to the minimum trip should suit as he continues to progress as a blossoming hurdler.

Suggested bet: Firefox in the 13:30 at Cheltenham


While it’s hard to see past the fancied market leaders, some bookies are paying out on an extra place, which should trigger some interest in the seven runners available at double-digit odds.

Another of Mullins’ runners, Asian Master, has caught the eye of a few of Tipstrr’s each-way specialists, as indeed has one from the in-form yard of Ben Pauling.

Tellherthename gave her glimpse of her capabilities when finishing just the width of a horse’s nostril behind the highly-rated Jango Baie on debut in November, and went on to confirm that promise with a 14-length victory in a 10-runner novice at Huntingdon later the same month.

Each-way punt: Tellherthename each-way in the 13:30 at Cheltenham


He could be forgiven for being pulled up when taking on Grade 1 company for the first time in bottomless ground at Aintree on Boxing Day, and he quickly bounced back with another 14-length romp at Huntingdon a couple of weeks later.

As Planet Sport Bet ambassador Harry Cobden indicated at his Cheltenham preview night, this capable five-year-old saves all his best work for the track and it would be no surprise to see him taking that early promise to the next level in the Festival opener.

WATCH: Harry Cobden's Cheltenham Festival Thoughts - Day 1 Preview

Supreme Novices’ Hurdle key stats

Top 3 trainers (last 20 years)

  • Willie Mullins - 45 runners, 6 winners, 6 places
  • Nicky Henderson - 31 runners, 3 winners, 13 places
  • Paul Nicholls - 16 runners, 2 winners, 1 place

Top 3 jockeys (last 20 years)

  • Nico De Boinville - 6 rides, 3 winners
  • Paul Townend - 14 rides, 1 winner, 2 places
  • Jack Kennedy - 5 rides, 1 winner, 2 places

Past 5 winners of the Supreme Novices Hurdle

  • 2019 Klassical Dream 6/1 
  • 2020 Shishkin 6/1
  • 2021 Appreciate It 8/11F 
  • 2022 Constitution Hill 9/4F
  • 2023 Marine Nationale 9/2

Britain v Ireland

  • Ireland - 11 winners, 15 places from 125 runners
  • Britain - 9 winners, 25 places from 199 runners

READ MORE: Cheltenham Festival Guide 2024: all you need to know on the big races, horses, jockeys and trainers

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