What happened in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 2020?

Winner: Envoi Allen

The horse racing world is very much the oyster of Envoi Allen, who justified his status as the Irish banker of the 2020 Cheltenham Festival with success at an odds-on price of 4/7 in the 2m 5f Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle.

Trained by Gordon Elliott for owners Cheveley Park Stud, the six-year-old looked trapped in a pocket at one stage during the race, but jockey Davy Russell soon angled him out with work to do and the pair found themselves some six lengths off the pace rounding the home bend. Envoi Allen closed quickly, however, to lead approaching the last and ran on to score by 4 1/4 lengths from each-way gamble Easywork for owners Gigginstown House Stud and trainer Henry De Bromhead who was backed into a starting price of 12/1.

The Big Getaway made most of the running but was beaten a further 3 3/4 lengths in third for Willie Mullins. Envoi Allen had his rivals well strung out at the line and the big question is where will he go from here? After success in the Champion Bumper here in 2019, he is already a dual Cheltenham Festival winner and one Irish horse that it will obviously pay to follow for future assignments.

Regular pilot Russell would not comment on future plans, but bookmakers have already priced up possibilities for next year. If he remains over hurdles, then Envoi Allen is a first-show 10/1 for the 2021 Champion Hurdle. Alternatively, he could be sent chasing by connections. Dropping back in trip for the Arkle is an option in that eventuality, so Envoi Allen is 14/1 for that. He is also the 6/1 favourite for the Marsh Novices’ Chase over the middle distance of 2m 4f.

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Page Contents

Best Betting Sites

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Ballymore Novices' Hurdle 2020 Tips (Upd. 11/03)

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Stats & Trends

Betting Guide

Betting Offers

Past Winners

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Key Trials

BALLYMORE NOVICES HURDLE

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Date: March 11, 2020 (1:30 pm)

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Hurdle Race

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Distance: 2 Miles 5 Furlongs
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Age Of The Horse: 4 Years Old and Older

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2019 Past Winner: City Island

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Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2020 Tips (uPD. 11/03)

Envoi Allen (8/11)

Envoi Allen, last year’s Champion Bumper winner and a horse unbeaten in six career races to date, dominates the betting here at a general 10/11 in the build-up to the race but his form so far while undoubtedly impressive, doesn’t mark him out as one who is flawless in this sphere.

Having beaten Tuesday’s Supreme Hurdle runner-up Abacadabras and Irish Champion Hurdle second Darver Star in recent runs, Envoi Allen’s form remains hugely impressive but there could be one horse in the line-up capable of beating him in these tough conditions.

SPORTING JOHN (4/1)

That horse for us is Philip Hobbs’ runner SPORTING JOHN, one who confused some backers when arriving at Ascot as favourite for a novices’ hurdle in February, but who duly won that race comfortably and is himself unbeaten in three starts.

These conditions are ideal for him, he has a year on Envoi Allen which can often mean a little more improvement, is getting better all the time both visually and on the books and has easily beaten the now 144-rated hurdler Harry Senior meaning his price of around 7/2 looks too big.

Close in behind by our reckoning are Easywork, Longhouse Poet and The Big Breakaway who could all yet mount their own challenges but without getting near the big two.

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle Tip: SPORTING JOHN

Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 2020 Betting Offers (upd. 11/03)

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Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2020 Ante Post Preview

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Former professional boxer who is now a content writer specialising in sports and betting. Has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Coral and Betfair covering all manner of sports, from boxing and football to horse racing. A student of the formbook, he loved stats, trends, numbers and how they can guide punters towards a winner.

A Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race, it is contested over a distance of two miles and five furlongs with no less than 10 hurdles standing between the starting pack and a champion. The first winner of this prize was Midsprite for Macer Gifford and Harry Thomson Jones back in 1971 and we’ve witnessed some memorable champions over the years. The honours role includes Danoli, French Holly, Galileo, Hardy Eustace and Faugheen.

City Island won under the ride of Mark Walsh for Martin Brassil 12 months ago. Who will come out on top this year? In this article we detail everything you need to know before placing a bet on the Ballymore Novices Hurdle 2020. We focus on past winners, antepost favourites, stats and even offer a handy betting guide designed to help you beat the bookies.

Antepost Key Runners & Favourites

Traders at all major betting firms have gone up with their early thoughts on the Ballymore Novices Hurdle. This gives backers the chance to support their runner of choice early in the hope their pick will run in the race and become 2020 champion, landing them a handsome profit.

Generally, the earlier you bet on an antepost market at the Cheltenham Festival the bigger the available price will be. This is because you are showing your hand early and jumping the queue, taking a risk before the final field has been decided. A great way to get more for your stake but other players prefer to wait until closer to the off to ensure their selection is confirmed in the final race field and this is a shrewd approach.

Keep your eye out for the popular non-runner no bet promotion which promises to refund your stake if your preferred horse doesn’t run in the race you backed it to win. Without the NRMB promo, if connections enter it into a different race or choose to bypass the festival entirely, you would lose your cash without ever getting a run for your money.

It is still very early in the build up to the 2020 Ballymore Novices Hurdle and the Cheltenham Festival but let’s take a loolk at the current betting and pick out any value that exists amongst the antepost favourites. The deal here is to look for any major differences of opinion that exists on the same horse between traders at different bookmakers.

Envoi Allen (4/1)

Those who have been paying close attention to our Cheltenham Festival antepost previews would have noticed Envoi Allen has been quoted in the betting for a few different races at the next Prestbury Park festival. That’s not because he will run in more than one race that week, it is because traders don’t yet know which race, he will be entered into and are covering all bases. Remember, back Envoi Allen to win this race and if he runs in another, you’ll lose your stake money.

If you do intent to support the early market leader it would be wise to pay attention to any interviews coming from connections, including stable staff and owners. It is likely they themselves haven’t decided which race at the festival to add him to yet, but their decision will become apparent closer to the time. Also pay special attention to the types of races Envoi Allen is entered into this season, trials, results and distances. These will all act as clues as to the path the team will take come March 2020 when decisions will have to be made.

Envoi Allen has been priced up as favourite for the 2020 Ballymore Novices Hurdle and there’s currently no better available than the 4/1 sent out by Betfair. That’s market best price and it is more generous than the 3/1 you will find at most other firms. If you do back the jolly make sure you support him at Betfair to ensure you get the best price possible. A 3/1 winner at the Cheltenham Festival is great but not if you could have got the same runner at an enhanced 4/1 simply by spending the time to research the markets.

Five-year-old gelding Envoi Allen is trained by Gordon Elliott and owned by the Cheveley Park Stud. Elliott has won this race only once before, but that success came as recently as 2018 when Samcro did the business under the ride of Jack Kennedy as a six-year-old. The current market leader went into the new season having won all five of his previous starts, including a maiden hurdle at Down Royal over two miles on soft ground. He beat runner up Front View by more than six lengths that day when sent off a 1/4 favourite, living up to the expectations of traders.

Andy Dufresne (10/1)

Andy Dufresne is rated as the main danger by bookmakers at this stage of proceedings with the money men pricing him as second favourite. That’s difficult to argue against as they seem to have a very capable horse picked but the current odds suggest he’ll get nowhere near Envoi Allen on the day. The latter is a 4/1 favourite with Andy Dufresne coming in as a chunky 10/1 second favourite at bet365. That’s a confident call as many other firms offer only 8/1 on the same runner.

The fact there’s a two points difference means there will be no shortage of interest amongst the value hunters out there who love nothing more than seizing on any indecision. If you can back enough 8/1 shots at a price of 10/1 you will surely make a profit from the Cheltenham Festival as well as the season as a whole. You could also play the waiting game with Andy Dufresne. Back him at 10/1 with bet365 and if Envoi Allen doesn’t run in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle the former’s price will drop significantly. You can then cash out for a profit before the race has been run.

This five-year-old gelding is another trained by Gordon Elliott and also went into the season with a 100 per cent record. He won on debut around Down Royal when going off an 8/15 favourite and doubled up shortly afterwards, making it two wins from two, scoring at Navan. He beat runner up Cobblers Way by a stunning 11 lengths in November and showed exactly what the team had been working on and the improvements made during the summer months. There’s more to come from this runner too and we should see him go from strength to strength as the season moves towards spring and the Cheltenham Festival.

Thyme Hill (14/1)

We begin to get into the bigger prices here, runners that have a chance of winning this race but would need to put in a career best performance to do so. Thyme Hill certainly has the talent needed to push this field close and deserves a place in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle field if connections believe he is ready to make a challenge. If he does make the final field, it must be taken as a sign of the confidence that exists amongst connections and they wouldn’t send him in unless they believe he has a chance of winning.

Thyme Hill is another who seems to split opinion on the trading floors. He is as big as 14/1 when getting your stake money down at bet365 – that’s market best price at the time of writing – but there are plenty more respected online bookies happy to keep their cards close to their chest. Thyme Hill is trading at 10/1 with a few bookies. Again, if you get the chance to back a 10/1 shot at 14/1 we would say take it with both hands. Each-way players will get 1/5 the odds a place 1-2-3 in the antepost market but promotions may come into play nearer the time that offer an extra place or even 1/4 the odds.

Philip Hobbs trains this progressive five-year-old and he didn’t finish outside of the top three places in his first five starts. Those stats showed three wins, a second and a third. Thyme Hill won each of his first two races of the season at Chepstow and Cheltenham.

Check out our Cheltenham Festival Betting Guide for the list of TOP 15 betting sites to place a bet on upcoming Festival.

Race Stats & Trends

  • The leading jockey in this race at present is Ruby Walsh and it’s unlikely he will lose his position anytime soon. The fans favourite rider has won this race four times in the past between 2008 and 2016. He finally got off the mark with Fiveforthree in 2008 before doubling up a year later when Mikael d’Haguenet came good in 2009. Ruby Walsh was again on the winner thanks to Faugheen in 2014 and was last seen in the winner’s enclosure with Yorkhill in 2016.
  • Leading trainer in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle is Willie Mullins and that will come as no surprise to followers of the Cheltenham Festival. Mullins banked his first title with Fiveforthree in 2008 and scored for a second time thanks to Mikael d’Hagunet. Faugheen and Yorkhill make up the spare two wins. Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins have an exceptional record in this race.
  • Horses aged six years old at the time of entering show real form in this race. City Island was a six-year-old and that age was shared by each of the last six champions and eight of the nine most recent champions.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Betting Guide

Enjoy Perks of Antepost Market

Antepost betting exists on the Ballymore Novices Hurdle and it offers great prices on each runner in the field. The reason for that is every horse quoted won’t make the final line-up and if you back a horse to win the race and it doesn’t enter, you lose your money. When betting on antepost you must weigh up the risk vs the reward. If you are confident your pick will run in the Ballymore Novices Hurdle, then it’s advisable to get on sooner rather than later. You will also find a few Ballymore Novices Hurdle tips with more available after the final declarations stage. Follow an expert tipster giving Ballymore Novices Hurdler 2020 2020 tips or do your own research.

Get Access to Live Streaming

Live betting and live streaming is offered by major bookmakers on all UK and Irish horse racing and that coverage will extend to the 2020 Cheltenham Festival. Back a horse and you will be able to watch it run through an HD quality live streaming service that also offers expert commentary and in-play betting odds. All this comes free of charge to registered members, but most bookies have a condition in place that says you must place a bet before being given access to the live coverage.

Look For Better Odds

Below you’ll find a table of the top bookmakers and their offers. This will be updated with the best and most generous offers. Check back to see which firms are offering the standout Cheltenham Festival sign up promotion.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Past Winners

Last 10 Ballymore Novices Hurdle winners:

  • City Island – 2019
  • Samcro – 2018
  • Willoughby Court – 2017
  • Yorkhill – 2016
  • Windsor Park – 2015
  • Faugheen – 2014
  • The New One – 2013
  • Simonsig – 2012
  • First Lieutenant – 2011
  • Peddlers Cross – 2010

What Happened in 2019?

The Ballymore Novices Hurdle results show City Island won the 2019 version of this race with Mark Walsh in the saddle. That was the bay gelding’s standout result to date, but it was fully deserved. Sent off as an SP 8/1 shot that day, City Island beat runner up Champ by two lengths after putting in a near perfect performance. The victor was held back in the pack during the early exchanges but struggled for racing room at the business end of the race.

He eventually found a way through and delivered a charge for the line that saw him lead turning for home. He possessed the turn of foot and fitness needed to pull away from his main rivals that day and stay on for the prize. Champ was well beaten in second for Barry Geraghty and we had Bright Forecast another 2 ¼ lengths behind in third at a stunning 25/1 to put a smile on the faces of those who backed him each-way. He ran a fair race but made no real impression on the two ahead.

Ballymore Novices Hurdle Key Trials

Followers of the National Hunt horse racing season will notice a number of Cheltenham Festival trial races late in 2019 and early into 2020. The results of these will be important when it comes to backing your winner of the Ballymore Hurdle. The list below will be updated with key trials results, times and other useful information.

Upcoming Ballymore Novices Hurdle Trials