Monday, March 13, 2017

Cheltenham 2017: Supreme Novices Hurdle Handicapping

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, in our annual attempt to find live longshots to finish in the money in the Supreme Novices Hurdle (G1) at Cheltenham 2017. As ever, our approach is based on the following premises: 
  • Supreme Novices Hurdle is similar to Kentucky Derby - young horses, many attempting graded stakes, championship race for first-time with little form in book.
  • Eliminate non-contenders and whatever remains, no matter how improbable...
    • Avoid horses with pedigree mismatch to former winners [MelonCrack Mome].
    • Avoid horses from small fields [Labaik], [Elgin].
    • Late speed important [Magna CartorGlaringCapitol Force].
    • Poor Cheltenham Form [River Wylde].
    • Poor FPR [Pingshou, High Bridge].
  • Minimum price 10/1 [BallyandyBunk Off Early].
This leaves Beyond Conceit 20/1 and Cilaos Emery 16/1 as our selections!
Note, given the limited exposure of all the runners, we are not saying that those we have eliminated are not going to win - simply that they did not meet our criteria for live longshots to run in the money. The key takeaway, as always, is using a process of elimination not selection for identifying contenders.
Footnote: In their respective next outings, Cilaos Emery won G1 (Punchestown) and Beyond Conceit finished second in G1 (Aintree).