RACING anorak Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) analyses the field for the opening race on Day 2 of the Cheltenham Festival, the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.
Ballymore Novices' Hurdle | Wednesday 13th March 2019, 13:30 | ITV1
Day two of the Festival kicks-off with the Ballymore Novice Hurdle, which has thrown up some top class winners ,including Istabraq, Faugheen and last year Samcro, who may one day reach similar heights. This year has the potential to produce another superstar with four in here I think are that high class.
City Island (10/1 Coral) has improved with every start and comes here off the back of two impressive victories. He will stay and could potentially be anything, however this is a significant step up in class and he will need to take a massive step forward.
I've had Champ (7/2 Matchbook) as my selection for this since the New Year but I've jumped ship now. A Grade 1 winner, he is named after AP McCoy and is likely to have a great future, but I suspect he may be up against it here.
Battleoverdoyen (4/1 Boylesports) is a dual Grade 1 winning hurdler and a top prospect. His stable tend to do very well in this race and he looks the most likely winner, to me. He will stay, has gears and top race experience. He ticks a lot of boxes, for me.
Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle – Battleoverdoyen to win (4/1 Boylesports)