Some vital Cheltenham Festival clues could be on offer at Kempton Park on Saturday afternoon as not only will the Adonis Juvenile Hurdle provide Triumph Hurdle pointers, but later in the day the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle will take centre stage at 3:00pm and some of the eight-strong field hold entries in next month’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
- Nicky Henderson has trained two of last four winners (saddles River Wylde)
- Capitaine won an Ascot Grade 2 earlier in the season
- Four of last five winners have been odds-on
|Saturday 25th February – 3.00pm||Odds||Won/Lost||Bet|
|Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle|
| Captain Forez to win
|@ 11 / 2||
Capitaine Heads Betting For Nicholls
Paul Nicholls trained Irving to victory in this race in 2014 and that raider propelled towards the head of the Supreme betting that year, and on Saturday the master of Ditcheat will unleash another exciting youngster in the shape of Capitaine, who is currently the 5/2 favourite with BetVictor for this prize, as he aims to bounce back from a defeat last time out.
A winner of a Grade 2 Ascot two starts ago, the five-year-old then bumped into the top-class Finian’s Oscar in the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown Park, and with him proving no match for Colin Tizzard’s classy youngster that day he will be hoping that he doesn’t bump into another elite Grade 1 winner in this event.
He was beaten five lengths that day, and may find it tough to return to winning ways here, as during his win at Ascot he shaped like a stiff track could suit his style, and with Kempton Park often being relished by quicker performers then he may just find it tough to produce his best, and his current price of 25/1 for next month’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle could be bigger, should he struggle here.
Wylde Bids For Hat-Trick, As Elgin Aims To Bounce Back
Nicky Henderson has saddled the winner of this race twice in the last four years (Forgotten Voice, 2013, Days Of Heaven, 2015) and he will unleash the progressive River Wylde, who has recorded two wins in a row at Ludlow, but this will be a lot tougher and at 7/2 with Paddy Power he could be a touch short now against proven Graded contenders.
He is 33/1 for the Supreme and you can never write off Henderson’s ability with these sort of contenders, but it could be wise to watch how this raider progresses, and the more likely challenger here is the Alan King-trained Elgin, who bumped into the top quality Neon Wolf in the Supreme Trial at Haydock Park, and with that charge being touted as a superstar then Elgin’s form could be amongst the best on show, so at 4/1 with bet365 he has to be given huge consideration.
Forez Tipped To Improve For Skelton
Dan Skelton’s Captain Forez is yet to taste victory, but with only three races under Rules he could be one runner open to improvement, and while he has form to turn around with Capitaine from their Ascot meeting he could be the value play at 11/2 with bet365 bookmakers,
He will be in receipt of 7lbs from Capitaine in this contest, and Skelton is certainly a trainer that can progress his horses with aplomb and Harry Skelton may adopt more prominent tactics in this race for his contender, so he may have the ability to turn the form around with Capitaine and land this prize.
Neil Mulholland’s Peter The Mayo Man is the only other feasible contender, but the 6/1 chance with bet365 was beaten at Musselburgh last time out, and while that track may not have suited him it’s hard to see him having another class to win this race, which can go the way of the Skelton-trained Captain Forez on Saturday afternoon.
2017 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle Odds
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