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Cheltenham

  • 13:30 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2m 110y

  • (Grade 1) £120,000 added 4yo+ 18 ran
  • Winner £68,340 2nd £25,644 3rd £12,840 4th £6,396
  • Going: Good to Soft, Good in places
  • Surface: Turf
    Weighed In
  • Winning time: 3m 46.40s
  • Off time: 13:30:30

Irving heads Supreme entries

Last Updated: 05/03/14 6:47pm

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Faugheen: Still has Supreme option

Faugheen: Still has Supreme option

Irving, 5/2 favourite with the sponsors, heads 29 six-day declarations for the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, the opening race of the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

Paul Nicholls' contender rose to the head of the ante-post betting for the race after an impressive win in the Sky Bet Dovecote at Kempton on his latest start.

He and the rest of the the well-fancied horses for the race stand their ground, with Willie Mullins keeping his options open with five left in; Faugheen, Renneti, Vautour, Valseur Lido and Wicklow Brave.

Nicky Henderson has Vaniteux and Josses Hill in there, while JP McManus's Gilgamboa, trained by Enda Bolger, is his sole entry.

David Pipe relies on The Liquidator and Pleasant Company after Dell' Arca was taken out, while Betfair Hurdle winner Splash Of Ginge represents Nigel Twiston-Davies.

The only juvenile entered is John Quinn's Pearl Castle, while Alan King relies on Wilde Blue Yonder after First Mohican was taken out.

Kim Bailey has confirmed In Ace on course for the race, saying: "He worked and schooled this morning and I was very happy with him, so providing everything goes to plan we hope to be at Cheltenham on Tuesday. He wants good ground so the drying conditions should suit him.

"He was particularly impressive when he won at Doncaster. He has obviously only had the one run over hurdles but I don't think he is a horse that needs a lot of experience as he is a six-year-old rather than a five-year-old. I am very happy with him."

Michael Shinners, Racing PR Manager for Sky Bet, commented: "The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' is all set to be a magnificent contest with the very best novice hurdlers from Britain and Ireland set to take their chance. It should provide the perfect curtain-raiser to The Festival.

"All of the leading contenders remain engaged and Irving is our current 5/2 market leader following his victory in the Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle at Kempton last month."

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