10-1 joint favorite for the William Hill Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Waaheb has been taken out of the Cheltenham Festival by trainer Dermot Weld.
“Unfortunately Waaheb has had a few minor hold-ups and it will not be possible to give him an ideal preparation or a race before Cheltenham. Consequently, he will not be running at the festival,” Weld said.
The Supreme would have been the first hurdle race for the five year old, who has won three bumpers in the last season. There are now hopes he will be ready in time for the Punchestown festival.
While Sivola De Sivola is still entered for the Pertemps Final Handicap Hurdle (where he is currently 14 for Bet365 and WilliamHill ), he will miss Saturday’s William Hill Lanzarote Hurdle at Kempton.
“We were thinking of giving him two runs before the Pertemps Final but will probably give him just the one now” - trainer Tom George.
The Pertemps is over 3 miles and tends to have a lot of changes and surprises leading up to the big day, so it might be worth holding off the betting until a little closer to the time, but checking the odds constantly.
The last ten winners of this race:
2011 Buena Vista David Pipe 20/1
2010 Buena Vista David Pipe 16/1
2009 Kayf Aramis Venetia Williams 16-1
2008 Ballyfitz 8 N A Twiston-Davies 18/1
2007 Oscar Park 8 D W P Arbuthnot 14/1
2006 Kadoun 9 M O´Brien 50/1
2005 Oulart 6 D Hughes 10/1
2004 Creon 9 Jonjo O’Neill 50/1
2003 Inching Closer 6 Jonjo O’Neill 6/1F
2002 Freetown 6 L Lungo 20/1
2000 Rubhahunish 9 N Twiston-Davies 8/1
However one horse that is not missing any trials is Baby Mix, who is all set to participate in the opener on Cheltenham trials day on January 28.
“I’ve been very happy with him, he does his work very easily, and he is where we want him really.” – Trainer Tom George.
Baby Mix is the ante-post favourite for the JCB Triumph Hurdle at 8/1 with Ladbrokes or William Hill, and 7 with Bet365. The January Trial will be a Grade 2, but the actual race is a Grade 1. Generally the trial run has been a good guide to the Triumph Hurdle winners, so this would be one to watch closely.
Last Ten Winners of the JCB Triumph Hurdle:
2011 Zarkandar P Nicholls 13/2
2010 Soldatino N Henderson 6/1
2009 Zaynar N Henderson 6 11-2
2008 Celestial Halo 4 P F Nicholls 5/1
2007 Katchit 4 A King 11/2
2006 Detroit City 4 P J Hobbs 7/2F
2005 Penzance 4 A King 9/1
2004 Made In Japan 4 P Hobbs 20/1
2003 Spectroscope 4 Jonjo O’Neill 20/1
2002 Scolardy 4 W Mullins 16/1
2000 Snow Drop 4 F Doumen 7/1
And that’s all for today. But tomarrow will undoubtedly bring yet more excitement.