Joseph O’Brien_Horse Racing

No More Heroes In The Irish Daily Mirror

Irish Daily Mirror Novice Chase

Outright Betting

Wednesday’s Grade 1 Irish Daily Mirror Novice Hurdle (4.55) is a race that has been kind to punters over the years, with nine of the last 10 winners having emerged from the first six in the betting.

Mullins And Ruby To Strike?
Such evidence will give Shaneshill’s followers confidence ahead of day two, as Willie Mullins’ 6yo looks set to go off around the 11/8 mark.

It’s a price that has been well earned via victory in a Grade 2 at Fairyhouse earlier this month, though some may argue his 4l runner-up slot to the mighty Douvan at Cheltenham beforehand was a better performance.

Even so, Shaneshill’s last two efforts show that he is a force to be reckoned with, and as a half-brother to a 3m winner, there is encouragement to believe he can cope with Wednesday’s step up to 3m.

Heroes Could Be Super
There will be others, however, who may not want to take such odds about one unproven over an extra half-a-mile, which could offer value to No More Heroes, who has less to prove on the stamina front, having been a Points winner over 3m.

The fact Gordon Elliott’s 6yo was also a close third in the World Hurdle at Cheltenham (3m, soft), tells us the 6yo stays every yard of this trip, and he will look to exact revenge on Shaneshill, who beat No More Heroes under 2l over 2m4f in December.

It’s also worth noting that No More Heroes’ third last time has been a good omen in this race down the years, as those that triumphed prior to Punchestown failed to follow-up…

Trends Summary

Of the last 10 Novice Hurdle winners…

10 had 3-10 hurdle runs
10 ran during the last 11-60 days
9 were 5-6yo’s
9 came from the first six in the betting
9 were non-winners last time out
8 won during their last three outings
W Mullins won it twice

Thistle May Crack
Another key trend to jump out from above is that 5-6yo’s dominated, which could be a concern for the 7yo, Thistlecrack (8/1). Colin Tizzard’s gelding won’t be found wanting for stamina, though, having won a Grade 1 at Aintree several weeks ago (good to soft).

Fletcher To Fly?
Also on 8/1 is Harry Fry’s, Fletchers Flyer, winner of two minor 2m6f novices during the winter in the mud, who showed his class when a close runner-up in Grade 2 company last time (3m, soft). That career best showed Fletchers Flyer is still improving, and this 7yo could make the frame.

As with his stablemate, Willie Mullins’, Killultagh Vic (7/1), has yet to go beyond 2m4f under rules (was a 14l third in a 3m Point), and lines-up in fine fettle having won a 2m4f handicap at Cheltenham last month (soft).

Recommended Bets
Another warm Willie Mullins favourite dominates the market in Shaneshill, but as he is unproven over 3m, it may be worth siding with No More Heroes, who has won over this trip and was an excellent third in the World Hurdle last time.