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Weekend Review: Tahmuras stakes Supreme claim with Tolworth victory

10 Jan 2023
It was a case of New Year, same old story, after the Paul Nicholls-trained Tahmuras landed the first Grade One of 2023 when taking Saturday’s Tolworth Hurdle, coming as it did just a week after the final top level contest of 2022 also went the way of the champion trainer, when Hermes Allen ran out an impressive winner of Newbury’s Coral Challow Hurdle.  

While the latter was immediately made 3/1 market leader for the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival, the Coral compilers were less struck by the Sandown performance, although the initial 16/1 about Tahmuras for the Supreme Novices’ was shortened to 10/1 by the end of the weekend. The Festival curtain-raiser looks to be the target for the 6-y-o, with Nicholls confirming he wouldn’t want the stablemates to clash in the Ballymore. 

Sandown’s other big Festival clue came courtesy of Love Envoi’s victory in the Listed Mares’ Hurdle. Winner of the Mares’ Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last season, Harry Fry’s charge is set to be given a Stayers’ Hurdle entry as well this time around, although connections were quick to confirm the Mares’ Hurdle will be her primary aim come March, a race she is now 9/2 second favourite for, behind only 3/1 favourite, Marie’s Rock.


There was a familiar feel to the best of the Sunday action in Ireland, with Willie Mullins responsible for two big winners. Appreciate It duly obliged in the two-mile novice chase as easily as a 1/9 shot should, and the 2021 Supreme Novices’ winner remains 9/2 second favourite for the Arkle, behind Jonbon at 11/8. 

Mullins also won the day’s Grade One feature, albeit perhaps not with the horse the market would have predicted. Grangeclare West was the Closutton representative sent off favourite for the Lawlor’s Of Naas Novice Hurdle, but Paul Townend’s mount could finish no closer than fifth, more than ten lengths adrift of the Danny Mulllins-ridden Champ Kiely. There appeared to be little fluke to that success, and as a result his odds for the Ballymore were halved initially to 8/1, before a further contraction to 6/1, behind the aforementioned Hermes Allen, now the 11/4 market leader.

David Stevens, Head of Coral PR

Odds shown as of 08:40 09/01/2023.
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