Supreme Novices' Hurdle with Conor Shoemark

The Cheltenham Festival kicks off with the Supreme Novices Hurdle, a race that Willie Mullins has trained the winner of six times.

We spoke to former jockey Conor Shoemark about the race and whether he thinks Mullins could train his seventh Supreme winner.

Who do you think wins the Supreme Novices Hurdle?

“I really like the favourite, APPRECIATE IT. I don’t think he has done anything wrong at all, his last win over Ballyadam at Leopardstown by three-and-a-quarter lengths was pretty impressive and he’ll be going off the same weights again at Cheltenham. He has got course form too so I don’t think there is a whole lot to oppose about him.”

 

The second-favourite in the market is Metier, is Harry Fry’s gelding a threat?

“I’m not too sure if he is, he won well at Sandown in the Grade One but I’m not sure what he actually beat. I’m not sure how good the second-placed horse, Shakem Up’Arry, is and I think he has a bit to prove.”

 

As a result of Appreciate It being such a strong favourite, the market is full of big priced runners that have an each-way chance. Are there any you fancy?

“ I ride a horse every day called THIRD TIME LUCKI, I’m not sure if he will go for this race but I think he is going to Cheltenham. I think if the ground is good he won’t be too far away, he was fourth in the Champion Bumper there last year. If he does actually go for this race then he would have a chance.

“Willie Mullins has got so many in the race that have won Novice Hurdles before, you just don’t know what they are and how good they are so they might have something coming into the race in great form.”

 

How do you see the race panning out for Appreciate It?

“I don’t know where the pace is in the race but it will be a fast run race, it usually is at Cheltenham. He stays very well and, with that Cheltenham form, there’s no problem with him going up the hill. He will take all the beating.”

As a result of Appreciate It being such a strong favourite, the market is full of big priced runners that have an each-way chance. Are there any you fancy?

“ I ride a horse every day called THIRD TIME LUCKI, I’m not sure if he will go for this race but I think he is going to Cheltenham. I think if the ground is good he won’t be too far away, he was fourth in the Champion Bumper there last year. If he does actually go for this race then he would have a chance.

“Willie Mullins has got so many in the race that have won Novice Hurdles before, you just don’t know what they are and how good they are so they might have something coming into the race in great form.”

 

How do you see the race panning out for Appreciate It?

“I don’t know where the pace is in the race but it will be a fast run race, it usually is at Cheltenham. He stays very well and, with that Cheltenham form, there’s no problem with him going up the hill. He will take all the beating.”

What do you see the long-term plan being for Appreciate It? He’s already the favourite for the 2022 Arkle, do you think he looks on track for that?

“He’s a big horse and he looks every bit a chaser. It seems the progressive step to go chasing next year and going for the Arkle, maybe he could even get further than that (two miles) next year.”

 

Appreciate It is best priced at 7/4 with Sky Bet, Bet365 and William Hill

Metier is best priced at 7/1 with Bet365 and William Hill

Third Time Lucki is best priced at 40/1 with Sky Bet

Appreciate It is best priced at 14/1 with Sky Bet for the 2022 Arkle