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Ladbrokes News vs Pricewise: Mullins’ duo value to see off Douvan

| 10.02.2015

It’s the same every year, the muddle of which race Willie Mullins will target with which of his welter army.

For the opener at this year’s Cheltenham Festival, the County Carlow handler has no fewer than six horses at 20/1 or shorter in Ladbrokes’ current market.

But while current Supreme Novices’ Hurdle favourite Douvan looks like he could be an absolute monster, the 7/4 currently available is not a tempting antepost proposition in the slightest.

As we look to combat the might of Pricewise, we are picking a couple to take on the jolly at bigger prices, and these two are horses the one at the top of the market will be all too familiar with.

Shaneshill – 14/1

The 2014 Champion Bumper runner-up seems to have been a forgotten horse somewhat.

With Mullins’ Nichols Canyon shorter in the betting, yet looking likely to target the Neptune, there could be some value in the other Graham Wylie-owned charge.

He has been campaigned at 2m4f over obstacles so far this campaign, but certainly has the pace for the minimum trip, winning the Grade 1 bumper at Punchestown over 2m.

His defeat last time out was an interesting run.

Having travelled well throughout, a mistake four-out put 3l between him and the leading pair, but the response Ruby Walsh got when he asked him to close was very taking.

He accelerated nicely into the lead, and was only beaten by the stamina of Neptune-bound No More Heroes.

He has however won over 2m4f, so will have plenty left in the tank coming up the hill at Cheltenham, and with wins on various types of ground is one to rely on for a big run.

Alvisio Ville – 16/1

On a day at Leopardstown when it was all about AP McCoy, his spin round on Alvisio Ville in the Deloitte Novices’ Hurdle would have been a rare disappointment.

Backed into 11/10f on only his second hurdles start, much was hoped of the champion trainer’s charge.

But having travelled keenly throughout, there was nothing left to reel in Nichols Canyon who scooted clear up the run-in.

He wasn’t given a hard time by McCoy once it was clear his stablemate had got away, so you can treat that race as an education, one at the top level in fact.

Given a stronger pace in the Supreme Novices’, which is always likely, his keenness won’t hinder him so much, and with a round of jumping like that displayed at the Dublin track, he could be on the premises.

JP McManus has had seven horses place in this race in the last 10 years, so hopefully it could be this one that adds just a second green and gold hooped winner in that period.

Here’s how the picks are looking…

Pricewise-supreme-novicesAll Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Ben Stones

Ladbrokes News’ equine expert, Ben likes nothing more than studying the form to pick out a winner or two for our readers. A Journalism and Media Studies graduate from the University of Winchester, Ben has previously written for a number of football and racing blogs and websites, as well as contributing to the sports pages of his home-town newspaper.