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2020 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle Tips - Williams' four-year-old to Star at Sandown

  • We take a look through the field set to run in the 2020 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle
  • This Grade Two is the feature race on day one of Sandown's Tingle Creek meeting
  • Star Gate heads the market for Evan Williams
  • Sending Love, Any News and Valleres will also run at Sandown on Friday
star gate chepstow
Star Gate winning at Chepstow on his hurdles debut. (Getty)

We take a look through the main event at Sandown on Friday 4th December and provide readers with our Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle tips.

The highlight on day one of Sandown's Tingle Creek meeting is the Grade Two Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle. This two-and-a-half-miler has been won by some excellent horses down the years, including Seemorebusiness, Inglis Drever and Neptune Collonges.

2020 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle Odds

Best Odds
Top Bookie
Star Gate6/4Betfair
Sending Love2/1William Hill
Any News5/1bet365
Valleres7/1William Hill
Press Your Luck12/1bet365

*Odds taken on 3/12/20*

2020 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle Tips

Paul Nicholls won this race for the fourth time with Enrilo 12 months ago and, after Threeunderthrufive didn't feature in the final declarations, seven-year-old Sending Love will be Nicholls' only runner. Sending Love broke his maiden tag at Ffos Las last month. He too seems to have plenty of ability, but seems more of a big, galloping three-miler than one who will be suited by Sandown.

Valleres was well beaten when Threeunderthrufive won at Ludlow the last day, and Alan King's charge will have to improve to get involved here. Press Your Luck made it two-from-two over hurdles when winning under a penalty at Uttoxeter, but the jury's out on how strong the form of either of his victories really is.

Any News outjumped an 11/10 favourite of Venetia Williams to score at Bangor on his reappearance, and looks a very nice prospect. However, so does STAR GATE, and I think Evan Williams' four-year-old will take all the beating.

Star Gate cruised to victory over two-and-a-half-miles at Chepstow in October. Williams' youngster played up a little beforehand, but produced a professional performance on the track, travelling comfortably on the pace before stretching clear down the home straight.

Adam Wedge's mount clocked some impressive closing sectional times that day. The form of that Chepstow win is looking strong too. Third-place Tide Times has come out and won since, while the fourth-placed horse, Royal Pretender stayed on for third in a hot novices' hurdle at Ascot, and was handed a rating of 127 for his troubles.

Star Gate produced a similar performance when winning on his sole start between the flags for Colin Bowe at Belharbour back in February. Despite jumping out to his right a little, I was really taken with the way Star Gate travelled, and Adam Wedge's mount really picked up after the final flight to put distance between himself and the short-priced favourite. 

Wedge and Williams celebrated Grade One success at this meeting with Espirit Du Large 12 months ago. Despite his stable's poor form over recent weeks, Star Gate is strong in the market for Friday's feature, which shows home impressed the bookies must have been with his debut victory. He looks the one to side with.



This looks a fascinating race, but I'm with favourite Star Gate, who really impressed on his hurdles bow at Chepstow, and he could be the best of this talented bunch. (Tipped at 5/2, now 6/4)

2020 Ballymore Winter Novices' Hurdle Tips: Star Gate Straight Win @150.00 at BetMGM - 25 Units

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