Pigeon Island dented some big reputations when winning the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle on his seventeenth start of the season. Clearly he is no trends horse for this race having been so busy (I can’t recall a winner of the Festival opener that had raced more than five times in a season - the less the better in my opinion), but this looked his best ever performance to me and his trainer confirmed he will go here though, given his toughness, it would not surprise me if he ran in the County Hurdle as well.
Nigel Twiston-Davies’ previous Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner, Arctic Kinsman, also contested the Dovecote Hurdle but Pigeon Island went two places better than that shock 50/1 winner of the Festival opener. Apparently Numide blew hard after the race suggesting all was not well as he was clearly race-fit so maybe something will come to light and he could still take his chance.
At Paul Nicholls’ press day last week he mentioned that Rippling Ring may not yet fully acclimatised reportedly going very woolly in his coat which is slightly worrying for his chances. Two of the most talked about northern novices, Kalahari King and Striking Article, were both beaten at the weekend so their Supreme Novices’ Hurdle chances look dead in the water.
Bet with William Hill on the Supreme Novices Hurdle