Jockey Harry Cobden and ‘best novice’ Bravemansgame ready for Irish rivals Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham
- Cobden says Bravemansgame is the ‘best novice’ he has ridden for Nicholls
- Six-year-old claimed an impressive victory in the Challow Hurdle at Newbury
- Ballymore betting is headed by Irish duo Bob Olinger and Gaillard Du Mesnil
Jockey Harry Cobden believes Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle hope Bravemansgame is the best novice hurdler he has ridden since he began his association with 11-time champion trainer Paul Nicholls.
The Ballymore betting is headed by Irish-trained Grade One winners Henry de Bromhead’s Bob Olinger and Willie Mullins’ Gaillard Du Mesnil.
But Cobden, whose 105 wins this season place him only seven behind defending champion Brian Hughes in an exciting title race, has high expectations.
Trainer Paul Nicholls with Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle hope Bravemansgame
The jockey said: ‘Bravemansgame is probably the best novice hurdler we have had at Ditcheat since I have been there. He just has something about him. He does stuff very easily.
‘He came over from Ireland having won a point-to-point and he was a shell of a horse. But he showed so much natural ability we thought he was special from day one. He won the Challow Hurdle last time by 10 lengths. It maybe wasn’t the most competitive Challow but it was just the way he went about it.
‘Any horse who wins a Grade One by 10 lengths must be pretty decent. I will ride him like the best horse in the race.’
Cobden’s mounts also include Nicholls-trained defending champion Politologue in the Queen Mother Champion Chase plus Colin Tizzard’s The Big Breakaway, who faces Irish hotpot Monkfish in the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.
Cobden added: ‘Politologue is coming back in great form again. He is a horse who gives his all every time. (Favourite) Chacun Pour Soi looks the real deal but we won’t be taking any prisoners from the third last.
‘I think The Big Breakaway has a massive chance. I don’t think we have seen the best from him yet.’