Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips: Angels Breath the one to be on at Ascot

The 2018 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips given by Horsbetting.com experts say the highly-touted Angels Breath is worth a wager to make a winning debut for trainer Nicky Henderson in the Grade 2 contest at Ascot on Friday, 21 December. Thomas Darby brings the strongest form into the race, so is feared most. Seddon, meanwhile, looks to hold leading each-way claims in a cracking renewal. Read our in-depth 2018 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips preview below for more details on these horses’ chances.

Coral logo
Odds
5/2
Selection
Angels Breath
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Unibet logo
Odds
5/2
Danger
Thomas Darby
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Betvictor logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Seddon
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Angels Breath taken to kick Kennel Gate rivals into touch

Angels Breath makes his eagerly awaited debut for trainer Nicky Henderson in the 2m Grade 2 Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle at Ascot on Friday (13:55), and is taken to make it a winning one. The Seven Barrows handler is the most successful in the race with five victories since 1994 – including Claimantakingforgan last year.

In Angels Breath, he has a four-year-old who created a huge impression when winning his sole start in an Irish point at Moira. After racing prominently throughout, the son of Shantou took up the running approaching the last before forging clear on the run in to easily beat Tanrudy by 12 lengths.

Although what he beat is questionable, there was no denying the visual impression that Angels Breath created in getting the job done with the minimum fuss. It was a performance which marked him out as a hugely exciting prospect and saw him get snapped up by owner Dai Walters.

Highly-regarded sort

Henderson has made no secret of the high regard in which he is held and described him earlier in the week as “a horse I think an awful lot of.” The fact that he has decided to pitch Angels Breath straight into Grade 2 company speaks volumes, and the gelding has reportedly been working in terrific style at home ahead of this.

Angels Breath is already being talked of as a contender for the Supreme Novices Hurdle – despite having not yet run under rules. He is currently a top-price 25/1 for the traditional curtain-raiser at the Cheltenham Festival next March.

If he is to live up to those lofty expectations, then he has to be winning – or going very close – in this. So, with the stable continuing to be in terrific form and operating at a strike rate of 23 per cent in the last fortnight at the time of writing, Angels Breath had to be the main selection in our 2018 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips to take this en route to better things.

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Thomas Darby a leading form player

Thomas Darby is officially the highest rated in the line-up and has some solid form in the book, so looks the obvious danger to the selection. After scoring in good style on his sole bumper start, this Olly Murphy trained five-year-old made a winning bow over hurdles when landing a competitive 13-runner contest at Cheltenham.

After being held-up towards the rear, the son of Beneficial made good headway three from home to throw down a challenge approaching the final flight. He then quickened smartly in the run-in to beat Elixir De Nutz by 3 1/4 lengths despite showing distinct signs of greenness.

Cheltenham form looks good

It was a very taking and commanding performance and the runner-up is unbeaten in two starts since, including when landing a Grade 2 at the same venue to be rated 140. That gives the form a very strong look and Thomas Darby has since lost little in defeat when runner-up to Didtheyleaveuoutto over this course and distance last month.

He went down fighting by a head following a ding dong tussle at the last and the winner is a very exciting prospect. That pair also pulled nicely clear of the third home, so again the form looks strong.

The form shown by Thomas Darby sets a clear standard in this and his rating of 138 may well underestimate his ability, given his impressive aforementioned success over Elixir De Nutz. He looks sure to make a bold bid to go one better and get back to winning ways in the hands of Champion jockey Richard Johnson, so had to feature among our potential Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips.

Seddon another with claims

In what is a cracking renewal of the Kennel Gate, the Tom George trained Seddon is another that cannot be ruled out – despite not living up to expectations last time out. That run came in a Grade 2 at Cheltenham where he was sent of the even-money favourite, but could finish only third of five to Elixir De Nutze.

His cause that day wasn’t helped by a bad mistake four from home and hurdles after that being omitted due to the low sun. However, he rallied well to snatch third close home and be beaten just over four lengths and far from disgraced given the circumstances.

Prior to that, the five-year-old looked a smart prospect. After making a winning debut in a bumper at Musselburgh when staying on strongly to score comfortably by five lengths, he  was then far from disgraced when pitched into Grade 1 company and finishing 12th of 23 to Relegate in the Champion Bumper at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

Plenty more to come in this sphere

Seddon appealed as the type that would come into his own when sent hurdling, and that view was confirmed when he landed a 10-runner contest at Stratford last month where, after tracking the leaders, he took up the running approaching the last before quickening clear to beat Not That Fuisse by 4 1/2 lengths.

It was a very taking display and the turn of foot shown by Seddon was impressive.The runner-up is also a smart sort who has since finished a fine sixth of 13 in the valuable Grade 3 Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham before finding only Al Dancer too good in a decent nine-runner handicap at the same venue.

Judged on that performance, Seddon is a leading contender in this. That’s why, at the odds on offer, he features as the each-way selection and thus completes our 2018 Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle betting tips.

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