Held on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival each March, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a Group One National Hunt hurdle race run over a distance of two miles and half a furlong. The race is open to horses aged four years or older who have eight hurdles to clear on the Old Course. This page is here to bring you up to speed with everything you need to know about betting on the race that traditionally opens the “Greatest Show On Turf”.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2022 Stats
|Date||Tuesday, March 15 2022|
|Race Distance||Two miles & half a furlong|
|Number of Jumps||Eight|
|Horses’ Minimum Age||Four Years|
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Odds
|Three Stripe Life||14/1|
|Allegorie de Vassey||20/1|
|The Nice Guy||28/1|
|Bring On The Night||28/1|
|A Different Kind||50/1|
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips
There is nothing else quite like it at the Cheltenham Festival, which is why this traditional curtain raiser is such a popular race. But because there are always a lot of new horses in the field it can be a tough one to predict. Punters looking for pointers would do well to look over a number of key races that take place beforehand.
Firstly, the Group One Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown is worth revisiting. See also the Group Two Moscow Flyer Hurdle at Punchestown as well as the official trials such as the Supreme Trial at the November Meeting.
Willie Mullins is looking for a record extending eighth win in day one’s opener. Although the distinguished trainer has a number of runners, his hopes lie primarily with Sir Gerhard and Dysart Dynamo, the latter of whom came home first in the previously mentioned Moscow Flyer Hurdle in January.
Favourite at the time of writing, Constitution Hill was very impressive when claiming victory in the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle where he travelled strongly and jumped exceedingly well, two critical skills that are required for this race. After going second three from home, he took the lead and went clear approaching last and was uncatchable from then on. New customers can get 33/1 on either Constitution Hill or Dysart Dynamo to win the opening race of day one.
Another impressive performance was witnessed earlier in the season when brother to the much loved 2015 winner, Douvan, Jonbon made his hurdling debut at Newbury in the Maiden Hurdle in November. The six year old has since backed that up with three successive wins over jumps but trainer Nicky Henderson is keen to play things down for the JP McManus’ £570,000 purchase at the moment even if he does represent good value at 7/2 which may not last long.
New customers, hurry now and 33/1 on either Constitution Hill or Dysart Dynamo!
All About The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
This is a hurdle race for horses who are aged four years or older. It takes place over two miles and half a furlong, with eight hurdles to be navigated on a left handed track. As the first race on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, this is a Group One race that ignites the famous Cheltenham Roar as the four day celebration of all things National Hunt kicks into gear. As a novice race, many of the runners are likely to be taking part in their first season over obstacles having possibly made the step up from Bumpers or a switch from flat racing.
Four year olds running in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle are required to carry a weight of 10st 13lbs and five year olds must carry 11st 7lbs, while mares and fillies get a 7lb allowance. You might think that the weight advantage would favour the younger runners but in fact we haven’t had a four year old winner yet this century.
You need to go all of the way back to 1999 for the last time a four year old won the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle when the great Hors La Loi III destroyed the field in 1999. And, before that, King Pele was the previous four year old winner in 1973, one year after the race was converted into a single run. Five year olds and six year olds have the best record in this race which seems to favour slightly older runners.
A History Of The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was first run in 1946, then known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle. The race was originally split into two or three separate divisional races which was later reduced to two for every year save for 1963, before becoming a single race in 1972.
It was in 1974 that the race was rebranded to its modern day name. Nothing about the entry allowances for the race was altered however as the runners still needed to be novices which is to mean that, except for the current season, only horses that have not previously won a race over hurdles are eligible to run.
Over the years, the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which is often viewed as a springboard for successful National Hunt careers, has produced some celebrated winners that are remembered as legends of the sport to this day. These include names such as the 1968 winner L’Escargot, 1970 winner Bula, 1999 winner Hors La Loi III, 2004 winner Brave Inca and 2016 winner Altior. Perhaps the most notable though is Flyingbolt who is considered to be among the greatest National Hunt horses of all time.
Former Winners of Supreme Novices’ Hurdle
|2021||8/11 Fav||Appreciate It||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|2020||6/1||Shishkin||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2019||6/1||Klassical Dream||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2018||9/1||Summerville Boy||Noel Fehily||Tom George|
|2017||25/1||Labaik||Jack Kennedy||Gordon Elliott|
|2016||4/1||Altior||Nico de Boinville||Nicky Henderson|
|2015||2/1||Douvan||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2014||7/2||Vautour||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2013||5/1||Champagne Fever||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2012||10/1||Cinders And Ashes||Jason Maguire||Donald McCain|
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Records
- During an eight year spell in the 1950s, the Irish trainer Vincent O’Brien recorded an astonishing ten victories in the race.
- The race’s all time leading jockey since the race became a single race in 1972 is Ruby Walsh with six wins.
- As for the all time leading trainer since 1972, this is Willie Mullins who has trained seven winners here.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting FAQs
Who is the favourite to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?
This could change but right now it is Constitution Hill.
Which channel broadcasts the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?
In Ireland, viewers looking to watch the race can do so on Virgin Media.
What is the distance of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is two miles and half a furlong long.
Is this a right handed track or a left handed track?
The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is run on a left handed track.
Are winning favourites common or rare in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle?
Actually, because many of the horses are competing at the start of their National Hunt careers, winning favourites are fairly uncommon and we have seen many winners with longer odds, some of whom, as was the case with the 2016 champion Altior, have gone on to become massive stars in horse racing.