Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Cheltenham, 1.30, 13th March 2018
Day One of the Cheltenham Festival opens with the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Here we highlight the best odds and betting offers available and provide our betting tips for what is always a thrilling contest.
As the starter lowers his flag, the Cheltenham roar will go up to greet the start of another four days of unsurpassed jumping action. First run in 1946 and now the opening race of the meeting, this Grade 1 Hurdle over 2miles 87yards offers Cheltenham glory and total prize money in excess of £115,000+.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Offers
- Coral Fallers Insurance – money back as a free bet of up to £25 if your horse falls, plus new customers can claim £20 in free bets when they join and bet £5 – CLAIM NOW
- Other free bets, enhanced odds and other offers for this race will be listed in due course… in the meantime check out the latest Cheltenham Festival betting offers.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Tips and Race Preview
Willie Mullins saddled the winner in this race on three consecutive occasions between 2013 and 2015. The racing veteran could well add to his tally this year as he has two of the strongest names from the early entries, Getabird and Sharjah. The odds have shifted from 11/1 to 15/2 to Sharjah and it seems punters are willing to look past the fall at Leopardstown given that the five-year-old was running strong prior to it.
The fall at the last does however mean that the Sharjah is without a high class victory unlike his stablemate who picked up a Grade 2 victory in emphatic fashion on his first start of the calendar year. The dominant performance has helped make Getabird the early favourite here but he’s not the only name without a graded victory. Claimantakinforgan won a Grade 2 Supreme Novices’ trail race just prior to Christmas, perfect preparation for this test.
The Nicky Henderson entry took part in the Festival last year, finishing third from 22 in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper. He’s taken well to the hurdles this season though and looks set for a useful National Hunt campaign. As a longer odds alternative, you may want to consider Sayar, another Mullins trained option.
He’s a new addition to the Mullins yard having switched stables last summer and he’s began life under his new trainer very impressively. With a Grade 3 win already under his belt, the five-year-old is one to watch out for if preferred for this test.
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Previous Winners
- 2017 – Labaik – jockey Jack Kennedy, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2016 – Altior – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2015 – Douvan – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2014 – Vautour – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2013 – Champagne Fever – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2012 – Cinders And Ashes – jockey Jason Maguire, trainer Donald McCain
- 2011 – Al Ferof – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2010 – Menorah – jockey Richard Johnson, trainer Philip Hobbs
- 2009 – Go Native – jockey Paul Carberry, trainer Noel Meade
- 2008 – Captain Cee Bee – jockey Robert Thornton, trainer Eddie Harty
- 2007 – Ebaziyan – jockey Davy Condon, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2006 – Noland – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle History
Appearing at Cheltenham for the first time in 1946, this event was initially known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle, a title which it retained until 1974. Such was the demand for the race in the early days that it often had to be split into two or even three separate divisions in order to accommodate the number of runners. King amongst the trainers in this initial phase was Irish legend Vincent O’Brien. The County Cork native recorded ten wins in all, including a remarkable period from 1955-1959. Ten divisions of the race were run over this time, Vincent O’Brien won no fewer than eight of them.
1972 was the first year the race was run as a single division, a format which has been maintained to this day. A variety of sponsors have been associated with the contest since this time, with Lloyds Bank being the first in 1974. Waterford Crystal came next in 1978, the year in which the title of Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was first introduced. The race is now recognised as the top two mile novice hurdle contest of the racing year. Betting firm Sky Bet took over sponsorship duties in 2014.
Noting horses to run well here can a fairly useful guide to future festivals. A number of runners have gone on to further Cheltenham success following a win in this race. Bula. Hors La Loi III and Brave Inca all went on to take the Champion Hurdle. Flying Bolt later won the Champion Chase and Vautour took the JLT Novices Chase. 1968 winner, L’Escargot, went on to win the biggest prizes of all, The Cheltenham Gold Cup (twice) and the Grand National at Aintree.
It was an Irish trainer tasted the most success when the race was spread across a number of divisions and little has changed since the single division format was introduced. Willie Mullins leads the way since 1972 with five wins, including three in a row from 2013-2015.
Jockey aboard Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015) was fellow Irishman Ruby Walsh. That hat-trick allayed to a pair of wins for Paul Nicholls, aboard Noland in 2006 and Al Ferof in 2011, put the man from County Kildare out in front amongst the jockeys.
Being a novice hurdle contest it is unsurprising that younger runners dominate when looking through the list of previous winners. Horses have generally progressed beyond novice hurdling by the time they reach the age of 8. That didn’t stop Beau Caprice from taking the prize in 1966 though at the grand old age of 12, making him easily the oldest winner in the history of the race.