Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, Cheltenham, 1.30, 13th March 2018
There are many sights and sounds that make the Cheltenham Festival one of the jewels in the crown of British sport.
Right at the top of that list for most people is the roar that greets the start of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the first race at Prestbury Park. This is a Grade 1 hurdle run over two miles and half a furlong and has eight hurdles along the way. The ante post betting for this year’s Supreme has been interesting to say the least but what about the actual race?
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Tips
- Kalashnikov to win at 5/1 with BetVictor
- Sharjah each way at 20/1 with Coral
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Betting Offers
- Coral Money Back on ALL Losers as a Free Bet of up to £25 – Back a horse in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Coral – if it fails to win, they’ll give you your stake back as a free bet of up to £25! – CLAIM NOW (Important Info: 18+. UK+IRE only. Applies to first real money win or each way single of £/€1+ placed on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle from 8am 28/02/18 until off of race. Selected markets. Get max £25 back as free bet next day by 12pm. Free bet valid for 24 hrs. Must use in entirety on single racing bet. Applies to losing ‘win part’ of win & E/W singles. One free bet per customer. T&Cs Apply.)
- 888sport – 16/1 Enhanced Odds on Getabird to win – Back the favourite Getabird at enhanced odds of 16/1 to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. New customers only, use promo code BOOST. £10 minimum deposit required. Qualifying bet must be placed at the normal odds Min bet £5, max bet £5. Extra winnings paid in FREE BETS and added within 72 hrs of qualifying bet settlement. Free bet stakes not included in bet returns. Free bets expire 7 days after credit. This offer may not be combined with any other offer. Withdrawal restrictions and Terms & Conditions apply.
- William Hill Double Your Winnings on Win or Each Way Bets on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle – PAID IN CASH – Place a bet on the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham, and if your horse wins or places in the race (top 3), the bookie will double your winnings in cash up to a maximum of £100 – CLAIM NOW (APPLIES TO FIRST BET ON RACE ONLY. WINNINGS (BONUS) UP TO £100 CASH.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS, CUSTOMER RESTRICTIONS & TERMS APPLY. 18+, Please Gamble Responsibly.)
- Ladbrokes Double Winnings Offer – Back a horse in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Ladbrokes and if it wins, the bookie will double your winnings by up to £50 (as a free bet) – CLAIM NOW (18+. UK&IE only. Promo period 1.3.18 – 13:30 13.3.2018. Certain deposit methods excluded. Single bet on Supreme Novices excluding Forecasts, Tricasts or Tote Dividend = double winnings as free bets max £/€50. Additional winnings as free bets only (stake removed). Free bets used on Horse Racing only. Single free bets only. Free bet credited within 24 hours. Free bet valid for 24 hours. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.)
- 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 (18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.)
- 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
Samcro the Story but Kalashnikov the Value
Ante post betting is often fraught with danger. Although there are some very tasty prices about for those who get involved, predicting which races horses will compete in is tough enough before you factor in injuries and other problems. For the Cheltenham Festival, many bookies offer non runner, no bet terms and it’s this which has set tongues wagging with regards to the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Samcro, an incredibly exciting six-year-old for Gordon Elliott, was being offered non runner, no bet at up to 14/1 at one stage. Punters took full advantage and Samcro is now available at a best price of 2/1 with Bet365. That price is much more reflective of his chances but it still looks as though Samcro will be targeted at the Ballymore. There’s also an option offering better value in Kalashnikov.
Amy Murphy’s five-year-old has turned in some eye catching performances over the winter on ground which was much softer than he’d like. Kalashnikov would certainly prefer it if we got the typically firmer ground at Prestbury Park but he’s versatile enough to not be put off should the weekend rain leave the going on the softer side. His win in the Betfair Hurdle could serve as the template for the Supreme and 5/1 with BetVictor looks a very good price indeed.
Sharjah Worth Chancing to Bounce Back to Form
Willie Mullins was hopeful of a very big run from his inmate, Sharjah, just a few months ago but a couple of poor performances at Leopardstown recently have seen his price balloon all the way out to 20/1 with Coral.
Alarm bells always have to ring about a horse who has lost form quickly but Mullins knows how to wrestle back the best from his charges and Sharjah has shown enough over shorter distances to suggest he remains a threat. A win is probably beyond Sharjah but a place is not at a generous price.
It’s Called Gambling for a Reason
Everybody who is sitting on a bit of that 14/1 on Samcro will be praying for rain. The heavier it falls in the Cheltenham area, the better the chances of Samcro making an appearance in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Unfortunately, the gamble on him does look as though it will fall flat, at which stage Kalashnikov’s price will come in.
Getting the best price is all a matter of timing with a fair amount of luck thrown in. When it comes to the actual race though, the chances of both Kalashnikov and Sharjah simply must be respected.
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.