SUPREME NOVICES’ HURDLE

The Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the championship race for 2-mile novice hurdlers and traditional curtain-raiser to the Festival.

As such, it is greeted by the famous Cheltenham roar, as the tapes go up to signal the end of 12 months wait for the highlight of the jumps season.

Grade 1 | 4yo+ novices | Tuesday 13.30 
2 miles ½ furlong | 8 hurdles | Old Course
Weight: 10st 11lb (4yo) / 11st 7lb (5yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for fillies & mares
Prize money (2022): £135,000 | 1st: £75,965

It is often a stepping stone to further glory, with those involved in the finish frequently going on to even bigger and better things.

Unsurprisingly, a number of Supreme Novices' Hurdle winners have subsequently triumphed in the Champion Hurdle, including the great Bula.

Brave Inca was the last horse to win both races, but since then Binocular and Buveur d'Air both placed in the Supreme before going on to win the Champion Hurdle.

It has also showcased future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners - Best Mate, Kicking King and War Of Attrition were runners-up in 2000, 2003 and 2004 respectively.

More recently, Sizing John finished third in 2015 before winning the Gold Cup in 2017.

23 of the last 26 winners had won last time out
6 of the last 9 winners were rated between 153 & 155
9 of the last 10 winners were sent off at single figure odds
8 of the last 10 winners were trained by either Willie Mullins (5) or Nicky Henderson (3)
4 of the last 18 favourites won (2 joint-favourites)
Updated to include 2022 renewal

Willie Mullins has trained the winner of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle a total of seven times, but he has also saddled a number of beaten favourites in recent years:

Dysart Dynamo 9/4jf (2022), Asterion Forlonge 9/4f (2020), Getabird 7/4f (2018), Melon 3/1jf (2017) and Min 15/8f (2016).

But the market remains a decent guide - the enigmatic Lebaik is the only Supreme winner at double-figure odds in the last 10 renewals.

Very few genuine ex-flat horses have featured in the finish recently, with the emphasis instead being on NH pedigrees and, very often, high-class bumper form.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
5
148
11-7
2021
7
153
11-7
2020
6
153
11-7
2019
5
154
11-7
2018
6
150
11-7

RECENT WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Constitution Hill
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
9/4jf
2021
Appreciate It
Paul Townend / W P Mullins
8/11f
2020
Shishkin
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
6/1
2019
Klassical Dream
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
6/1
2018
Summerville Boy
Noel Fehily / Tom George
9/1
2017
Labaik
Jack Kennedy / Gordon Elliott
25/1
2016
Altior
Nico de Boinville / Nicky Henderson
4/1
2015
Douvan
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
2/1f
2014
Vautour
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
7/2jf
2013
Champagne Fever
Ruby Walsh / W P Mullins
5/1
2012
Cinders And Ashes
Jason Maguire / Donald McCain
10/1
2011
Al Ferof
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
10/1
2010
Menorah
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
12/1
2009
Go Native
Paul Carberry / Noel Meade
12/1
2008
Captain Cee Bee
Robert Thornton / Eddie Harty
17/2
2007
Ebaziyan
Davy Condon / W P Mullins
40/1
2006
Noland
Ruby Walsh / Paul Nicholls
6/1
2005
Arcalis
Graham Lee / Howard Johnson
20/1
2004
Brave Inca
Barry Cash / Colm Murphy
7/2f
2003
Back In Front
Norman Williamson / Edward O'Grady
3/1f
2002
Like-A-Butterfly
Charlie Swan / Christy Roche
7/4f
2001

Festival Cancelled
 
2000
Sausalito Bay
Paul Carberry / Noel Meade
14/1

Constitution Hill produced a performance for the ages in 2022, winning by 22 lengths in a new course record time.

He subsequently received a rating of 170, the highest ever given to a novice hurdler since Anglo-Irish Classifications began in 1999/2000:

Runner-up in the Champion Bumper 12 months earlier, Appreciate It fully justified market support to win the 2021 Supreme.

His 24-length victory was the widest winning margin in a hurdle at the Festival this century, albeit his closest pursuer fell at the last:

Shishkin edged out Abacadabras in a thrilling finish in 2020:

Klassical Dream was an emotional winner in 2019, with his owner John Coleman having passed away the previous year:

Summerville Boy snatched victory in the last few strides in 2018, despite errors at the final two hurdles:

Labaik was a surprise winner in 2017, not least because of a tendency to refuse to start races:

Altior won a classic Supreme Novices' Hurdle renewal in 2016, beating the likes of Min and Buveur D'Air:

Douvan bolted up to justify considerable pre-race hype in 2015, with future Gold Cup winner Sizing John third:

Vautour powered to the first of his three Cheltenham Festival wins in the 2014 Supreme Novices' Hurdle:

Champagne Fever, winner of the Champion Bumper in 2012, won what proved to be a vintage renewal of the Supreme in 2013.

The race also featured the 2014 Champion Hurdle winner Jezki, the 2015 Champion Chase winner Dodging Bullets and three-time Festival winner Cause Of Causes:

Future superstars Sprinter Sacre and Cue Card both came up short in the 2011 Supreme:

Looking back further, Brave Inca's clash with War Of Attrition in 2004 was a classic.

Brave Inca went on to win the Champion Hurdle in 2006 and War Of Attrition the Gold Cup in the same year:

While in 2000, the future three-time Gold Cup winner Best Mate couldn't reel in Sausalito Bay, despite a late charge: