Supreme Novices Hurdle

The opening race of the Festival. Here we highlight the essential trends you should be aware of when making your selections for the Supreme Novices hurdle.

A two mile race for novice hurdlers which often produces winners who continue to shine at the Festival in future years.

Paddy PowerSupreme Cashback
If your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle Paddy Power will refund your losing stake up to £50. See Paddy Power site for full details.

Cheltenham 2013, Supreme Novices
Champagne Fever leads the field in the Supreme Novices

To see key trends for any of the other Cheltenham races, click the menu links on the left.

Supreme Novices Hurdle Trends

10/10had won at least 50% of their hurdle starts
10/10 had run within the last 52 days
9/10were aged five or six
8/10 won last time out
7/10had previously contested a Graded race

Supreme Novices Hurdle Trends Analysis

The Supreme Novices is a great race to get involved in from an ante-post perspective and with the exception of Ebaziyan in 2007 shocks have been fairly rare recently in this race.

Concentrate on five and six-year-olds as they have won all bar six of the renewals of this event since 1972! The only recent exceptions to the age trend have both been owned by JP McManus so if your fancy is seven or older but owned by JP it might still have a chance.

Supreme Novices Hurdle Last Ten Winners

Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).

2013Champagne Fever6yoW MullinsR Walsh 5/1
2012Cinders And Ashes5yoD McCainJ Maguire10/1
2011Al Ferof5yoP NichollsR Walsh10/1
2010Menorah5yoP HobbsR Johnson12/1
2009Go Native6yoN MeadeP Carberry12/1
2008Captain Cee Bee7yoE HartyR Thornton17/2
2007Ebaziyan6yoW MullinsD Condon40/1
2006Noland5yoP NichollsR Walsh6/1
2005Arcalis5yoJ H JohnsonG Lee20/1
2004Brave Inca6yo C MurphyB Cash7/2F

Supreme Novices Preview

This race has been one of the highlights of the Festival for Irish horses with twelve of the last twenty-two winners, so it could pay to focus any ante-post selection on the outcome of the main Irish novice hurdle trials: the Paddy Power Future Champion Novice, The Deloitte and The Royal Bond.

The form of the previous season's Champion Bumper used to be a notoriously bad trial for the Supreme Novices but this seems to be changing with the last three Supreme winners previously running in the Champion Bumper.

Supreme Novices Tip

Irving has very strong claims here but all the value appears to have been drained out of his price, especially for a horse yet to encounter the course or to have won racing left-handed.

We have to go back to Brave Inca in 2004 to find the last favourite to oblige in this race and since then six favourites have been 5/2 or shorter and all have been beaten.

In the circumstances it may be best to look elsewhere for the first winner of the Festival and one that appeals is the Willie Mullins trained WICKLOW BRAVE.

Abandoned by Ruby Walsh in favour of Vautour but Walsh stated there was little between the horses and you have to wonder if this a tactical move to ensure he is riding for the stable’s most powerful owners; Mr and Mrs Ricci.

It will be interesting to see how often Walsh is not on a Ricci horse this week when the stable has more than one runner.

Paul Townend is a top class deputy and whilst WICKLOW BRAVE definitely needs to brush up his jumping to win a race like this that is distinctly possible as he looks the type to improve even further when granted a fast pace.

The son of Beat Hollow (as was 2012 winner of this race Cinders And Ashes) managed the unusual feat of winning three Bumpers between July and October but it is since he has turned to hurdling that he has come into his own.

Highly regarded by the stable, WICKLOW BRAVE has shown impressive acceleration to win his two hurdle races on heavy ground and with the switch to better ground also likely to suit he looks very capable of making his presence felt here.

It’s possible his price will get bigger as punters latch on to Irving and Vautour so if you are going to back this horse make sure you find a bookmaker who is offering Best Odds Guaranteed.

Quote from Willie Mullins after Wicklow Brave’s latest win:

“I thought he could do something like that on good ground, but I didn’t think he’d do it on this sort of ground (soft).He pulled very hard and the pace they will go over there will suit him much better.
To pull out what he did going to the last, having pulled as hard as he did in the first part of the race, was very good I thought.”

Back WICKLOW BRAVE @ 7/1 with Paddy Power , best odds guaranteed

Paddy PowerSupreme Cashback
If your horse finishes 2nd, 3rd or 4th in the Supreme Novices Hurdle Paddy Power will refund your losing stake up to £50. See Paddy Power site for full details.

Supreme Novices Hurdle Odds

Full list of the runners and the 2014 Surpeme Novices Hurdle Odds.

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