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Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2020 Racecard

The Supreme Novices' Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race which takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March. Open to horses aged four years or older who are novices (meaning they hadn’t won a race over hurdles prior to that season), the Supreme Novices' Hurdle is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about two miles and half a furlong (2 miles and 87 yards), with eight hurdles to be jumped.

1:30

Tuesday 10 March

Distance: 16f 87y Age: 4yo + Prize: £125000 Going: Soft (Heavy in places)

FORM
ENTRY
SILK HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
ODDS

1
jockey silks 1. ABACADABRAS (FR)
J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
6
11-7
Smart bumper winner who is 3-4 over hurdles, runner-up to Envoi Allen in Grade 1 at Fairyhouse before landing odds in Grade 1 at Leopardstown. Strong traveller who must enter calculations.
33 stars

2
jockey silks 2. ALLART (IRE)
J: James Bowen
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-7
Fell first on his hurdling bow but has looked exciting prospect since when easily landing odds in 2m novices at Ludlow and Doncaster. Much better to come and 1 of 3 runners for yard.
33 stars

3
jockey silks 3. ASTERION FORLONGE (FR)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-7
Not seen over hurdles until January but has quickly established himself as top-class novice in only 2 runs, easily winning Leopardstown Grade 1 in a fast time. More to come so holds leading claims.
55 stars

4
jockey silks 4. BERKSHIRE ROYAL
J: Dave Crosse
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
5
11-7
Useful 12f Flat winner for Andrew Balding but not seen on track for 17 months. Represents top yard but this is a very tough ask on his hurdling bow.
22 stars

5
jockey silks 5. CAPTAIN GUINNESS (IRE)
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
5
11-7
Made taking winning hurdling bow in Navan novice before fine second in Grade 2 at Punchestown, collared late having travelled very strongly. Fluent jumper who has lot more to offer. Very interesting.
44 stars

6
jockey silks 6. CHANTRY HOUSE (IRE)
J: Barry Geraghty
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-7
Unbeaten 6-y-o who readily landed novice over C&D on hurdles bow before following up in great style in good Newbury novice. Yard also has Shishkin and Allart but he has more to offer so not dismissed.
33 stars

7
jockey silks 7. EDWARDSTONE
J: Tom Cannon
T: Alan King
6
11-7
Has made up into smart novice, scoring at Wincanton and Aintree before good second (hooded) to Stolen Silver in Grade 2 at Haydock. Takes strong hold and a strong pace will suit so much respected.
33 stars

8
jockey silks 8. ELIXIR D'AINAY (FR)
J: M. P. Walsh
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-7
Has quickly made into useful hurdler, scoring in Naas maiden before second and fifth since in Grade 1 events there and Leopardstown. May have more to offer.
33 stars

9
jockey silks 9. FIDDLERONTHEROOF (IRE)
J: Robbie Power
T: Colin Tizzard
6
11-7
Highly progressive novice who arrives on hat-trick after two taking wins at Sandown, readily landing Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle on latter occasion. Sort to go on improving so not to be underestimated.
33 stars

10
jockey silks 10. HOLLOW SOUND (IRE)
J: Mr D. T. Kelly
T: Luke Comer, Ireland
5
11-7
Fairly useful bumper winner who made promising start over hurdles when third of 7 at Leopardstown (16f, good to soft) last month. This is a totally different ball game though.
22 stars

11
jockey silks 11. JABBAAR
J: Conor O'Farrell
T: Iain Jardine
7
11-7
Fairly useful on Flat and created a good impression when winning on hurdling bow at Sedgefield. Only placed at Kelso and Musselburgh since and his form falls a long way behind that of the principals.
22 stars

12
jockey silks 12. MARIO DE PAIL (FR)
J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Sam Thomas
5
11-7
Fairly useful bumper winner who has made good start over hurdles, scoring in Kelso novice and excellent second at Chepstow. Has more to offer but this is a difficult ask.
22 stars

13
jockey silks 13. SHISHKIN (IRE)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
6
11-7
Fell early on hurdling bow but has looked a really exciting prospect since when 11-length winner of Newbury novice and Huntingdon listed event. Possesses a good turn of foot so rates a player.
33 stars

14
jockey silks 14. SOVIET PIMPERNEL (IRE)
J: K. C. Sexton
T: Peter Fahey, Ireland
5
11-7
Useful hurdler who bounced back to form when taking Grade 3 at Limerick in December. May have more to offer after a break but needs to improve markedly if he's to figure.
33 stars

15
jockey silks 15. WHATSNOTOKNOW (IRE)
J: Philip Enright
T: M. F. Morris, Ireland
5
11-7
Fairly useful hurdler who opened his account at fourth time of asking in 2m maiden at Thurles. This represents a major step up in class though, so others are much preferred.
22 stars

16
jockey silks 16. HEAVEN HELP US (IRE)
J: D. E. Mullins
T: Paul Hennessy, Ireland
6
11-0
Opened her account over C&D in October and has posted good efforts in the frame since, third in Thurles listed event last time. Consistent but this demands a lot more.
22 stars

Analyst's Verdict

A high-quality renewal in which marginal preference is for ASTERION FORLONGE, who has shown himself to be a top-class novice in just two runs and should be suited to the testing conditions at this trip. Captain Guinness has a bit to find on form but is a superb jumper with lots of potential so can push him hard, while Nicky Henderson's Shishkin and Allart appeal most from the home challenge.

The Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the first event on the opening day of the Festival, and its start is traditionally greeted by the ‘Cheltenham Roar’, a loud cheer from the crowd as the runners are sent on their way by the race starter.

First run in 1946, the race was known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle until 1974 and used to be split into more than one division due to the number of horses trying to win the race. As a result, the great Vincent O’Brien was able to record 10 victories in the race in an eight-year period during the 1950s.

Past Supreme Novices' Hurdle winners have usually ended up as top hurdlers, including Bula (1970) and Golden Cygnet (1978), while the dual Cheltenham Gold Cup winner L’Escargot (1968) also won the race.

The best Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winners since the turn of the century include the 2004 victor Brave Inca , who went on to win the Champion Hurdle two years later. Captain Cee Bee beat the fellow J.P. McManus-owned Binocular in a thrilling finish, while future Champion Chase hero Sprinter Sacre was only third to Al Ferof in 2011.

Sprinter Sacre was trained by Nicky Henderson , and the Lambourn trainer saddled the first and third in 2016 with Altior and Buveur d’Air split by the Willie Mullins ace Min.

Labaik won the following year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, with Summerville Boy getting the better of Kalashnikov in the 2018 renewal.

In terms of Timeform ratings, the best Supreme Novices’ Hurdle performances have been produced by Irish horses. Champagne Fever produced the best winning performance this century until the emphatic 2015 success of his stablemate Douvan .

The most successful Supreme Novices' Hurdle trainer in recent times is Willie Mullins, who has won it six times, with: Tourist Attraction (1995), Ebaziyan (2007), Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014), Douvan (2015) and Klassical Dream (2019).

The most successful Supreme Novices' Hurdle jockey in recent times is Ruby Walsh, who has won it six times, with: Noland (2006), Al Ferof (2011), Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014), Douvan (2015) and Klassical Dream (2019).

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Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2020 FAQs

What is the distance of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

2 miles and 87 yards

How many obstacles are jumped in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

8

What day of the festival is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

Day 1

What time is the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

13:30

What weights are carried for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

10 st 13 lb (4-year-olds). 11 st 7 lb (5-year-olds +). 7 lb allowance for fillies and mares.

What is the purse for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

£125,000 (2020)

Who is the leading jockey in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle*?

Ruby Walsh

Who is the leading trainer in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle*?

Willie Mullins

Who won the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

You can check out our Supreme Novices' Hurdle results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Supreme Novices' Hurdle?

Click the link to visit our Supreme Novices' Hurdle Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1972

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