The Supreme Novices Hurdle is the first race of the Cheltenham Festival. Because of this, there is a lot of excitement surrounding the race and it its traditionally met with the ‘Cheltenham Roar’, an echoing cheer from the crowd that signifies the start of the 4 day long festival.
The Supreme Novices Hurdle, formerly known as the ‘Gloucestershire Hurdle’, is run over a distance of around 2 miles and ½ Furlong. It’s only open to horses four years or older and features eight hurdles to be jumped throughout the race.
When the race was still named the Gloucestershire Hurdle it was split into two or three separate divisions meaning there could be more than one winner. Once such trainer who achieved great success in this race was Vincent O’Brien who managed to have an impressive 10 winners over an eight-year spell in the 50’s.
The race was renamed in 1974 to the Lloyds Bank Champion Hurdle after a sponsorship from the bank. The first time it was named the Supreme Novices Hurdle was in 1978 when it was sponsored by Waterford Crystal which continued throughout the 80’s until 1990.
The race is now currently Sponsored by the UK bookmaker Sky Bet. If you’re betting on the race, Sky Bet could be a good choice as they will more than likely doing some interesting offers and Price Boosts around the event and festival as a whole.
In total there have been 40 winners since the race was renamed the Supreme Novices Hurdle. The most recent of which was Klassical Dream who made his way to the winners enclosure after comfortably pulling away from the competition in 2019. The horse was ridden and trained by the deadly duo of Ruby Walsh and Willie Mullins, the pair have won the race together 4 out of the last 7 years.
Coincidently both Mullins and Walsh hold records in this race with 6 wins to their name each making them both leading trainer and jockey since 1972 when the race moved away from divisions. The horses they’ve won on include:
A return from this pair at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival could be one to keep an eye out for in the opener.
|2022||Constitution Hill||5||9/4||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|2021||Appreciate It||7||8/11||Willie Mullins||Paul Townend|
|2020||Shishkin||6||6/1||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|2019||Klassical Dream||5||6/1||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2018||Summerville Boy||6||9/1||Tom George||Noel Fehily|
|2017||Labaik||6||25/1||Gordon Elliott||Jack Kennedy|
|2016||Altior||6||4/1||Nicky Henderson||Nico de Boinville|
|2015||Douvan||5||2/1||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2014||Vautour||5||7/2||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2013||Champagne Fever||6||5/1||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
If you’re looking for our thoughts on who you should back at the Supreme Novice Hurdle take a look at our Day 1 Tips page to see everything we’re backing for this opening race at the Cheltenham Festival.
You can also see all of the latest odds for this race on our Supreme Novice Hurdle Odds page allowing you to see which bookmakers are offering the best price on each horse in the race.