Supreme Novices Hurdle Trends

Cheltenham Supreme Novices Hurdle Stats And Trends

James Mackie | @jamesmackieee

Supreme Novices Hurdle 2023

The opening of the festival. The best of the two mile novice hurdlers gathered to take on one another, with the Irish and British set to do battle.

The Supreme is always a wonderfully competitive opening to the greatest show on turf, having seen winners like Altior, Douvan, Vatour, Shishkin and Constitution Hill in the past.

As usual it’s quite a muddling race to start picking through the form of and the clues this year are still unfolding, even at this stage of the season.

But with clues from previous runnings of the race you can start to build a profile of a likely sort to carry your money in the festival’s curtain raiser. 

Stat One

First and foremost 14/16 winners of the Supreme have been aged five or six, with not many four year olds running in the event, with the last being Fakir D'Oudairies in 2019.

It builds a solid foundation to start with, but the winner in 2020 Appreciate It who was out of the age bracket went on to win by 24 lengths at the age of seven and was an anomaly to this rule.

Horses like Givega and Parramount are also seven years of age and although unlikely to go for the race they are still currently entered for it, the younger horses have a better record.

Stat Two

Another fairly obvious but equally important trend to factor in is the form of the horse coming into the race. 14/16 winners had won their previous start before wining up in the Supreme.

It’s clearly a rare occasion for a horse not to win it’s warm up race for the Supreme, so it would pay to be wary of anything coming into the race without an all important 1 next to it’s name. 

This years favourite Facile Vega surprisingly goes against this stat having bombed out last time out at the DRF and another horse who does not fit this trend is High Definition having unseated his rider in that same race.

A stat to take on board and maybe to use to take on the fav.

Stat Three

Digging deeper into the profiles of the previous winners you can start to paint an even clearer picture and a good amount of race experience looks to be vital.

12/16 winners had three previous wins in the national hunt code before coming here. Furthermore 8/16 had notched four previous wins before tackling this Grade One event.

Being battled hardened would look to be a big asset, as would the runner having a good line of 1’s in the form book.

It should make you wary of anything with only a couple of races under their belt.

There’s a few runners this can scratch out not fitting the profile, again one of them being High Definition on having two runs over hurdles and also Diverge for Willie Mullins who has been well backed over the last few weeks.

Stat Four

A clear aptitude for the game seems to resound within the previous winners as 13/16 had placed 1st or 2nd on their seasonal comeback.

This seems a very solid trend as the majority of those in the ante-post betting snagged a top two finish on their first time out for the campaign.

Again, Diverge is one of the few horses that does not fit this stat, finishing sixth on hurdles debut.

Stat Five

Constitution Hill for Nicky Henderson last season proved an exception to the rule that only 4/15 of the last favourites/joint favourites have won the race.

Although the Supreme has been a race that has seen some superb winners of the event, the favourites have gone on to fall short and come alive at later stages in their careers

Saying this the last two renewals have seen the SP favourites win the race with Appreciate It and Constitution Hill going on to take victory, but with holes in Facile Vega when it comes to trends already, this one does not help.

Stat Six

Another interesting angle to keep onside is the breeding of the runners.

14/16 winners were of Irish or French breeding, coupled with the statistic that 11/15 winners’ sire had a Group One or Group Two win on the flat makes lineage of importance.

Being bred in the purple seemingly gives a competitive edge, it obviously brings a touch of class to the runner that their sire was of the top quality on the level.

Constitution Hill broke this trend last year being a son on Blue Bresil.

Value Angle - Marine Nationale

The value angle in the Supreme this year looks to be Marine Nationale who fits most the trends having been Irish bred, seen winning four times this year including winning his seasonal debut and winning a Grade One last time out.

He has not been seen since winning the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse back in December and should be primed for a big run in this event.