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Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 13 mins

Supreme Novices' Hurdle Trends for the 2024 Cheltenham Festival

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Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2024 Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2024 edition of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle? Well, look no further because our team of experts at Bookies.com have done the hard work for you by pinpointing the most critical trends and pointers from the last 10 renewals in order to help you find the winner of the Cheltenham Festival curtain-raiser.

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The last 10 winners:

  • Rated 144 or better (eight were rated at least 150)
  • Not a maiden over hurdles.
  • Five or less novice hurdle runs.
  • Between 2 and 5 runs this season.
  • Took part in a novice hurdle last time, not a handicap or a maiden hurdle.

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • 5 or 6 years old (exception Appreciate It)
  • Had won a Graded race before, five of the last six winners had won grade 1s (Shishkin)
  • Winner of at least two hurdle races (Summerville Boy)
  • Victorious on a left-handed track (Grade 1-winning Constitution Hill)
  • Won last outing (Labaik).
  • Last ran within 81 days of the Supreme (Marine Nationale)

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Key Trials from the last 10 years

The Tattersalls Ireland Novice Hurdle, known previously as the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, has always been regarded as one of the most important pointers to the Supreme Novices' Hurdle because it clarifies the pecking order among the top Irish novices. The Grade 1 contest, which takes place at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in early February, has been the springboard to Supreme Novices' success for the likes of Appreciate It (2021), Klassical Dream (2019), Vautour (2014) and Champagne Fever (2013) in recent years. The last 11 winners all ran in various Cheltenham novice hurdles, six winning. The 2024 winner was Ballyburn.

The Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle has traditionally been a reasonable trial with one winner (Douvan, 2015) and two places from the last 10 years. The 2023 winner was Impaire Et Passe, who won the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle. Mystical Power won in 2024

The Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown has been disappointing in respect to the Cheltenham Festival, with only one winner graduating to Supreme Novice's Hurdle glory in the last 10 years - Appreciate It in 2021. The 2019 winner Abacadabras came very close too when narrowly denied by Shishkin. The 2023 winner was Caldwell Potter for Gordon Elliott.

The only Grade 1 race over 2m for novices run in Britain before Cheltenham is the Tolworth Hurdle and it has now thrown up two winners of the Supreme in the last 10 years - Summerville Boy in 2015 and Constitution Hill in 2022. Both horses won the race on their last outing before Cheltenham. The 2023 Tolworth winner was the Nicky Henderson-trained Jango Baie.

The Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle and the Betfair Hurdle have had plenty of places between them in the Supreme, but neither have thrown up the winner. Both take place in February/March.

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Trainer Trends

  • Four of the last 10 winners have been trained by Willie Mullins, most recently with 2021 victor Appreciate It. Mullins has won the Supreme seven times, more than any other trainer.
  • Nicky Henderson is another trainer to note with three winners in the last 10 years and two in the last four. He has five overall and his representatives usually perform admirably. More than half of his runners (10 of 18) have finished in the first three in the last 10 years, a stat bolstered by 2022's one-two with Constitution Hill and Jonbon.
  • Gordon Elliott's runners are  worth noting in this contest also with a winner (Labaik) and three places from only eight runners in the last 10 years.

Jockey Trends

  • All of Willie Mullins’ winners in the last 10 years have been ridden by his number one stable jockey (Ruby Walsh up until 2019) so pay close attention to the chosen mount of current number one, Paul Townend.
  • Nico de Boinville has the best recent record in the race with three wins on Nicky Henderson-trained horses, including two in the last four years.

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How did the trends do last year?

Il Etait Temps was the trends horse in last year's race, having won the key trial at Leopardstown. The Willie Mullins-trained runner ticked all the boxes, but it was telling that Mullins's stable jockey Paul Townend opted for Facile Vega, despite that runner having disappointed in the Leopardstown Grade 1 Il Etait Temps had won last time out.

Both boasted the highest ratings in the field, at 155, marking them out as the best, but Facile Vega was second and Il Etait Temps fifth.

Despite being unbeaten in his career, the Supreme winner Marine Nationale bucked a couple of trends. 

His last run prior to winning the 2023 Supreme was at the beginning of December, where most other winners had run in January or February.

He had won a bumper on a left-handed track (Killarney), but hadn't run over jumps at a left-handed track. However, his rating of 150 certainly pegged him as a classy novice capable of Supreme victory and Consitution Hill had previously proven that if you are a Grade1-winning hurdler, the lack of a left-handed experience can be over-looked.

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2023 Supreme Novices' Hurdle Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Marine Nationale 9/2 Barry Connell Michael O'Sullivan
2nd Facile Vega 9/4f Willie Mullins Paul Townend
3rd Diverge 25/1 Willie Mullins Patrick Mullins

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

Keeping in mind an emerging trend for Grade 1 form trumping traditionally useful trials, there are currently four key trends horses to follow in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting to keep in mind when visiting betting apps; Ballyburn and Mystical Power from the Willie Mullins yard and Brighterdaysahead, trained by Gordon Elliott.

These three runners tick all the key boxes, including the two strongest strongest trends; winning last time out and running in a novie hurdle, not a maiden or a handicap. They have also each had at least two runs over hurdles, but not more than five.

Ballyburn and Brighterdaysahead have won racing left-handed over hurdles, Ballyburn now Ireland's highest-rated novice hurdler with a mark of 153 after winning the Leopardstown Grade 1 earmarked as the strongest trial for this race,

Brighterdaysahead is a Grade 3 and Listed hurdle winner, while Mystical Power won another good trial for this race, the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle. It's a negative that he has not raced on a left-handed track, and there's every chance Brighterdaysahead will run in the Mares' Novices' Hurdle instead.

About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.