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Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2023 Trends

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 8 mins

Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2023 Trends

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Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2023 Trends

Need some help finding the winner of the 2023 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.

The last 10 winners:

  • Rated 142 or better.
  • 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.
  • Last run within 80 days of the Supreme.

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • 5 or 6 years old (exception Appreciate It, 7)
  • Winner of at least two hurdle races (Summerville Boy)
  • Victorious on a left-handed track (Grade 1-winning Constitution Hill)
  • Won last outing (Labaik 2017).

Key Trials from the last 10 years

  • The Chanelle Pharma 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 Cheltenham Festival success for the likes of Appreciate It (2021), Klassical Dream (2019), Vautour (2014) and Champagne Fever (2013) in recent years. The 2023 winner was It Etait Temps.
  • 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 for trainer Willie Mullins.
  • 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 2022 winner was Facile Vega for trainer Willie Mullins.
  • 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 Paul Nicholls-trained Tahmuras.
  • 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.

Trainer Trends

  • Five 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 last year's one-two with Constitution Hill and Jonbon.
  • Gordon Elliott's runners are maybe worth nothing in this contest also with a winner (Labaik) and three places from only eight runners in the last 10 years.
    Nigel Twiston-Davies has never quite mastered the Supreme with no winners or places from nine runners in the race.

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 three years.
  • Jack Kennedy also has a good recent record in the race with a winner and three places from five rides.

How did the trends do last year?

Among the market-leaders only Jonbon, a full-brother to 2015 winner Douvan, had raced (and won) on a left-handed track.

He was also unbeaten in three runs over hurdles, including in a Grade 2, and won last time out to come into the race with a suitably high rating of 145.

He was clearly the number one tip on trends, but finished second to the next-best Constitution Hill.

Jonbon's Nicky Henderson-trained stablemate was among only two Grade 1 winners in the field having won the Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown last time out.

He had not raced on a left-handed track, and the Tolworth, whilst a decent trial, is not as strong a trend as the need for having won on a left-handed course.

Constitution Hill's win perhaps points to the Tolworth growing in strength as a trial, but also suggests that Grade 1 form, regardless of where it was achieved, could be becoming a key trend.

Four of the last five winners have won Grade 1s before lining up, but only two of the 10 winners prior to 2018 had achieved that.

Check out latest Cheltenham ante post odds.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2023?

Keeping in mind an emerging trend for Grade 1 form trumping traditionally useful trials, there are currently three key trends horses to follow in the Supreme Novices' Hurdle betting.

Top of the pile was Facile Vega, trained by Willie Mullins and son of six-time Cheltenham Festival winner Quevega. He ticked all the boxes and was unbeaten over hurdles, including in Grade 1 company but finished last on his last outing in another Grade 1 at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Trends state the winner of this race must win last time out, so despite his class, that run saw stablemate Champ Kiely usurp him at the head of the trends picks.

He fits all the key trends and is a Grade 1 winner, having landed the Lawlor's Of Naas Novice Hurdle at Naas in January. However, he's more likely to run in the longer Ballymore Novices' Hurdle.

It Etait Temps, who won the race at Leopardstown that Facile Vega was last in, is also trained by Mullins and does tick a lot of boxes. The concern for him on trends is that no winner in the last 10 years has had more than five runs over hurdles. He's had six.

The other key Supreme Novices' Hurdle trends pick is Tahmuras the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle winner. He has additionally won a Grade 2 racing left-handed at Haydock and is unbeaten in four runs over hurdles. He is trained by Paul Nicholls, who hasn't won the race since 2011, but has only fielded four runners since and none of them were Grade 1 winners.

Marine Nationale heads the betting after Facile Vega's poor run, but has not run since early December. That's a big negative for this race. In the last 12 years only one winner lined up having not run in that same calendar year, and that horse had won at Christmas. Marine Nationale's last run was December 4.

2022 Supreme Novices' Hurdle Result

Position Name Price Trainer Jockey
1st Constitution Hill 9/4jf Nicky Henderson Nico De Boinville
2nd Jonbon 5/1 Nicky Henderson Aidan Coleman
3rd Kilcruit 6/1 Willie Mullins Patrick Mullins

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.