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Supreme Novice Hurdle 2019 Stats
Mon, Feb 11th, 2019

The opening race of the Cheltenham Festival is the Supreme Novices Hurdle. It is run over the same distance ( 2 miles and 110 yards) as the Champion Hurdle and horses winning this might be expected to contest that race in the following season. The last horse to win both the Supreme Novices and Champion Hurdle was Brave Inca (2004 & 2006). The 2014 Champion Hurdle winner had finished third in the 2013 Supreme.

In all the Supreme Novices' Hurdle roll of honur includes one winner who doubled up in the  Cheltenham Gold Cup and three in the  Champion Hurdle. L'Escargot won in 1968, before consecutive Gold Cup triumphs in 1970 and 1971. Bula scored in 1970, before Champion Hurdle victories in 1971 and 1972, the 2002 Stan James Champion Hurdle winner Hors La Loi III took the race in 1999, and Brave Inca captured the Stan James Champion Hurdle in 2006, having landed the novice event two years earlier. The best renewal of recent times was probably the 2011 race - the  2013 Champion Chaser Sprinter Sacre finished third with the 2013 Ryanair Chase winner Cue Card a place further back in fourth. 

Supreme Novice Hurdle Winners 2008-2018

LR = Last Run, FOF = Fate of favourite, MP = Market Position of Winner

Supreme Novice Hurdle Trivia

BACKGROUND INFORMATION – DISTANCE 2m 87y
The G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle was known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle until 1974. Capel Cure Sharp backed the contest in 2000 and the company, which became Gerrard Wealth Management, supported the race until 2003.
Racecourse caterers Letheby & Christopher became the sixth sponsor since the initial backer Lloyds Bank in 1974 when putting their name to the event in 2004 and 2005, while Anglo Irish Bank was the sponsor from 2006 to 2008.
Bookmaker William Hill sponsored the race in 2009, while in 2010 the backers were the Stewart Family on behalf of the charity Spinal Research. Stan James supported the contest in 2011, with William Hill taking over the sponsorship again in 2012 & 2013. Sky Bet became the sponsor in 2014 and backs the race for the sixth time in 2019. The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the only race at The Festival™ presented by Magners to have been divided. From 1946-1971, when known as the Gloucestershire Novices' Hurdle, it divided on no less than 25 occasions. In both 1963 and 1946, there were even three divisions.


FIELD SIZE
The smallest field was in 1950, with nine runners in Division One, while the most runners was 30, seen for both Harry Hastings' win in 1985 and French Ballerina's success in 1998. The maximum field allowed is currently 22.


MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
Jim Joel and Susannah Ricci have been the most successful owners, with three wins each. Joel had his colours carried to victory by Beau Normand (1961, Division One), Deetease (1963, Division Three) and Beacon Light
(1976), while Ricci landed three consecutive renewals of the race with Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015).


MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Before the Supreme Novices' Hurdle ceased to be divided, the most successful trainer was Vincent O'Brien, who landed an amazing 10 divisions between 1952 and 1959. Willie Mullins is the most successful current trainer with five wins - Tourist Attraction (1995), Ebaziyan (2007), Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015).


MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Before 1972, the most successful jockey was Tommy Burns, who landed seven divisions between 1955 and 1959. Since the race ceased to be divided, Ruby Walsh leads the way with five wins (2006, 2011, 2013, 2014 &
2015).

BETTING
The longest-priced winner was Arctic Kinsman at 50/1 in 1994, while the 2007 victor Ebaziyan is one of two 40/1 shots to have triumphed. The shortest-priced winners at 4/9 were Tsaoko in 1950 and Flyingbolt in 1964.
Favourites and joint-favourites have been successful 10 times (just under 22 per cent) in the 46 runnings since 1972.


AGE

The oldest horse by far to have won was 12-year-old Beau Caprice in 1966 (Division One). At the other end of the scale, 13 four-year-olds have been successful, although none since Hors La Loi in 1999. The overall breakdown by age since the race was run as single division in 1972 is as follows:

4yo - 2 wins
5yo - 18 wins
6yo - 22 wins
7yo - 2 wins
8yo - 2 wins

RECORD TIME
The fastest time for the winning horse was achieved by Altior, who scored in 3m 46.00s in 2016.

OVERSEAS-TRAINED WINNERS
The race has been won by Irish-trained raiders on no less than 42 occasions, and by the French once. Of the 16 divisions from 1952-59, Vincent O'Brien won an amazing 10.    Ireland also kept a stranglehold on the race for seven years from 1977-83 and has won 11 of the last 18 runnings, most recently with Labaik in 2017.


DID YOU KNOW?
The 1993 winner, Montelado, holds a unique position in the history of The Festival™ presented by Magners at Cheltenham. He is the only horse to have won consecutive Festival races, landing the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 1992, the last race of that year's meeting, and returning to win the Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 1993, the first race 12 months later. The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle has thrown up one winner of the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and
three Unibet Champion Hurdle heroes. L'Escargot won in 1968, before consecutive Gold Cup triumphs in 1970 and 1971. Bula scored in 1970, before Champion Hurdle victories in 1971 and 1972, the 2002 Champion Hurdle winner Hors La Loi III took the race in 1999, and Brave Inca captured the Champion Hurdle in 2006, having landed the novice event two years earlier.

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