The Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle is a Grade 2 event run over two miles on the Friday of Ascot’s Long Walk Hurdle meeting. While it might be expected to be a pointer to the Supreme Novices Hurdle run over the same distance at the Cheltenham Festival the last horse to follow up at the Festival ( Monsignor in 2000) did do in the 2m5f Neptune Investment Management Novices Hurdle.
The most famous horse on the roll of honour is the 1996 winner, Make a Stand. He won this during a remarkable 1996-7 season when he also landed the Lanzarote Hurdle, Tote Gold Trophy and while still a novice the Champion Hurdle. Alastair Down writing in the Sporting Life describes his Champion Hurdle win:
” He pulverised this field, doing it the hard way from the front, and pulling the teeth of his pursuers with a remorseless display of speed and precision hurdling.
Norman Williamson, who finished second on Theatreworld, spoke an ocean of truth when he said: “He is a true champion – he just annihilates you with his speed. You get within six lengths of him but the effort of that ends your chance.Whether you take him on early or late, it’s the same problem – he cooks you.” Basically Make A Stand is a horse nothing can get to, and effectively breaks those who try.
Tony McCoy said: “There were horses upsides at the first and they were still there at the second.”McCoy added: “I rode as if there was nothing else in the race.” …
And it should be remembered that this horse is a novice, for God’s sake. He was eligible to run in the first race and if he had I suspect the referee would have had to stop the fight three from home to prevent the others from taking further punishment. So this was another day that stretched the legend of Martin Pipe, who was winning his second Champion with a horse he has transformed from the ordinary to the exceptional. Make A Stand won a handicap at Stratford in October off an official rating of 114. After this performance he will be in the 160s – an awesome improvement of around 50lb”
Kennel Gate Novices Hurdle Winners 2002-2019
|2019||Master Debonair||5||Robbie Power||Colin Tizzard||136||3-1||2|
|2018||Angels Breath||4||Nico de Bonville||Nicky Henderson||–||6-4F||1|
|2017||Claimamtaingforgan||5||Nico de Bonville||Nicky Henderson||–||6-4F||1|
|2016||Capitaine||4||Sam Twiston-Davies||Paul Nicholls||140||9-1||5|
|2015||Yanworth||5||Barry Geraghty||Alan King||145||1-3F||1|
|2014||L’ami Serge||4||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||146||Evens F||1|
|2013||Irving||5||Nick Scolfield||Paul Nicholls||–||11/4||2|
|2012||Puffin Billy||4||Barry Geraghty||Oliver Sherwood||–||4/9||1|
|2011||Molotof||4||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson||143||2-1||3|
|2008||Medermit||4||Robert Thornton||Alan King||125||14-1||2|
|2007||Deep Purple||6||Paul Moloney||Evan Williams||134||4-6||1|
|2006||Tagula Blue||6||W Hutchinson||Ian Williams||125||8-1||5|
|2004||Marcel||6||Timmy Murphy||Martin Pipe||139||10-11||1|
|2003||Perle De Puce||4||Mick Fitzgerald||Nicky Henderson||125||33-1||5|
|2002||Kopeck||4||Leighton Aspell||Josh Gifford||139||33-1||2|