Supreme Novices’ Hurdle Trends – Cheltenham 2015
Supreme Novices' Hurdle
The 2015 Cheltenham Festival gets underway via the traditional curtain-raider that is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.
Age & Experience
While the majority of runners were 5-6yo’s, responsible for nine of the last 10 Supreme winners, the fact stands that 28 of the 29 runners representing other age-groups all failed – Captain Cee Bee the exception in 2008.
Experience-wise, there were some interesting clues to digest, for instance, hurdlers with 2-4 outings (Britain & Ireland only) over timber were very much favoured, with those on the unexposed side having recorded only 2-3 hurdle victories also at an advantage.
It’s also worth considering avoiding any runner without an official rating, or below 135, as those rated 136 or higher dominated – indeed, the class of the winner has been on the rise, as Arcalis won in 2005 off a mark of 136, since when the sequence since saw winners triumph off 138, 142, 139, 147, 142, 142, 148, and then finally last year when Vautour was a whopping 155.
Only two winners of this event since 2005 arrived having lost last time, giving way to the last time out winners who struck at a four times higher strike-rate. On the class front, runners having already tasted Grade 1 company proved ones to side with, as they struck at a rate of 12%, compared to those making their debut in a Grade 1 in Britain & Ireland at 2%.
An informative area for punters to look for the winner, and while two Supreme victors popped up at odds of 20/1 and 40/1 (2005 & 2007), the majority vote goes with those at 12/1 or shorter. Do take note, though, that only one market leader struck during the last 10 years, meaning those ranked second to sixth in the market offered best value.
Trainers & Jockeys
It’s amazing to think that such a competitive race that attracts around 18 runners or more has been won on five occasions since 2005 by just two trainers, namely Willie Mullins (3 wins) and Paul Nicholls (2 wins).
The beneficiary in the saddle on four of those occasions was Ruby Walsh, and such connections should again be given respect ahead of race-time.
For the record, the score stands at 5-5 in terms of victories between the Irish and Brits, with Noel Meade winning it in 2009, having also triumphed back in 2000.
Trends Summary (British & Irish form only)
9 were 5-6yo’s – others were 1-29
9 were officially rated 136 or higher (11%) – others were 1-103 (1%)
9 were non-favourites
9 had 2-4 hurdle runs (7%) – others were 1-58 (0.5%)
9 won 2-3 hurdles (10%) – others were 1-98 (1%)
8 returned 12/1 or shorter (13%) – others were 2-124 (2%)
8 won last time out (8%) – others were 2-108 (2%)
7 had run in a Grade 1 (12%) – others were 3-126 (2%)
W Mullins won it 3 times, P Nicholls won it 2 times
R Walsh won it 4 times