Supreme Novices Hurdle Tips - 1:30pm Cheltenham

2019 Supreme Novice Hurdle Preview

The first race of the Cheltenham Festival has always been a race where the Irish have fancied their chances and with 11 victories since 2000 would certainly back that up. Trainer Willie Mullins has won the Supreme three times and had two seconds’ in the last six renewals so anything he throws at the race is worth putting on the shortlist.

We had a slight turn up last season when Tom George’s Summerville Boy came home in front of Kalashnikov for an English one-two so we shouldn’t completely under estimate the home team.

Nicky Henderson took this race with Altior in 2016 but apart from that it’s a race where the Seven Barrows handler would sooner forget with no less than 12 placed horses just falling short of the mark. This year he has a major contender in Angels Breath who is very well regarded by connections.

The 5yo won his point-to-point by 12 lengths last April and was bought by Dai Williams and sent to be trained by Henderson. He missed his first intended run over hurdles due to quick ground but eventually made the racecourse at Ascot in December. He won that day by 4 ½ lengths from a Paul Nicholls youngster and the winning margin could have been much, much more.

That form alone wouldn’t win him a Supreme, far from it, but you get the feeling this horse has a lot of ability and has to be respected in any line up. He was second last time out but I think this track and the bigger field will play to his strengths.

The owner also has a decent prospect in Al Dancer who is trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies. He won three novice hurdles at Carlisle, Ffos Las and Cheltenham in good style and looks a very smart horse. He warmed up for this race with a smooth victory in the rearranged Betfair Hurdle at Ascot last time out and looks a leading contender on that performance.

Another Henderson runner is Mister Fisher who ran in two bumpers last season so is slightly different from his stable mate. He was beaten on his hurdles debut at Newbury and has took more time to learn his trade but has since won two races and is certainly getting the hang of things now. Last time out he won a Grade 2 contest at Haydock and seems to act on any ground.

Colin Tizzard’s last decent result in this race was with Cue Card back in 2011, he was 4th that day will be hoping for better from his number one contender Elixir De Nutz. He was with Philip Hobbs last season and failed to win in two starts. 

He was second on his debut for this yard behind the useful Thomas Darby and has won three races since including the Grade 1 Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown. He beat Grand Sancy by ½ length that day and that’s useful form.

Paul Nicholls trains Grand Sancy who has won four races this season and just continues to improve with every outing. Last time out he won the Kingwell at Wincanton and thats arguably some of the best form around.

Young trainer Olly Murphy has been doing well in his first proper season and has attracted some good owners to his yard. Along with that comes good horses and his Thomas Darby doesn’t look out of place in this line up. 

He beat Elixir De Nutz here back in October and then was beaten twice behind Mister Fisher and Didtheyleaveuoutto. He got back to winning ways in a small race at Taunton last time and may be suited by a bigger field and a quicker pace.

The yard also has Itchy Feet who beat Grand Sancy at Kempton back in October, a month later he was second in the trial race here and that race has always been a good pointer for the Supreme itself. He has a break since then as he wasn’t decent ground and could still be on the up.

The Irish challenge this time has to be said doesn’t look as strong as in other years, Willie Mullins took this prize three seasons running with Champagne Fever, Vautour and Douvan and with respect doesn’t have that kind of ammo in his yard at the moment.

The 6yo Aramon won a Grade 1 race  by 10 lengths so he looks a worthy contestant, he had though previously been beaten by stable Quick Grabim in the Royal Bond Hurdle at Fairyhouse so he’s not the typical unbeaten, progressive type that usually hails from this yard. He was second behind stablemate Klassical Dream at Leopardstown and that is very solid form indeed.

The Ex-French runner Klassical Dream is interesting, he had five starts in France before coming over to Ireland so will have the edge on experience and the way he won on Irish debut at Leopardstown showed that he looks above average. He's the pick of Ruby Walsh so will have plenty of support.

His next run in the Grade 1 Novice Hurdle at the Dublin Festival was much improved, he travelled well and out-battled Aramon to win in a close finish. He looks a really useful prospect and should be thereabouts here.

Joseph O'Brien has a smart prosepect in Fakir D'oudairies, he has been bought by J.P.McManus especially for this race and was very impressive when winning at this track last time out in January. He's only a 4yo so gets the age allowance and that gives him every chance here.

Gordon Elliott has plenty of nice young novices at his dispersal this season and his 6yo Felix Desjy came into the reckoning when winning at Punchestown in January. He had been a bit disappointing but bounced back to form in emphatic style.

The yard also has Vision D’honneur who is a progressive 5yo owned by Gigginstown Stud. He was only 4th on his hurdles debut behind Klassical Dancer but then bolted up at Punchestown to put him right at the front of the Elliott pecking order. His third at Leopardstown last time out was a decent run behind two useful novices.

Punters Lounge Tip: Angels Breath 5/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet


Supreme Novices Hurdle Trends
Supreme Novices Hurdle Previous Winners
YearWinnerAgeJockeyTrainerSP
2019Klassical Dream5Ruby WalshWilli Mullins6/1
2018Summerville Boy6Noel FehilyTom George9/1
2017Labaik6Jack KennedyGordon Elliott25/1
2016Altior6Nico de BoinvilleNicky Henderson4/1
2015Douvan5Ruby WalshWillie Mullins2/1
2014Vautour5Ruby WalshWillie Mullins7/2
2013Champagne Fever6Ruby WalshWillie Mullins5/1
2012Cinders And Ashes5Jason MaguireDonald McCain10/1
2011Al Ferof6Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls10/1
2010Menorah5Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs12/1
2009Go Native6Paul CarberryNoel Meade12/1

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