YESBETS Cheltenham Festival Supreme Novices Hurdle

Supreme Novices Hurdle 2020 Free Bets, Tips & Stats

  • Cheltenham Festival

    The Supreme Novices Hurdle is the curtain raiser for the Cheltenham Festival. It’s a Grade 1 race with a distance of 2 miles ½ furlong. It’s open to horses aged 4 years and older. The Supreme Novices Hurdle is famous for the “Cheltenham Roar” indicating the the start of British horse racing’s largest festival. Previous recent winners have included Vautor, Altior and Douvin, Whilst last year´s winner was Klassical Dream with Ruby Walsh on board. Take a look at some of the stats on this page to help you pick a winner this year.

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Supreme Novices Hurdle 2020 Tips

There are a few standout horses in this year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle and we’ve given some detailed write ups on the ones that we fancy. Here are some things to bear in mind when making your selections. First up, all of the last 7 winners had an official rating of 156 or higher. The Irish tend to do very well in this race, Willy Mullens especially. Four of the last five winners came from mid division, so bear that in mind if you like a horse that tends to try and make all. Seven of the last Thirteen winners came from the top 3 in the betting and eight of the last ten winners were odds of 10-1 or less, so it’s not one for big outsiders. 


ShishkinNicky Henderson doesn’t have a great record in this race, having last won it with Altior in 2016. In fact he’s only won the race 3 times in all attempts. He has a better record in the place market with 5 2nds and 7 3rds. Henderson’s Shishkin is favourite this year at the time of writing and represents a solid chance. He fell at the second fence in The Prodec Networks Maiden Hurdle on 18th December, but has shown no ill effects since, winning his last 2 races by 11 lengths. He seems to just keep on motoring past the line, suggesting he may want further in time. 

My main concerns with Shishkin are that he tends to want to race prominently in his races and can be quite keen early on. Will the frantic pace of the Supreme see him go off too hard and then get found out in the latter stages of the race? The Irish also have a superb record in this race compared to the UK, with Henderson’s record being particularly questionable. Backing Shishkin for a place, may be the sensible bet in this race.


  • Betway Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle - 6th Feb Watch  
  • Mansionbet Proud To Sponsor British Racing Novices’ Hurdle - 15th Jan Watch  
  • Prodec Networks Maiden Hurdle - 18th Dec Watch  



Abacadabras may not be the most fluent of jumpers, in fact the way he cleared a few of his fences last time out, might make you wonder if he is worth chancing at all in The Supreme Novices. He seems to lose ground at many of the hurdles, but he has an engine and seems to always stay the trip, finding plenty to finish his races. He finished 2nd, only 1 ½ lengths behind Envoi Allen at Fairyhouse back in December and given many people rate him as the second coming of Jesus Christ, you have to say that his form stacks up. 

Abacadras likes to sit out the back for a lot of the race, before being produced on or just before the turn for a late run. This will suit him, given that they tend to go off at a blistering gallop in the Supreme, only for a mid or late division runner to pick it up in the latter stages of the race and charge up the hill. The form stacks up with Abacadabras and I expect him to be a major player.

  • Paddy Power Future Champions Novices Hurdle - 27th December 2019 Watch  
  • 2019 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle - 1st December 2019 Watch  
  • Skybet account required to view video - 10th November 2019 Watch  


Asterion Forlonge 

It wouldn’t be a Supreme Novices Hurdle without a standout horse from Willie Mullens’ yard and this year we have it in Asterion Forlonge. Willie has opted for a tried and tested route for Asterion Forlonge, entering him into the Chanelle Pharma Novice Hurdle on 2nd Feb, which he duly won by 9 ½ lengths. It was the same path that he opted for last year with Klassical Dream, who won the Chanelle Pharma and the Supreme Novices Hurdle in 2019. He’s also done it with Champagne Fever and Vautour, so The Channelle Pharma can be an excellent pointer to a future Supreme winner, especially where Willie Mullens is concerned. 

That said, there are some downsides with this horse. Firstly he jumps to the right and sometimes quite prominently, not something I’d be recommending in a Supreme Novices, going left handed against stiff opposition. Secondly, he likes to race prominently and I’d have concerns about him getting outpaced in the latter stages of the race after going a full throttle in the early stages of the race. That said, Ruby did something on Klassical Dream last year, so it can be done.

  • Chanelle Pharma Novices Hurdle - 2nd Feb Watch  
  • I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Maiden Hurdle - 5th Jan Watch  



One at a bigger price that has caught my eye, but still within the top 4 of the betting (where you most certainly want to be focussing your selections) is Fiddlerontheroof. He just seems to  improve with every race and has got to be worth an EW shout. As with any horse at a bigger price, there are negatives and the first thing to note is that the last 7 winners of the Supreme have had an official rating of 156 or higher. Fiddlerontheroof has an official rating of 154. The second is that he tends to like to front run and that’s not something that tends to work out well for horses in this race. However if you look at how he travelled in the Tolworth, Robbie Power held him up in the early stages and you just wonder if they were trying a slightly different tactic in preparation for this race. In the end Fiddlerontheroof won the Tolworth by 6 lengths, so you could deem it a success. 

  • Unibet Tolworth Novices´ Hurdle - 4th Jan Watch  
  • Peter & Thelma Brooks Diamond Anniversary ´National Hunt´ Novices´ Hurdle - 7th Dec Watch  
  • Frome Scaffolding Group EBF Stallions ´National Hunt´ Novices´ Hurdle - 9th Nov Watch  
  • Unibet Persian War Novices´ Hurdle - 11th Oct Watch  


Chantry House

Chantry house won at Cheltenham in the British EBF ´National Hunt´ Novices´ Hurdle on 13th Dec, but they crawled around the open stages of the race that day. You can expect a completely different pace for The Supreme

  • Set Your Own Odds On Betfair Exchange Novices´ Hurdle Watch  
  • British EBF ´National Hunt´ Novices´ Hurdle - 13th Dec Watch  


All images provided by Racing Post


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Supreme Novices Hurdle 2020 Key Stats

  1. 2 of the last 13 favourites/joint favourites have won, 
  2. 7/13 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
  3. 10/13 winners ran within the last 59 day
  4. 11 of the last 12 winners were aged 5 or 6
  5. 10 of the last 12 winners won on their last run before Cheltenham

Supreme Novices Hurdle Previous Race Winners

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Supreme Novice Hurdle 2019 Tips

It’s a weak race this year, with no standout horse looking a surefire bet. Al Dancer is the favourite and did very well last time out in the Betfair Hurdle. That said winners of The Betfair Hurdle don’t often win this race. This year is a bit different, given that it was run on a different course and a couple of weeks later because of the equine flu situation.

Fakir Doudairies won last time out at Cheltenham and was recently purchased by JP McManus, so that shows something about his class.

Angels Breath, was disappointing when losing odds on at Kempton a week or so ago, but connections seem very happy with his progress. Given that he hadn’t run since Early December, you could forgive him that run and may well be primed for a big race. Henderson has said he trains like Altior, so take that as you will.

One that I’d be tempted to back with the Sky Bet Money back if lose offer (without laying) would be Thomas Darby at around 20-1. He’s won at Cheltenham before and for a risk free bet, I’d chance him. 


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