The Supreme Novices Hurdle

This National Hunt hurdle race is held on the Old Course in Cheltenham, United Kingdom. Horses presented here to race against each other have to be four years or on the lower side. From its name, you can tell that it is a hurdle race and Sky Bet sponsors its activities as from 2018. The Grade 1 race has eight hurdles over its course.

This annual event covers a distance of two miles and eighty-seven yards. The surface on the racecourse is made of turf, and the track is left-handed, winners as from 2020 bag a cash prize of €71,187. The Supreme Novices Hurdle race is the curtain-raiser at the Cheltenham Festival.

Naming

The race has changed its name. In the beginning, it was called the Gloucestershire Hurdle and later became the Lloyds Bank Champion Novices’ Hurdle in 1974.

Ruby Walsh, an Irish jockey has the most wins since 1972. He has won this title six times each one with a different horse. Horses that helped him manage this achievement are Noland in 2006, Al Ferof in 2011, Champagne Fever in 2013, Vautour in 2014, Douvan on 2015 and, in 2019, he won it with Klassical Dream.

Willie Mullins has six wins as a trainer. No other trainer has surpassed this accomplishment. He trained winning horses such as Tourist Attraction, Ebaziyan, Champagne Fever, Vautour, Douvan and Klassical Dream.

Stoppages

Since 1946, the race has been taking place each year apart from two occasions when it was abandoned. In 1947, the occurrence of a lot of snow on the race day denied horses from competing. Years later in 2001, a foot and mouth disease outbreak resulted to cancellation of that year’s race.

Shishkin is the current winner of the Supreme Novice Hurdle race in 2020 and was being ridden by Nico de Boinville, an English jockey, and trained by Nicky Henderson.