The last five winners of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is an exhilarating way to open the Cheltenham Festival, with the famous roar of the crowd sending a chill up your spine

The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is an exhilarating way to open the Cheltenham Festival, with the famous roar of the crowd sending a chill up your spine as the best youngsters from the United Kingdom and Ireland set off for a thrilling two-mile trip around the Old Course.

This year’s Supreme Novices Hurdle 2024 betting market is dominated by potential runners out of Willie Mullins’ famous Closutton stables in County Carlow. The Irish handler has won the Supreme a record seven times, and the winners of this race oftentimes go on to have glittering careers.

Therefore, the Grade 1 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle has an incredible role of honour. So, read on as we look at the last five victors of the inaugural race of the Cheltenham Festival.

2019: Klassical Dream

Klassical Dream made a perfect start to his career under Mullins after arriving at Closutton from Mile Gallorini’s yard in France, winning back-to-back races at Leopardstown — including a Grade 1 Novice Hurdle.

Despite that fine form from his first couple of races in Ireland, he entered the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle behind 9/2 joint-favourites Fakir D’oudairies and Al Dancer with odds of 6/1.

However, he proved the bookmakers wrong — quickening clear on the run-in to win by over four lengths clear of 28/1 outsider Thomas Darby.

Klassical Dream has added the Champion Novice Hurdle, the Christmas Hurdle, and three Champion Stayers Hurdles to his CV since.

2020: Shishkin

Shishkin started his jumping career with a fall on his hurdle debut at Newbury in December 2019 but quickly recovered with a win back at that track the following month.

The Jessica Donnelly-owned horse then landed Listed honours at Huntingdon, winning the Sidney Banks Memorial Novices’ Hurdle by an impressive 11 lengths from Shan Blue.

He was still less favoured than Irish raiders Asterion Forlonge and Abacadabras for the Supreme with odds of 6/1 but was ridden out to beat the latter by a head.

Despite being riddled with inconsistency, the Nicky Henderson-trained horse has won several graded contests since — including the Arkle, the Clarence House Chase, and the Aintree Bowl at the top level.

2021: Appreciate It

Mullins returned to the Cheltenham winner’s enclosure following the Supreme again in 2021, as Appreciate It prevailed on his status as the odds-on favourite with a commanding win.

Second to Ferny Hallow in the 2020 Cheltenham Champion Bumper, Appreciate It made the switch to hurdles look easy with three wins in a row in the build-up to the Supreme — including back-to-back Grade 1s at Leopardstown.

The rest of the field was no match for Appreciate It, as he was left 15 lengths clear approaching the last and was pushed out to a 24-length victory over Ballyadam.

Appreciate It hasn’t exactly hit the heights expected of him since, with just two wins in his subsequent 10 runs.

2022: Constitution Hill

The 2022 renewal of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle will long be remembered as the birth of a modern National Hunt racing legend, as Constitution Hill left us all in awe.

The Henderson-trained horse romped to 14 and 12-length wins in his first two starts under rules at Sandown, and he was in a league of his own in the Supreme.

Constitution Hill set off as the 9/4 joint-favourite with Dysart Dynamo, but he crashed out three hurdles from the finish and Constitution Hill streaked 22 lengths clear of stablemate Jonbon.

The Michael Buckley-owned horse has won five straight Grade 1s since, including successive Christmas Hurdles at Kempton and the Champion Hurdle back at Cheltenham.

2023: Marine Nationale

Despite never being headed before arriving at Prestbury Park, winning two Bumpers, a Maiden Hurdle, and the Grade 1 Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse, Marine Nationale was fancied as the third favourite behind Mullin duo Facile Vega and Il Etait Temps.

On that form, Marine Nationale looked good value to back with your Cheltenham welcome offers for the Supreme — and he won readily by over three lengths from the pre-race market leader Facile Vega under Barry O’Connell.

Marine Nationale flattered to deceive in the Irish Arkle recently, but it would be foolish to rule him out of the upcoming Arkle at Cheltenham.

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