The Supreme Novices Hurdle is a Grade 1, open to horses aged four and above. Run on the first day of ‘The Festival’ it is the traditional curtain raiser of the meeting and famous for the ‘Cheltenham Roar’ as the tapes go up.

Run on the old course over a distance of around 2 miles 110 yards, the novices have eight hurdles to jump throughout the contest. The race usually attracts a large field, so therefore it usually pays to side with horses with previous experience of competing in similar conditions.

Over the years this race has thrown up stars of the future; both Hors La Loi III and Brave Inca progressed off the back of winning this race by following up with victory in the Champion Hurdle. Whilst Binocular was second to Captain Cee Bee in 2008 before following up in the Champion Hurdle in 2010.

Aside from providing a useful pointer towards future Champion Hurdle winners, it also has had an impact on the Gold Cup. Best Mate was second in 2000, Kicking King was second in 2003 and War Of Attrition was second to Brave Inca in 2004.

2015 capped a remarkable treble for Ruby Walsh, Willie Mullins and owner Rich Ricci as the trio had won the race the previous two years consecutively.


The race was originally called the Gloucestershire Hurdle, and used to be split into two or three separate divisions. The legendary Vincent O’Brien recorded 10 victories in the race within an 8 year spell during the 1950’s.

It became known as the Lloyds Bank Champion Novices Hurdle in 1974, when Lloyds Bank began a brief period of sponsorship. Its present title was introduced when Waterford Crystal started to back the race in 1978. The association continued until 1990, and since then the event has had several different sponsors. The race is currently sponsored by bookmaker SkyBet.

Race Previews:

Altior Supreme Novices Hurdle 2016
Altior powers to success in the 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle.

 Previous Winners:

2016Altior6N Henderson4-1
2015Douvan5W Mullins2-1F
2014Vautour5W Mullins7-2F
2013Champagne Fever6W Mullins5-1
2012Cinders And Ashes5D McCain10-1
2011Al Ferof6P Nicholls10-1
2010Menorah5P J Hobbs12-1
2009Go Native6N Meade12-1
2008Captain Cee Bee7E P Harty17-2
2007Ebaziyan6W P Mullins40-1
2006Noland5P F Nicholls6-1
2005Arcalis5J Howard Johnson20-1
2004Brave Inca6C A Murphy7-2F
2003Back In Front6E J O’Grady3-1F
2002Like-A-Butterfly8C Roche7-4F
2000Sausalito Bay6N Meade14-1