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    Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle

     

    HEADLINES

    The last ten winners were all 5 or 6 yr olds

    Last ten winners had all run 4 or 5 times over hurdles

    No horse wearing any type of headgear has won this since Flown 1992

    The Betfair Hurdle winner has yet to win this

    Champagne Fever '13 is the only Champion Bumper winner to double up since Montelado '93. 5 of the last 6 bumper winners to try, all beaten at under 9/1

    15 of the last 17 had won at least 50% of all hurdle starts

    In five of the last six, W Mullins has trained at least one horse to finish in the first two. Has won this 5 times.

    SUMMARY

    Race distance - 2 miles and abt half a furlong.

    Aged 5 or 6 yrs. Has won at least once over hurdles. Won last time out or was a short priced beaten favourite. Has won at least 50% of all hurdle starts. Ran in the last 66 days or unbeaten over hurdles. Either 4 or 5 previous runs over hurdles. At least 5 total runs as a racehorse. Will be trained in Ireland or by P Nicholls or N Henderson. If ran on the Flat, must have won at least G3 Novice hurdle. Graded form very much in vogue. Started favourite or under 2/1 on previous run. Previous course form not vital but if has run before on the course, should have won or gone close. Beware reading too much into previous times over 2 mile hurdles. Last run was in a novice hurdle and not an all aged graded or a handicap. No headgear. If Irish trained, can be any price. Watch for any horse who starts under 10/1 and ran in last years Champion Bumper. 4 yr olds and mares a rarity.

     

     

     

     

  • Evidence

    AGE - This century all bar two have been won by either a 5 or 6 year old including all the last ten.

     

    63 horses aged 7 and above have tried in the past 24. Like-a-Butterfly '02 (8 yrs) and Captain Cee Bee '08 (7yrs) both won when well fancied, Simple Arithmetic ’95 and Chauvinist ‘03 only others to get placed. Sondrio ’89 only other winner from this age group in past 34 years.

     

    No 4 yr old winner since Hors la Loi '99 Fakir D'Oudairies. Hors La Loi also came from winning the 4 yr old Finesse on Trials Day. It was called the Summit Hurdle those days, was run on the mid December at Lingfield and he won by 16 lengths. Best since has been Binocular 2nd in 2008 He had come from winning the Adonis at Kempton. Couple of 4 yr old no hopers last two years, no triers in 6 years previous. 4 year olds get an 8lb allowance. You might only run one here if you already owned a certainty in the Triumph?

     

    PRICE - Only 7 winning favourites since 1970 including five Irish trained. Before Douvan at 2s and Vautour (jt fav), Like a Butterfly, Back in Front and Brave Inca won when fav between ‘02 -‘04. Douvan, Like A Butterfly and Forest Sun in 1990 are the only 3 winning favourites in the last 13 to start 2/1 or less. Only 3 favourites have won from the last 19 which started shorter than 3/1. Getabird, Min, My Tent or Yours, Cue Card, Dunguib, Cousin Vinny, Amaretto Rose, Sweet Wake have been all shorties since 2004 and all were turned over. The last 20 yrs has been a big price spread of winners including 40s, 25s twice (Labaik) and 20s. Labaik the only one above 12s in the last eleven renewals. 14 from last 17 winners started (at least) joint favourite on their previous run. Not Summerville Boy (8s in the Tolworth), Vautour or Labaik (14s last time out).

     

    TRAINERS

    W MULLINS - IRISH TRAINED have won 12 of last 19. Irish trained now with usually half the field (7 from 19 last year, 7 from 14 in 2017, 6 from 14 2016, 7 from 12 2015, 4 from 18 2014). 4 of the 12 were (at least) jt favourites, Champagne Fever was 5/1 (was 12/1 in the morning), another was returned 17/2 and the rest of them were 10/1 and above (the three largest priced Irish winners trained by W Mullins and G Elliott). Vautour, Champagne Fever, Like A Butterfly and Brave Inca came having won the Deloitte Novice Hurdle. Klassical Dream in a head bobber from Aramon, the pair clear. Douvan came here from winning the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, the fourth winner to come via that route. Min (2nd) took the same route. Melon (2nd) had only won a Leopardstown Maiden. The Supreme is currently second most successful Festival race for Irish Trained runners after the Champion Hurdle. (Mengli Khan best in third last year, 1-2 in 2017, Min 2nd to Altior 2016, 1-2-3 2015, 5 of the first 7 home in 2013).

     

    Of the last 10 Irish Trained winners, seven were the shortist in price from the Emerald Isle.

     

    Ruby Walsh has ridden 5 of the last 13 winners of this. All from top three in the market. And three seconds with Melon, Min and Granit Jack in '07 who was beaten by Ebaziyan 40s (trained by W Mullins). Getabird fav, disappointed last year.

     

    D McCain (Cinders and Ashes 2012) and Howard Johnson (Arcalis 2005) only northern trainers to taste success in the past 20 odd yrs.

     

    Paul Nicholls winners - Al Ferof 10/1 in 2011, Noland in ‘06. Also Granit Jack 2nd in '07 and two fifth places. (no runner in the past four years, Irving ran a stinker in 2014, Dodging Bullets only 9th in 2013). Movewiththetimes had a late injury in 2017.

    Altior 2016 was Nicky Henderson's first winner since Flown ‘92. He does has a very strong recent place record. In the last 11 renewals 12 of his 20 runners were placed, four were priced over 10/1 including 2nd and 3rd in 2014. Claimantakinforgan 5th last year, Buveur D'Air 3rd in 2017, L'ami Serge 4th 2015 at 7/2, My Tent or Yours 2nd when fav 2013, Darlan 2nd at 7s 2012 and in 2011 Spirit Son 2nd at 5/1, Sprinter Sacre 3rd at 11s. Also in 2008 trained best (and only?) 4 yr old performance for a while in Binocular 2nd.

     

    Nigel Twiston Davies has won this once with Arctic Kinsman in 1994. One third place since, Gatflax 16/1 1998. In the past 20 yrs, 8 runners, best Ballyandy 4th 2017. Five of the eight were no hopers. Splash Of Ginge (15th) came from winning the Betfair, Pigeon island (11th) had run a credible 5th at Newbury, then won a Dovecote before coming here. Al Dancer

     

     

    PREPARATION RACES - Apart from the Deloitte Novices Hurdle at Leopardstown, Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December (Quick Grabhim inj bt Triplicate, Aramon, with a masterful Ruby Walsh ride) and the Tolworth (Elixir De Nuts bt Grand Sancy). These 3 races have produced 7 of the last 18 winners - stat appeal may be limited? The Betfair Hurdle double has not been done but Kalashnikov, My Tent or Yours and Get Me Out Of Here were all 2nd here after winning at Newbury. Ballyandy 4th here as 3/1 jt fav. Recession Proof 5th here in 2011 both after winning at Newbury. Al Dancer Darlan was 2nd here 2012 after being unlucky at Newbury. The Betfair Novice Hurdle at Newbury's February Meeting has featured Shadow Leader, Arcalis and Al Ferof. Cheltenham's 2 mile Novice in December has produced Noland, Al Ferof and Darlan. (Elixir De Nutz) 2017 Pingshou unpl here then won at Aintree. Skybet Supreme Novices Trial on course in November has come to the fore, Altior won it and Summerville Boy finished second in 2017 (Elixir De Nutz).

     

    Summerville Boy last year was the first Tolworth winner to double up since Noland 2006. Only other Tolworth winner to actually come since 2006 was L'Ami Serge (4th to Douvan). Yorkhill 2016 won the Neptune, 3 other winners were unplaced in the Neptune. Finians Oscar went and won the G1 2m4f at Aintree. Those behind in Tolworths have begun to perform. Both Agrapart and Kalashnikov won Betfair Hurdles as novices, admittedly in Newbury swamps. Grand Sancy

     

    Aramon won the For Auction at Navan in a faster time than Labaik did in 2016. Mengli Khan also won the For Auction last season before finishing 3rd here

     

    Flown in 1992 is the last horse to win this after only one run over hurdles. Flown won the G2 Dovecote first time up. Melon 2nd 2017. after one maiden hurdle win. Flown also last Dovecote winner to double up. Global Citizen didn't come in 2018, River Wylde 3rd 2016. Since 2007, apart from Mengli Khan 3rd last year and Labaik, only Binocular of the 53 triers who ran on the flat have gained a place in this. Check

     

    Vulgan 1948 Div 1 Gloucester Hurdle won at Cheltenham after only one racecourse run ever (Rory Delargy).

     

    LAST RACE IN A HANDICAP? - Captain Cee Bee won a rated hurdle at Punchestown last time out, but apart from him, all the last 30 won by horses that competed in a Novice Hurdle last time. The last 65 English trained horses whose last run was in a non novice hurdle have been unsuccessful. 22 of the 65 had just gained at least a place in an all aged rated handicap hurdle. Of the last nine Betfair Hurdles winners, seven were novices, six came here. My Tent or Yours, Get Me Out Of Here, Kalashnikov finished a close second, the other three unplaced. Make A Stand did win a Champion Hurdle after winning a Betfair Hurdle. Al Dancer. Although this is a G1, the Betfair Hurdle does tend to be worth £20k more to the winner.

     

    Grand Sancy won the Kingwell as a novice and may come here.

     

    17 of the last 25 had been placed in G1 or G2 NH company. (Exceptions include Labaik who won the G3 For Auction hurdle at Navan, Arcalis (ex flat) who had finished 4th when highly tried as a 4 yr old novice in the Christmas Hurdle, Captain Cee Bee and Menorah, both ex bumpers who didn‘t race in a Graded NH race before Cheltenham). The last 8 winners had all strong graded Novice Hurdle form including the horse who had difficulty starting.

     

    NH BREEDING? - Ex bumper horses were 1-2 last year admittedly on heavy ground. Before Labaik and the W Mullins French breds, the usual Tuesday Good to Soft had strongly favoured the ex bumper horses over flat bred 11 winners from last 15. Altior is by High Chapparal which would suggest dual purpose sire at best. Mengli Khan had a handicap mark of 96 on the Flat, Melon is by Medicean primarily a flat sire. Ex bumper horses were 2nd and 3rd 2016, 2-4-5-6 in 2015 (Vaniteux in 3rd came from p2ps) 1-3-4-5 in 2013, 1-2-3-4 in both 2012 and 2011, 1-2-3-4-5 in both 2010 and 2009. Before Labaik and Melon, in the last 9 yrs only flat bred to be placed was Binocular.

     

    COURSE FORM - From the last 27 only 6 were previous course winners (including Altior and Champagne Fever). However only 9 of the 27 had previously run at the course, the only non winners was Summerville Boy (beaten twice last season in course Novice hurdles) Arctic Kinsman who slipped up in a bumper after 5 furlongs and Al Ferof who fell when cruising in a C&D novice hurdle and had been second in 2010 to Cue Card in the previous year's Bumper. Summerville Boy and Al Ferof only winners in the last 20 years to have previously run in but not win a course novice hurdle.

     

    This century all bar Summerville Boy and Labaik had won at least 50% of all UK and Ire hurdle starts. Summerville was one from four (it was the Tolworth) Labaik was two from five. All bar Labaik, Menorah and Arcalis had won last time. All had won at least once, No winner this century failed to finish last time out. Labaik did finish but after giving the rest 200 yds at the start.

     

    Only 2 of the last 16 winners were unbeaten over hurdles.

     

    The last ten winners had all run in either 4 or 5 hurdles that season.

     

    Since Destriero 1991, only Douvan (4 runs) has won this having had less than five runs in total as a racehorse, Flat and NH. Destriero ran twice, won a bumper and the Boxing Day maiden hurdle at Leopardstown. Turned up here and won by 4l at 6/1. Some plot.
     

    Last amateur jockey to win this was Mr Dermot Browne on Browne's Gazette in 1984. Bless him. Backed Browne's Gazette that day. (And unfortunately the year after).

     

    Beware overrating novices who have ran well in Irish Champion Hurdle. There is a history (not recent) of young hurdlers running big races there only to fail here (and in the Triumph). Didnt happen in 2017 or 2018.

     

    32 of last 33 winners had won at least once previously. 30 of last 32 placed 1-2-3 last time, 24 won previous outing including 18 of last 21. Labaik burned the last two stats. None of the last 29 winners had more than 5 runs that season.

     

    Irish

     

    TIMES - 2018 4mins 5secs in heavy ground. 2017 3 mins 53 (we thought that was slow) 2016 3 mins 46, 2015 3mins 47, 2014 3mins 46 which is 5 secs faster than standard. 2013 3 mins 55. Summerville Boy's best time had been 4 mins 4 in the Tolworth. Labaik's previous best time 3.53 in Punchestown Maiden. Altior's previous best time was 3 mins 50 Kempton, Douvan best previous time 4mins 5 secs soft ground Moscow Flyer G2 Punchestown, Vautour best 4 mins 22 secs for 2m 2f Deloitte).

     

    Best times this season so far, and there is plenty of them to chose from

    Elixir De Nuts, 2m 1/2f Chelt old, 3 mins 51 Good, 2m 1f New, 4 mins 2 Good. Tolworth soft 2m Sandown 4 mins 6

    Grand Sancy G2 Kingwell Wincanton 3mins 37

    Fakir D'Oudairies, 2m 1f Chelt New 4 mins 6 GS

    Al Dancer, 2m 1f GS New 3 mins 59, Ascot Betfair Hurdle 50yds short of 2m Good 3 mins 45

    Klassical Dream bt Aramon G1 Leopardstown Good 2m 3 mins 48, 2m Maiden Leop Good 3mins 52

    Aramon Future Champions Leop 2m 3mins 55, For Auction Hurdle Navan 2m, 3mins 57

     

    2018 Champion Bumper form - Willie's three, Relegate bt Carefully Selected with Tornado Flyer in third. Relegate has won a maiden hurdle since. 2nd, 3rd and 5th home in the Bumper finished 3rd, 1st and 2nd in the Punchestown Bumper but have since yet to set the world alight. Felix Desjy 6th has won the Punchestown Moscow Flyer by an impressive 5l and Colreevy 7th won a Punchestown G3 mares hurdle. The rest have won a few maiden and novices both here and in the UK. The unseasonable good ground may not be helping. Relegate and Rhinestone now racing at trips over 2m 4f.

     

    2017 - Fayonagh was a big loss. Flicking through the rest of that vintage, there wasn't a big lot to get excited about. Form just ok. She was a big loss.

     

    To try and put it into context, the 2012 race did produce Champagne Fever, The New One and Jezki. Champagne Fever only the second Festival Bumper winner to follow up in this race after Montelado in '93 though Back In Front finished 3rd in Bumper in '02. Six others of the last ten tried, Ballyandy 4th, Silver Concorde (finished last), Cue Card (4th), Dunguib (3rd), Cork All Star (7th) and Cousin Vinny (5th). Monsignor won Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle the year after his bumper win. The Champion Bumper has produced the winner of this in the three of the last eight Festivals, Al Ferof (2nd), Cinders and Ashes (5th), Champagne Fever. Shaneshill 2nd in this after being 2nd in the bumper.

     

    7 of the last 17 winners had competed in one of the big three, Cheltenham Aintree or Punchestown Bumpers

     

    BIG FIELDS - 14 of the last 18 winners all had previously won in fields of at least 14 runners. But not the last four. All those 14 bar Altior, Douvan and Cinders and Ashes had been successful in fields of 16 runners. Summervillle Boy had won a Killarney lady riders bumper with 12 runners. Cinder And Ashes had been beaten a shd in a course bumper in a field of 16. Vautour had previously beaten a field of 29.

     

    Douvan joins Vautour, Al Ferof 2010 and Hors la Loi '99 to be the fourth French Bred to win this. Binocular and Min also 2nd for the French Hors and Binoc were 4 yr olds at the time. Melon by Medicean, a GB sire. Summerville Boy by Sandmason, Irish bred.

     

    21 mares ran in past 24 races. 3 winners and two seconds. No winners since Like A Butterfly ‘02, Amaretto Rose placed ‘07. None ran last 7 yrs. And with the mares race on Thursday run over the same distance there are unlikely to be any more. Far less made of this than the Ryanair where there is a gap.

     

    AND THE REST - Douvan, Vautour, Champage Fever, Sausalito Bay. Indefence and Arctic Kinsman lead virtually the whole way. 6 from the last 24. Labaik swooped off a slowly run race. 20 of last 25 winners (all bar Altior, Boxing Day, Summerville Boy 66 days, Douvan 10th Jan, 59 days, Captain Cee Bee (November) and Cinders and Ashes 52 days) had previous run within 45 days of this race (to help that should mean 22rd January ish). Altior only the second winner from the last 23 not out this calendar year.

     

    BLINKERS/HOODS/CHEEKPIECES etc - No success from 35 triers since Flown 1992. Cilaos Emery, first time hood, 5th. Petit Mouchoir, hooded, unpl in 2016.

     

    This century 43 Beaten Favourites last time have run in this. 2 winners Menorah 12s (beaten at 1/2 last time) and Arcalis 20s (11/8). Claimantanforgan unplaced in 2018, Cilaos Emery and Crack Mome unplaced 2017, 3 tried in 2016 and filled the last three places home.

     

     

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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too worried on the Tuesday.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. Oh yes, and if you're called Rory Delargy, you can't win the quiz too often.

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.