• Sky Bet Supreme Novices Hurdle

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

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

    Appreciate It first winner since 2012 previously beaten in Champion Bumper

    Nine of the last eleven had won at least a G2 novice hurdle.

    15 of the last 17 won last time out.

    19 of the last 20 had won at least 50% of all hurdle starts in GB and IRE.

    Constitution Hill, the first since 2008 with less than three previous runs over hurdles.

    In seven of the last ten, W Mullins trained at least one horse to finish in the first two.

    In the last nine, 14 horses came with a BHA Rating of at least 153. Six won and four others were placed. No qualifiers in 2022.

    Appreciate It the only horse to do Leopardstown Xmas G1/Supreme double.

    He was also the only winner in the last 14 not to be a 5 or 6 yr old.

    Constitution Hill, the first of N Henderson's five Tolworth winners to succeed. Two others tried, unplaced.

    14 of the 15 had won at least two hurdles

    7 of the last 9 won all completed starts that season.

    W Mullins/N Henderson responsible for eight of the last 10 winners.

    Summary

    Aged 5 or 6 yrs or short priced jolly. Has won at least once over hurdles. Won last time out. Has won at least 50% of all hurdle starts in UK and Ire. Ran in the last 66 days and/or unbeaten over hurdles. At least 4 previous hurdle runs or unbeaten over hurdles when finishing. At least 4 total runs as a racehorse. Will be trained in Ireland or by N Henderson. If ran on the Flat, must have won at least G3 Novice hurdle. At least G2 win this season, if tried in one. 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 year's Champion Bumper. 4 yr olds and mares a rarity. Strongly consider G1 winner at the DRF. No chestnuts.

  • Honours Board

    Year ||| Form ||| Winner ||| Age ||| OR ||| SP ||| Trainer ||| Jockey ||| Runners ||| Last race (No. of days)

    2022 ||| 11 ||| Constitution Hill ||| 5 ||| 148 ||| 9/4 jt fav ||| N Henderson ||| N de Boinville ||| 9 ||| 1st G1 Sandown Tolworth (66)

    2021 ||| 111 ||| Appreciate It ||| 7 ||| 153 ||| 8/11F ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| P Townend ||| 8 ||| 1st G1 Leop Chanelle (37)

    2020 ||| F11 ||| Shishkin ||| 6 ||| 153 ||| 6/1 ||| N Henderson||| N de Boinville |||15 |||1st Lstd H'tgdon (33)

    2019 ||| 11 ||| Klassical Dream||| 5 ||| 154 ||| 6/1 ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 16 ||| 1st G1 Leop Chanelle Hdle (37)

    2018||| 12231 ||| Summerville Boy ||| 6 ||| 150 ||| 9/1 ||| T George ||| Noel Fehily ||| 19 ||| 1st GI Sandown Tolworth (66)

    2017 ||| 11RR6 ||| Labaik ||| 6 |||144 ||| 25/1 ||| G Elliott(IRE) ||| J Kennedy ||| 14 ||| 6th Naas Nov Hdle (16)

    2016 ||| 1111 ||| Altior ||| 6 ||| 155 ||| 4/1 ||| N Henderson ||| N de Boinville ||| 14 ||| 1st Kempton Nov H (14)

    2015 ||| 111 ||| Douvan ||| 5 ||| 155 ||| 2/1F ||| W Mullins (IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 12 ||| 1st G2 Punch. Moscow Flyer (59)

    2014 ||| 111 ||| Vautour ||| 5 ||| 155 ||| 7/2JF ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 18 ||| 1st G1 Leop. Deloitte (30)

    2013 ||| 1231 ||| Champagne Fever ||| 6 ||| 148 ||| 5/1 ||| W Mullins(IRE) ||| R Walsh ||| 12 ||| 1st G1 Leop Deloitte (31)

  • Evidence

     

    RATINGS - 7 of the last 9 won by horses already with a BHA Rating of 150. The two exceptions were Constitution Hill on 148 and Labaik's year when the top rated contender was Ballyandy on only 147. That was a disappointing version. Last year they went Dysart Dynamo 152, CH 148, Jonbon 145. In those past nine races, a total of 14 horses came to this with a BHA rating of at least 153. Six won and four others have been placed. In 2021 Appreciate It was the only qualifier. Four rated 153 plus in 2020 including Shishkin and Abacadabras. Shishkin was returned the outsider of the four on exchange prices.

     

    AGE - This century all bar three have been won by either a 5 or 6 year olds including 13 of the last 14. Appreciate It the exception and the only one from outside that range to run in 2021. Six yr olds filled the top seven places in 2020.

     

    67 horses aged 7 and above have tried in the past 27 renewals. Kilcruit 6/1 3rd last year, Appreciate It (both 7yrs), Like-a-Butterfly '02 (8 yrs) and Captain Cee Bee '08 (7yrs) all 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 the past 40 odd years. Before Appreciate It, no seven year olds placed or priced under 14s since Dunguib 4/5 third in 2010. Only 11 others have tried. (Champ Kiely, Givega)

     

    No 4 yr old winner since Hors La Loi '99. Hors la Loi came from winning the 4 yr old Finesse on Trials Day. Then it was called the Summit Hurdle, run in mid December at Lingfield. Best 4 yr old performance since was Binocular 2nd in '08. He had come from winning the Adonis at Kempton. Fakir D'Oudairies, 4th in 2019 was backed down to 9/2 joint fav (along with a Betfair Hurdle winner, jeez). Probably ran here as the ill fated Sir Erec was meant to be a certainty for the Triumph. They get an 8lb allowance. No four yr olds the last three years.

     

    PRICE - Only 9 winning favourites (or joint favs) since 1970 including six Irish trained. Constitution Hill 9/4 jt fav, Appreciate It 8/11, Douvan at 2s and Vautour '14 (7/2 jt fav) then a gap to Like a Butterfly, Back in Front and Brave Inca winning when favs between ‘02 -‘04. Appreciate It, Douvan, Like A Butterfly and Forest Sun in 1990 are the only winning favourites in the last 17 to start 2/1 or less. Only 4 clear favourites have won from the last 23 when starting shorter than 3/1. Asterion Forlonge 9/4. Getabird, Min, My Tent or Yours, Cue Card, Dunguib, Cousin Vinny, Amaretto Rose, Sweet Wake have been all shorties since 2004 and all turned over. The last 20 odd yrs has seen a big price spread of winners including 40s, 25s twice (Labaik) and 20s. But sure, didn't everybody back Labaik?

     

    Having said all that, Labaik is the only winner above 12s in the last 15.

     

    18 of the last 21 winners started (at least) joint favourite on their previous run. Constitution Hill 2/5 in the Tolworth, Appreciate It was 1/3 at the DRF. Not Summerville Boy (8s in the Tolworth), Vautour nor Labaik (14s last time out).

     

    TRAINERS

     

    IRISH TRAINED have won six of the last ten (14 of last 22), now sometimes with half the field (4 from 9 last year, 4 from 8 2021, 9 from 15 2020). 5 of the 13 Irish trained were (at least) jt favourites, Klassical Dream 9/2 joint fav in the morning, was returned 6/1. Champagne Fever returned 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 were trained by W Mullins and G Elliott). Appreciate It, Klassical Dream, Vautour, Champagne Fever, Like A Butterfly and Brave Inca came having won the Chanelle Pharma/Deloitte Novice Hurdle now at the Dublin Racing Festival. Last year Sir Gerhard went Ballymore. Douvan came here from winning the Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle at Punchestown, the fourth winner to come via that route. Min (2nd) took that same route. Dysart Dynamo F last year. Melon (2nd) had only won a Leopardstown Maiden.

     

    W Mullins has won seven Supremes and five of the last ten. Also had Blue Lord and Dysart Dynamo fall when probably destined for a place. As said above, four of his winners doubled up with the Deloitte/Chanelle. Tourist Attraction was third at Leopardstown, Ebaziyan 2007 had only won a maiden hurdle previously and came from the Flat. Appreciate It joins Champagne Fever as his only winners to have run in the Champion Bumper. Appreciate It finished 2nd to Ferny Hollow, Champagne won in his year. Kilcruit, Bellshill, Shaneshill and Pique Sous were all beaten in both, the first three of those went immediately up in trip for their next run after the Supreme. Facile Vega, James's Gate.

     

    The Supreme is currently the second most successful Festival race for Irish Trained runners after the Champion Hurdle. (Only a 3rd last year, 1-2 in 2021, 2nd and 4th 2020, winner 2018, a third in 2018, 1-2 in 2017, Min 2nd to Altior 2016, 1-2-3 2015, 5 of the first 7 home in 2013). Facile Vega, Marine Nationale, Impair et Impasse, the list goes on..

     

    Of the last 12 Irish Trained winners, nine were the Emerald Isle's most fancied in the market.

     

    TWO RUNS ONLY? - Constitution Hill the first since Captain Cee Bee (E Harty) '08 and Ebaziyan (W Mullins) '07 yo only have two previous runs over hurdles. No GB trained winner with less than three runs since Shadow Leader 'Charlie Egerton) '97. N Henderson not known for overracing his charges.

     

    JOCKEYS - Retired now of course but Ruby rode 6 winners. All from top three in the market. And three seconds with Melon, Min and Granit Jack in '07 beaten by Ebaziyan 40s (trained by W Mullins). Nico has three winners and a third from the last seven. (No ride 2021).

     

    D McCain (Cinders and Ashes 2012) and Howard Johnson (Arcalis 2005) only northern trainers to taste success since Gordon Richards won with Tartan Tailer in 1987. Hard to see that changing.

     

    Paul Nicholls winners - Al Ferof 10/1 in 2011, Noland in ‘06. Also Granit Jack 2nd in '07 and two fifth places. (A no hoper last year, no runners the previous two, Grand Sancy 11th 2019, no runner in the previous four years. Irving ran a stinker in 2014, Dodging Bullets only 9th in 2013). Tahmuras. Not usually a man for social runners. No runners at all on the Tuesday races in 2020, watched it from his local in Ditcheat. In the last two Festivals he has had only three runners on the Tuesday, last year Bel Ex One, third at 28/1 in the Boodles, in 2021 two of the three placed albeit at short prices. I digress.

    Constitution Hill, Shishkin and Altior 2016 are recent Nicky Henderson winners after Flown ‘92. He does also have a very strong recent place record. In the last 15 renewals, 16 of his 26 runners were placed, four were priced over 10/1 including 2nd and 3rd in 2014. 1-2 last year, no runner 2021, a 1-3-5 in 2020 with Chantry House in 3rd, Angels Breath disappointed in 7th 2019, Claimantakinforgan 5th 2018, 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 he trained the best 4 yr old performance in a while with Binocular in 2nd.

     

    Nicky has trained five Tolworth winners, before last year's monster, only New York Rainbow and L'Ami Serge of the five came here. The former couldn't keep up with Flown in '92, finishing 4th. L'Ami won at Sandown by 14l. Then only 4th to Douvan. Tolworth winners to double up, Summerville Boy and Noland. Other notables French Holly, Monsignor and Yorkhill won the Ballymore. Metier was poor behind Appreciate It in 2021.

     

    Nigel Twiston Davies has won once with Arctic Kinsman in 1994. One third place since, Gatflax 16/1 1998. In the past 23 yrs, 9 runners, best Ballyandy 4th when jt fav in 2017. Five of the nine were no hopers. Al Dancer (10th, and fav), Ballyandy and Splash Of Ginge (15th) all came from winning the Betfair, Pigeon Island (11th) had run a credible 5th at Newbury, then won a Dovecote before coming here. Post race, Nigel said after that Al Dancer 'may not have coped with the step up in class.' Didn't seem to mention that possibility beforehand.

     

    PREPARATION RACES - Apart from the Deloitte/Chanelle Hurdle at Leopardstown, Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December (won by Statuaire, a WM mare and the Tolworth. These three races have produced 9 of the last 22 winners - Stat appeal may be limited as the last Royal Bond winner to double up was Like A Butterfly in 2000. Marine Nationale from Irish Point. Eight Royal Bond winners have tried here, four were placed in the Supreme, the most recent being Mengli Khan in 2018. Shishkin killed the 'you don't win at Huntingdon and then come and win here' stat.

     

    MOSCOW FLYER HURDLE - Punchestown January Vautour 2014, Douvan 2015 did the double. Min 2016 ran into Altior at Cheltenham. Don Cossack was second to Mosoltov in 2013. Dysart Dynamo last year. Moscow Flyer winners 280311205F in the Supreme. Felix Desjy 1st/6th, Mengli Khan 2nd/3rd. Brave Inca won the 2004 Supreme after starting that season winning a h'cap hurdle off 95. Did go to Cheltenham after winning the Deloitte. Impair et Passe scooted home.

     

    Since the MOSCOW FLYER was first run in 2003, 12 winners have come to Cheltenham, 10 of those to the Supreme. Willie's only two that didn't were Miguel D'Haugenet 2009 Ballymore winner and Gagewell Flyer tailed off in the 2011 Albert Bartlett. In 2009 he had Cousin Vinny, the 9/4 fav for the Supreme (5th to Go Native) and in 2011 he probably wanted to give the vintage of Al Ferof, Cue Card and Sprinter Sacre a very, very wide berth. Since then, Vautour, Douvan, Min and Getabird all came to this race.

     

    PADDY POWER FUTURE NOVICES HURDLE - Leopardstown December. Going since 1996. Appreciate It won at Christmas and became the first to do the Supreme double. Abacadabras won in December, was 2nd in March. Jezki won then 3rd. Last year Mighty Potter 15/2 the first to cry 'no more.' Then won the Punchestown Grade 1. Facile Vega from Il Etait Temps.

     

    PREVIOUS RACE IN A HANDICAP - The Betfair Hurdle double has never been done but Kalashnikov, My Tent Or Yours and Get Me Out Of Here were all 2nd here after winning at Newbury. Also Ballyandy 4th here as 3/1 jt fav, Recession Proof 5th in 2011 both after winning at Newbury. Darlan was 2nd here 2012 being unlucky at Newbury. In 2021, Soaring Glory 10s was a poor enough 4th of seven finishers at Cheltenham. Of the last 14 Betfair Hurdles winners, nine were novices, eight came here. Apart from the three that finished 2nd in the Supreme, the other five unplaced. Make A Stand did win a Champion Hurdle after winning a Betfair Hurdle. JPR One 150/1 tried his luck here last year after a 13th of 14 at Newbury, was last to finish. Although this is a G1, the Betfair Hurdle does tend to be worth £15k+ more to the winner. The more important aim? Easier to win? Supreme more of an afterthought?

     

    Soaring Glory rated 133 at Newbury. Those that have run in the Supreme have finished 42520420 albeit the rest all won at Newbury off higher marks than he. My Tent or Yours 149, Kalashnikov 141, Al Dancer 141, Ballyandy 135. They alll started 5/1 and under at Cheltenham.

     

    Captain Cee Bee won a rated hurdle at Punchestown last time out, but apart from him, all the last 32 won by horses that competed in a Novice Hurdle last time. The last 75 English trained horses whose last run was in a non-novice hurdle have been unsuccessful. 30 of the 74 had gained at least a place in an all aged rated handicap hurdle. 2021 three of the four Eng novices came straight from a handicap. 2020 likewise. 2019 Grand Sancy won the Kingwell last time out as a novice, trounced here.


    The Betfair Novice Hurdle at Newbury's February Meeting has featured Shadow Leader, Arcalis and Al Ferof plus Chantry House. Nothing last year.

     

    Rossington Main at Haydock. Last to double up Cinders And Ashes 2012. Jonbon won it last year.

     

    Cheltenham's 2 mile Novice in December has produced Noland, Al Ferof and Darlan. Chantry House won both, 3rd in this. 2017 Pingshou was the December winner, unpl here then won at Aintree. Attacca from Master Chewy.

     

    Skybet Supreme Novices Trial on course in November has come to the fore, Altior won it and Summerville Boy finished second in 2017. 2020 For Pleasure did well to finish 3rd here at 40s. Fennor Cross.

     

    Constitution Hill joins Summerville Boy 2018 first Tolworth winners to double up since Noland 2006. Fiddlerontheroof poor in 2021. Only other Tolworth winner to actually come since 2006 was L'Ami Serge (4th to Douvan). Yorkhill 2016 won the Neptune, three other winners were unplaced in the Neptune. Finians Oscar 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. Tahmuras

     

    G3 FOR AUCTION NOVICE - Navan - November 2018 Abacadabras 2nd here bt Latest Exhibition in a 10 second slower time than Aramon won in 2019. There was a big difference in the state of the ground Soft/Heavy versus Good. Aramon won the For Auction in a faster time than Labaik did in 2016. Mengli Khan also won the For Auction before finishing 3rd here. Hercule du Seuil from Imagine.

     

    Flown in 1992 is the last horse to win this after only one run over hurdles. Flown won the G2 Dovecote first time up. 1992 Festival ground may have been nearly good to firm suiting the flat breds. Melon 2nd 2017 after one maiden hurdle win. Flown also last Dovecote winner to double up. Last five Dovecote winners haven't turned up. River Wylde 3rd 2017. Since 2007, apart from For Pleasure, Mengli Khan 3rd 2018 and Labaik, only Binocular of the 57 triers who ran on the flat have gained a place in this.

     

    G2 2 mile Paddypower Novice Hurdle Naas late February. Only Go Native 2009 has achieved the double.

     

    Vulgan 1948 Div 1 Gloucester Hurdle won at Cheltenham after only one racecourse run ever. (thank you, young Delargy).

     

    9 of the last 11 had won (20 of the last 29 had been placed) in G1 or G2 NH company. (Exceptions - Shishkin, only Listed win, Labaik G3 winner For Auction Novice. Before that 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).

     

    NH BREEDING? - CH by Blue Bresil (also the sire of Royal Paguille and Blue Lord), Appreciate It by Jeremy who was responsible for FOUR winners at the 2021 Festival. Serious dual purpose sire. Shishkin by Sholokov, sire of Don Cossack. On soft ground the ex bumper horses were a 1-2-3 last year, 1-2 2021, a 1-2-3 in 2020. Before Labaik and all the W Mullins French breds, the usual Tuesday Good to Soft had strongly favoured the ex bumper horses over flat bred 12 winners from last 17. Altior by High Chapparal which would suggest dual purpose sire at best. Ex bumper horses were 2nd and 3rd 2016, 2-4-5-6 in 2015, 1-3-4-5 in 2013, 1-2-3-4 in both 2012 and 2011. Before Labaik and Melon, in the last 14 yrs only flat bred to be placed was Binocular.

     

    COURSE FORM - From the last 31 only 6 were previous course winners (including Altior and Champagne Fever). However only 10 of the 31 had previously run at the course, the only non-winners were Appreciate It (Ch Bumper 2nd), Summerville Boy (beaten twice that 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. He had been second to Cue Card in that Bumper. Summerville Boy and Al Ferof only winners in the last 20 odd years to have previously run in but not win a course novice hurdle. The last three winners had yet to darken the door. Facile Vega

     

    This century all bar Summerville Boy and Labaik had won at least 50% of all GB and IRE hurdle starts. Summerville Boy was one from four (it was the Tolworth) Labaik was two from five. 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.

     

    Seven of the last nine winners were unbeaten over hurdles. 11 of the last 12 won last time out. This century all bar Labaik, Menorah '10 and Arcalis '05 had won last time.

     

    All bar Constitution Hill, Appreciate It, Shiskin and Klassical Dream of the last 12 winners had all run in either 4 or 5 hurdles that season. That's the past four winners. Klassical Dream had a total of 6 previous runs, 4 in France. A stat under pressure from Willie and Nicky.

     

    Since Destriero 1991, only Constitution Hill, Shiskin and Douvan (both 4 runs) 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. Might have been a shilling or two on.
     

    Last amateur jockey to win this was Mr Dermot Browne on Browne's Gazette in 1984. Bless him. Backed Browne's Gazette well that day. Even more on the year after in the Champion Hurdle. I don't talk about it. Much.

     

    9 from last 13 had been placed at least in a hurdle race over ar least 17f. Exceptions Labaik (RR) Appreciate It and Altior, yet to race over the trip. Not sure if an extra furlong would make that much difference.

     

    Beware overrating novices who have run well in Irish Champion Hurdle. There was a history (not recent) of young hurdlers running big races there only to fail here (and in the Triumph). Grand Sancy in the Kingwell would be a typical example. Those like Old Dundalk, Nordic Surprise, Finnegans Hollow, His Song (the latter two both close seconds to Istabraq in Irish CHs) didn't tend to totally reproduce it next time. In 2020 Darvers Star 20/1 second to Honeysuckle rekindled the old stat but unfortunately not qualified for this as had won a hurdle the previous April. He did back his run up in the Champion Hurdle, though.

     

    36 of last 37 winners had won at least once previously. 34 of last 36 placed 1-2-3 last time, 28 won the previous outing. Labaik burned the last two stats. None of the last 33 winners had more than 5 runs that season.

     

    SUPREME TIMES - Constitution Hill at 3.44, five seconds faster than Honeysuckle an hour later. Well publicised, the damage done by Dysart Dynamo over the first half mile. 2021 3.56 just under 2 secs slower than Honeysuckle. 2020 4.08 in soft ground, one second slower than Epatante an hour later. Both mares carried 4lbs less. 2019 4 mins dead, soft ground. 2018 4.05 heavy ground. 2017 3.53 (we thought that was slow) 2016 Altior in 3. 46, 2015, 3. 47, 2014 3. 46 which is 5 secs faster than standard.

     

    PREVIOUS BEST TIMES - Constitution Hill 4.05 Sandown Novice. Appreciate It 4.07 twice at Leopardstown. Shishkin had done 4 03 for 2m and half a furlong at Newbury. Abacadabras 3.55 Leop G1 Xmas. Klassical Dream 3 48 in the DRF G1. Summerville Boy's best time had been 4 04 in the Tolworth. Labaik's previous best time 3.53 in Punchestown Maiden. Altior's was 3 50 Kempton, Douvan's 4 05 soft ground Moscow Flyer G2 Punchestown, Vautour best 4 22 for 2m 2f Deloitte.

     

    I know it's impossible to compare different tracks and different days but best times this season so far are,

    Kempton Novice Boxing Day - 3 54 Rare Edition (3 secs slower than Constitution Hill 90 mins later)

    Fairyhouse Royal Bond - 4.10 Marine Nationale

    Tolworth 2m Sandown - 4.14 Tahmuras

    Navan For Auction Hurdle 4.04 yielding Hercule du Seuil

    Moscow Flyer Hurdle - Impaire Et Passe 4 22 heavy

    G1 Leopardstown Xmas 4 01 soft Facile Vega 

    2m 1/2f Chelt Old - Fennor Cross 4 00. Greatwood was run in 3.54

    Rossington Main Haydock - Abandoned.

    G1 Leopardstown Deloitte soft

    Dovecote -

     

     

    2022 Champion Bumper Form - Facile Vega from American Mike and James's Gate. The winner is the obvious standout but the rest have yet to do much for the form. Authorised Speed in 5th has won an 8k novice. 'Horses who ran in the Champion Bumper last season had run 35 times this season up until the end of December and won nine at a strike-rate of 26 per cent. That sounds pretty respectable until you realise that in terms of winners and strike-rate that is by some margin the worst return of any Champion Bumper from the start of the following season to the end of December for the last ten years.' Paul Kealy RP Weekender

     

    2021 Sir Gerhard from Kilcruit. Reversed in Punchestown. 2020 Ferny Hollow bt Appreciate It. The latter won the Xmas G1.

     

    2019 Champion Bumper - A very fair vintage. Envoi Allen carried all before him. 3G1s including the Ballymore. Blue Sari didn't do a lot but behind him were Thyme Hill, 3rd and Abacadabras 4th. The latter was a close second to Shishkin The Glancing Queen in 5th won the G2 Mares Bumper at Aintree. Compare 2018 and Willie's Bumper 1-2-3, Relegate beating Carefully Selected with Tornado Flyer in third. They took a while to bolster the form. Felix Desjy 6th in 2018 won the Punchestown Moscow Flyer by an impressive 5l and then got an easy lead at Aintree.

     

    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. Six others of the last eleven 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 four of the last twelve Festivals, Al Ferof (2nd), Cinders and Ashes (5th), Champagne Fever(1st), Appreciate It (2nd). Shaneshill 2nd in the Supreme after being 2nd in the bumper. Back in Front 3rd in 2002 Bumper before winning this.

     

    Paul Kealy Racing Post not a Facile Vega fan - 'as in terms of winners and strike-rate the following season the Champion Bumper of 2022 is the worst-performing running of the race for a decade. Of 30 Champion Bumper winners, only five ever managed to win a Grade 1 in open company and only three won more than one. Cue Card abd Forida Pearl the only superstars to emerge. Envoi Allen in third when you count success in only in open Grade 1s.'

     

    Only 8 of the last 21 winners had competed in one of the big three, Cheltenham, Aintree or Punchestown Bumpers. The latter two didn't take place in 2020 due to COVID.

     

    BIG FIELD FORM - 17 of the last 22 winners had previously won in fields of at least 14 runners. But only Appreciate It, Shishkin and Klassical Dream of the last eight. All those 17 bar Appreciate It, Shishkin, 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 sh hd in a course bumper in a field of 16. Vautour had previously beaten a field of 29. Big field novice hurdles in UK not the norm these days, in case you haven't noticed.

     

    Klassical Dream joins Douvan, Vautour, Al Ferof 2010 and Hors la Loi '99 to be the fifth French Bred to win this. Binocular and Min also 2nd for the French. Hors and Binoc were 4 yr olds at the time. Appreciate It, Shiskin and Summerville Boy, Irish bred. Constitution Hill GB bred.

     

    22 mares ran in past 28 races. 3 winners and two seconds. No winners since Like A Butterfly ‘02, Amaretto Rose placed ‘07. Heaven Help Us 100/1 2020, a very respectable 7th. interesting, with her G1 form, that Paul Hennessy didn't run her in the Mares Novice. No mares ran in the previous eight Supremes. Far less whinging made of the Mares Novice 'diluting the product' than the Ryanair where there is a gap.

     

    AND THE REST - Klassical Dream, Douvan, Vautour, Champage Fever, Sausalito Bay. Indefence and Arctic Kinsman lead virtually the whole way. 7 from the last 28. Constitution Hill took over two out. Appreciate It jogged after For Pleasure took off. Shishkin led 50 yds out. Labaik swooped at the last off a slowly run race. 22 of last 28 winners (all bar Altior, Boxing Day, Constitution Hill and Summerville Boy both 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 27 not out this calendar year.

     

    BLINKERS/HOODS/CHEEKPIECES etc - No success from 37 triers since Flown 1992. Soaring Glory, a poor fourth in first time cheekpieces. 2017 Cilaos Emery, first time hood, 5th. Petit Mouchoir, hooded, unpl in 2016.

     

    This century 47 Beaten Favourites last time have run in this. Two winners Menorah 12s 2010 (beaten at 1/2 previous race) and Arcalis 20s 2005 (beaten at 11/8 last time). Angels Breath unpl 2019, Claimantanforgan similar in 2018, likewise Cilaos Emery and Crack Mome in 2017.

     

    None of the last 20 were chestnuts. Love that one.

     

    NEXT RACE>

     

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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.   Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  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. Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

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