• 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. Six of the last seven bumper winners to try, all beaten at under 9/1.

    Appreciate It, '21 only winner since 2012 previously beaten in Champion Bumper

    10 of the last 12 had won at least a G2 novice hurdle.

    16 of the last 18 won last time out.

    Marine Nationale, first Royal Bond double since 2002. Eight other Royal Bond winners had tried since 2002, four placed here.

    This century no second season winner raced their first hurdle season in GB/IRE

    20 of the last 21 had won at least 50% of all hurdle starts in GB and IRE.

    Constitution Hill, only winner since 2008 with less than three previous hurdle runs.

    In eight of the last 11, W Mullins trained at least one horse to finish in the first two.

    In the last ten, 16 horses came with a BHA Rating of at least 153. Six won and five others were placed.

    Labaik only winner in last 11 BHA Rating under 148. And the only one with an SP returned greater than 9/1.

    Only Appreciate It of the last 15 not a 5 or 6 yr old.

    15 of the 16 had won at least two hurdles.

    Eight of the last 10 had won all completed starts that season.

    W Mullins/N Henderson responsible for eight of the last 11 winners.


    Aged 5 or 6 yrs or short priced jolly. Has won two 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. BHA Rating at least 148. Due another fat one.

  • Honours Board

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

    2023 ||| 1111 ||| Marine Nationale ||| 6 ||| 150 ||| 9/2 ||| B Connell (IRE) ||| M O'Sullivan ||| 14 ||| 1st G1 F'house (100)

    2022 ||| 11 ||| Constitution Hill ||| 5 ||| 148 ||| 9/4 jt F ||| 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 ||| N 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 (79)

    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)

  • Evidence

    RATINGS - Eight of the last 10 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 Facile Vega 155, Il Etait Temps 155, Marine Nationale 150. In 2022 it was Dysart Dynamo 152, CH 148, Jonbon 145. In those past ten races, a total of 16 horses came to this with a BHA rating of at least 153. Six won and five others have been placed, Facile Vega last year. In 2021 Appreciate It (winner) was the only qualifier. Four rated 153 plus in 2020 including the 1-2 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 14 of the last 15. Appreciate It the exception and the only one from outside that range to run in 2021. Nothing other than 5 or 6 yr olds in the 14 runners last year. Six yr olds filled the top seven places in 2020.


    67 horses aged 7 and above have tried in the past 28 renewals. Kilcruit 6/1 3rd behind CH, 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. (Redemption Day)


    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. The 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 JP's ill fated Sir Erec was meant to be a certainty for the Triumph. They get an 8lb allowance. No four yr olds ran in the last four 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 24 when starting shorter than 3/1. Facile Vega 9/4, 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.


    Having said all that, Labaik is the only winner returned bigger than 12s in the last 16.


    18 of the last 22 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 Marine Nationale 11/2 third fav in the Royal Bond, Not Summerville Boy (8s in the Tolworth), Vautour nor Labaik (14s last time out).




    IRISH TRAINED have won seven of the last 11 (14 of the last 23), now sometimes with over half the field (9 from 14 last year, 4 from 9 2022 year, 4 from 8 2021, 9 from 15 2020). 5 of the 14 Irish trained were (at least) jt favs, Marine Nationale 9/2 third fav, 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 Tattersalls/Deloitte Novice Hurdle now at the Dublin Racing Festival. In 2022 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 2022. Melon (2nd) had only won a Leopardstown Maiden. Ballyburn, Slade Steel, Musical Power.


    W Mullins has won seven Supremes and five of the last 11. 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. Had 2nd and 3rd last year with Facile Vega and Diverge. Ballyburn, Musical Power, Tullyhill


    TULLYHILL - Only one of Willie Mullins' horses that lined up in the Supreme Novice had run beyond the DRF - Bring On The Night (4th Con Hill). Only Labaik 25/1 finished in the top 2 in the Supreme Novice, running after the 10th of February. All horses in the top 2 in the last ten years had run no later than that date. (Daryl Carter)


    The Supreme is currently the second most successful Festival race for Irish Trained runners after the Champion Hurdle. First eight home last year were Irish trained, only a 3rd in 2022, 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).


    Horses that failed to make the top four finish on a run within 6 weeks of the Festival are 6/31 in G1s at the meeting since 2003. Facile Vega failed the test last year. Winners with Vanillier, Labaik, Black Hercules, Uxizandre, Lord Windermere and Voy Pour Ustesdes. Courtesy of Tony Keenan. Labaik won a dreadful Supreme in 2017. In the last 27 only Labaik, Manorah (2010) and Arcalis (2005) did not win last time out.


    Of the last 13 Irish Trained winners, nine were the Emerald Isle's most fancied in the market. Definitely not Marine Nationale.


    TWO RUNS ONLY? - Constitution Hill the first since Captain Cee Bee (E Harty) '08 and Ebaziyan (W Mullins) '07 to only have two previous runs over hurdles. Diverge 3rd last year on the back of only two maiden hurdles. No GB trained winner with less than three runs since Shadow Leader 'Charlie Egerton) '97. N Henderson not known for overracing his charges.


    SECOND SEASON NOVICE - This century Vautour, Klassical Dream the only second season novices to win. Both had run in French hurdle races, The latter run five times over hurdles in France. Douvan's first run over hurdles was on the 13th May. Both Shishkin and Appreciate It from p2ps. No winner's first season over hurdles was in GB or IRE. (Including Il Etait Temps last year).


    In 2022, 10 horses tried to win a Festival Grade 1 having not been seen for at least 90 days. None, including Appreciate It, were successful. Stat torpedoed by Marine Nationale.


    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 eight. (No ride 2023 nor 2021). Michael O'Sullivan couldn't claim the 5 lbs last year. Didn't stop him.


    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. (Tahmuras 10th last year, the Tolworth winner, a no hoper 2022, 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). 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 three Festivals he has had only three runners on each Tuesday, last year all nowhere, 2022 Bel Ex One, third at 28/1 in the Boodles, 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 16 renewals, 16 of his 26 runners were placed, four were priced over 10/1 including 2nd and 3rd in 2014. No runner last year, 1-2 in 2022, 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. In 2008 he also 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. In 2023 the Tolworth became the Formby, run at Aintree on Boxing Day. Still a G1. Won by Nicky's Jango Baie


    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.


    PREPARATION RACES - Apart from the Deloitte/Chanelle Hurdle at Leopardstown, Royal Bond at Fairyhouse in December and the Tolworth. These three races have produced 10 of the last 23 winners - Stat appeal may be limited as the last Royal Bond winner before Marine Nationale to double up was Like A Butterfly in 2002. Farren Glory from King Of Kingsfield. Eight Royal Bond winners between 2002 and last year have tried here, four placed in the Supreme, the most recent being Mengli Khan in 2018. Shishkin killed the 'you don't win the Sydney Banks 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 in the Ballymore last year after winning at 1/3 at Punchestown.


    Since the MOSCOW FLYER was first run in 2003, 13 winners have come to Cheltenham, 10 of those to the Supreme. WPM has won it nine times. His only three that didn't come to this race were Impair et Passe, 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 (win), Douvan (win), Min (2nd) and Getabird (11th at 7/4 fav) 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 to Shishkin. Jezki won then 3rd. In 2022 Mighty Potter 15/2 unplaced. Then won the Punchestown Grade 1. Caldwell Potter from Predators Gold, the rest nowhere.


    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 2021. Of the last 15 Betfair Hurdles winners, nine were novices, eight came here. Neither of the two winners in 2023 or 2022 were novices. Filey Bay, 2nd here last year, did finish 3rd in the County behind Falvoir, unplaced at Newbury. 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. Brave Inca won two handicap hurdles in the rise to his success in 2004. Although this is a G1, the Betfair Hurdle does tend to be worth £12k+ more to the winner. The more important aim? Easier to win? Fewer Irish? Supreme more of an afterthought? Why not?


    Soaring Glory rated 133 at Newbury. Those that have run in the Supreme have finished 42520420 albeit the rest all won a Betfair Hurdley off higher marks. 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 33 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 75 had gained at least a place in an all aged rated handicap hurdle. No qualifiers last year. 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 two years.


    Rossington Main at Haydock. Last to double up Cinders And Ashes 2012. Jonbon won it in 2022. Chasing Fire won it last year, 12th here.


    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. Nothing last year.


    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 11th here then won big 2m 4f handicap at Aintree.


    Constitution Hill joined Summerville Boy 2018 first Tolworth winners to double up since Noland 2006. Fiddlerontheroof poor in 2021. Tahmuras 11th here last year at 11/1. 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. Jango Baie


    FOR AUCTION NOVICE - G3 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. Nothing came here last year. What's Up Darling from  Dee Capo.


    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. Last year Rubaud went to Ayr instead for £43k. Since 2007, Diverge 3rd, For Pleasure 3rd, 2021, Mengli Khan 3rd 2018 and Labaik, only Binocular of the 60 triers who ran on the flat have gained a place in this. Three others tried last year, best High Definition 7th.


    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).


    In 2022, 10 horses tried to win a Festival Grade 1 having not been seen for at least 90 days. None, including Appreciate It, were successful. Marine Nationale scuppered that one.


    10 of the last 12 had won (21 of the last 30 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? - Marine Nationale by French Navy. I'm no expert but I don't see too many known NH on that page. Constitution Hill 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. Last year ex bumper finished 1-2 In 2022 the ex bumper horses were a 2-3, 1-2 2021, a 1-2-3 in 2020. Constitution Hill had run in one p2p. 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.


    COURSE FORM - From the last 32 only six were previous course winners (including Altior and Champagne Fever). However only 10 of the 32 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 four winners to 2023 had yet to darken the door. 


    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 (tbf 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 his previous race but after giving the rest 200 yds at the start.


    Eight of the last ten winners were unbeaten when completing over hurdles (Shishkin tripped over at Newbury first time out). 12 of the last 13 won last time out. This century all bar Labaik, Menorah '10 and Arcalis '05 had won last time.


    HURDLE RUNS - Marine Nationale (2) Constitution Hill (2), Appreciate It (3), Shiskin (3) and Klassical Dream (2) The eight before had all ran in either 4 or 5 hurdles that season. Klassical Dream had a total of 6 previous runs, 4 in France. Don't need to be that battle hardened any more?


    Since Destriero 1991, only Marine Nationale (4) Constitution Hill (2), 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.


    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 up his run in the Champion Hurdle, though. Not relevant in recent runnings.


    37 of last 38 winners had won at least once previously. 35 of last 37 placed 1-2-3 last time, 29 won the previous outing. Labaik burned the last two stats. None of the last 34 winners had more than 5 runs that season.


    SUPREME TIMES - Marine Nationale 4 mins dead in soft ground, 0.3 of a second slower than Constitution Hill an hour later. 2022 CH 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 - Marine Nationale 4.09 in the soft ground Royal Bond, Constitution Hill 4.05 Sandown Novice (not the Tolworth). 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 :

    Fairyhouse Royal Bond - 4.09 Farren Glory, 1 sec slower than Marine Nationale last year

    Formby 2m Aintree - 4.27 Jango Baie

    Navan For Auction Hurdle 4.04 yielding Hercule du Seuil

    Moscow Flyer Hurdle - 4.29 heavy Whats Up Darling

    G1 Leopardstown Xmas 4.12 heavy Caldwell Potter

    2m 1/2f Chelt Old - Lookaway 3.58 Good Ground

    Rossington Main Haydock -

    Dovecote -

    G1 Leopardstown Deloitte -


    2023 Champion Bumper form. Don't think there has ever been one like it. A Dream To Share, the winner, has had a small setback but by the 7th January no fewer than 18 horses out of 21 from that race have won since. Role of honour includes a G1 Punchestown Bumper, a Challow, a Persian War, a Limerick G2, a Cheltenham Cl 2, a Listed mares and countless maiden hurdles. As impressive as I can remember.


    2022 Champion Bumper Form - Facile Vega from American Mike and James's Gate. The winner is the obvious standout but the rest did for the form. '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. 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.


    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. Seven of the last 12 have tried, Facile Vega 2nd, 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 13 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.


    Only 8 of the last 22 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 - 18 of the last 23 winners had previously won in fields of at least 14 runners. But only Appreciate It, Shishkin and Klassical Dream of the last nine. All those 18 bar Marine Nationale, Appreciate It, Shishkin, Altior, Douvan and Cinders and Ashes had been successful in fields of 16 runners. Marine Nationale had taken a 15 runner Punchestown Bumper on debut. 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. Not sure how relevant this is.


    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. Marine Nationale, 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. 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 29. Michael O'Sullivan took the lead jumping the last in 2023. 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). Marine Nationale and Altior only the second and third winners from the last 28 not out this calendar year. Ballsy from Barry Connell


    BLINKERS/HOODS/CHEEKPIECES etc - No success from 38 triers since Flown 1992. Did anyone actually think Il Etait Temp stood a chance in that hood last year? 5th at 4/1. Soaring Glory, a poor fourth in first time cheekpieces. 2017 Cilaos Emery, first time hood, 5th. Petit Mouchoir, hooded, unpl in 2016.


    This century 49 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). Facile Vega last year 2nd, Angels Breath unpl 2019, Claimantanforgan similar in 2018, likewise Cilaos Emery and Crack Mome in 2017.


    None of the last 21 were chestnuts. Love that one.


    And to finish, the last Supreme winner to win the Gold Cup was L'Escargot 1968 and 1970. In case people are getting excited Ballyburn