The curtain-raiser for the Cheltenham Festival is also one of the most heavily bet on races at the meeting. Run over a distance of 2 mile 87 yards, the Supreme Novices Hurdle features 8 hurdles and attracts the leading novices hurdlers over 2 miles in the UK.
Supreme Novices Hurdle trends
With so much attention from the public the Supreme Novices Hurdle tends to produce underpriced favourites. Unsurprisingly the favourites have a patchy record in the race. While the last two editions were taken by the antepost favourite, the previous three went to horses priced 10/1 or above with the favourites managing a single place during this time.
Each of the last five winners of this race came to Cheltenham on the back of a win in a novices hurdle. Two recent champions won the Grade 1 Deloitte Novice Hurdle earlier in January/February before taking victory at Cheltenham. The success rate of the Deloitte Novice Hurdle champions is even more impressive if you consider that the winner of this is more frequently sent to run in the Neptune Investment Management Hurdle.
2016 Supreme Novices Hurdle field
The antepost markets have Min as this year’s favourite. He takes top billing thanks to a win in the Grade 2 Moscow Flyer Hurdle, another handy test of Supreme Novices Hurdle credentials. With a 9 length win in that race after starting as a 1/7 favourite he’s deserving of his support, and you may want to get him early before pre-race betting drops his price further.
Altior is unbeaten this season and looks the pick of the antepost field if you want an each-way bet. He took his last race by 13 lengths but had closer finishes in his previous two. He’s trading just over 4/1 at the moment, so try get him as soon as bookies open no-runner insurance for the 2016 Cheltenham Festival.
Above the 10/1 mark Mister Miyagi looks like he's got the most to offer. He won at Cheltenham in December and won his only other hurdles race to date - last time out at Taunton. At 40/1 he'll reward you well even if he places on your each-way bets.