The Herald Champion Novice Hurdle takes place on Tuesday 29th April, the first day of the 2014 Punchestown Festival. It is a grade 1 run over 2 miles for novice hurdlers and the Royal Bond & Supreme Novices’ Hurdle have proven the best guides in recent years.
Below we take a look at the trends for the past 10 years:
No strong trends on ages of the winners.
Mares (0-0-3) have a poor record, with all 3 female runners since 2004 failing to make the frame. Since 2000 the 6 female runners have finished last, second last or pulled up.
Irish bred: 8-10-56
German bred: 2-0-6
French bred: 0-3-6
NZ bred: 0-1-1
American bred: 0-1-3
British bred: 0-1-9
Italian bred: 0-0-1
8 of 10 winners were Irish bred, though they have accounted for 68.3% of total runners in past 10 years.
German & French bred horses have done well, gained 2 wins and 3 places from a combined 12 runners (14.6% of total runners)
10 of 10 winners finished in first 3 last time (5 won)
9 of 10 winners finished in first 3 in a grade 1 or 2 on last hurdles start
8 of 10 winners posted career high RPR last time (2 exceptions did so on penultimate start)
10 of 10 winners had run 2 to 6 times since September
10 of 10 winners had won 1 to 5 times over hurdles (8 had won 2+)
8 of 10 winners had won a graded hurdle (1 exception 2nd in grade 2 & other 3rd in grade 1)
5 of 10 winners had won a grade 1
7 of 10 winners made their debut in a bumper (2 of 3 horses to have run on the flat had won a listed or group race)
Royal Bond Hurdle winner: 11411 (4-0-5)
Highest placed finisher from the Royal Bond Hurdle: 0114U1341 (4-1-9)
Record of first 3 from Royal Bond in this: 1141U131 (5-0-8)
Supreme Novices’ Hurdle winner (Vautour): 1843 (1-0-4)
Highest placed finisher from the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle: 1128U42323 (2-4-10)
Record of first 3 from Supreme Novices’ in this: 11284231 (3-2-8)
Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice Hurdle winner (Valseur Lido): 3F121 (2-2-5)
Deloitte Novice Hurdle winner (Vautour): 13 (1-0-2)
Highest placed finisher from the Deloitte Novice Hurdle: 15U1 (2-0-4)
Moscow Flyer Novice Hurdle winner (Vautour): 52 (0-1-2)
Thornton Recycling Maiden Hurdle winner (Western Boy): 624 (0-1-3)
I.N.H. Stallion Owners EBF Novice Hurdle winner (Wicklow Brave): 54 (0-0-2)
6 of 10 winners ran in the Royal Bond, finishing 112511
4 of 10 winners ran in the Supreme Novices Hurdle, finishing 1203
3 of 10 winners (3 of last 6) ran in Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novice H'dle, finishing 121
2 of 10 winners ran in the Deloitte Novice Hurdle, finishing 13
2 of 10 winners ran in the For Auction Novice Hurdle, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in the Future Champions Novice Hurdle, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in the Fishery Lane Hurdle, finishing 11
2 of 10 winners ran in previous season's Cheltenham Champion Bumper, finishing 08
Noel Meade (3-0-11) has won 4 of the last 12 runnings of this race.
Willie Mullins (2-4-10) trained the 1-2 in 2009 & 2010 but his 3 runners in 2012 were all unplaced and last year he accounted for the unplaced favourite.
Eddie O’Grady (2-0-2) has seen all 4 of his runners since 2001 all win.
Tony Martin (0-1-1) saddled the runner-up last year.
British trained runners (0-3-9) have a poor record in this race, failing to win with any of their 9 representatives and gaining just 3 places. They have been responsible for 2 favourites in past 10 years.
8 of 10 winners came from the first 2 in the betting
All 10 winners were priced 8/1 or below & came from the first 4 in the betting.
Favourites (5-3-10) have won 6 of the last 10 giving a level stakes profit of 2.92.
Based on the trends from the past 10 years you are looking for a horse:
- Irish or German bred
- Finished in first 2 last time in a grade 1 or 2
- Posted a career high RPR of 139+ last time
- Run in 2 to 6 hurdles races since September
- Won 1 to 5 times over hurdles
- Won a graded hurdle (preferably a grade 1)
- Bumper winner or listed/group winner on the flat
- Finished in first 2 in Royal Bond and/or Rathbarry & Glenview Studs Novices’ Hurdle
- Finished in first 3 in Deloitte and/or Supreme Nov H'dle
- Trained by Willie Mullins, Eddie O’Grady or Noel Meade
- From first 2 in the betting (no bigger than 8/1).