Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle

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The Dovecote Novices Hurdle is a Grade 2 race over two miles at Kempton Park in late February.

It is billed as a trial for the Supreme Novices Hurdle at Cheltenham, although the last horse to win both races was Nicky Henderson’s Flown in 1992.

Other notable winners include Granville Again (1991), Sire de Grugy (2011) and Forgotten Voice (2013).

Find out more about the Dovecote Novices Hurdle:

Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle

Race Overview – The Dovecote Novices Hurdle

Horses four years old and older may compete in the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle, a Grade 2 National Hunt hurdle race.

It is run at Kempton Park over a course that is roughly 2 miles (2,012 metres) long, and there are eight hurdles to clear along the way.

This race is a popular race in February.

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Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle 2024 Result

Check out the latest result from this race:

Famous Dovecote Novices Hurdle Winners

The Dovecote Novices Hurdle was first run as a listed race in 1988 with victory going to Over The Counter, trained by Nicky Henderson and ridden by Jamie Osborne.

The race was upgraded to a Grade 2 in 1991 when it was won by subsequent Champion Hurdle winner Granville Again. Martin Pipe trained the gelding who finished runner-up in the Supreme. He fell in his first bid for the Champion Hurdle in 1992 but made amends the following year.

2011 winner Sire De Grugy went on to become a champion over fences, landing the 2014 Queen Mother Champion Chase for Gary and Jamie Moore. The flashy chestnut also won the Tingle Creek twice, the Celebration Chase twice as well as the Desert Orchid Chase and Clarence House Chase.

Nicky Henderson has plundered this race through the years. His most significant winners were Flown who won the Supreme in 1992 and the splendid dual-purpose horse Forgotten Voice (2013). He was a heavily-backed favourite when winning the 2009 Royal Hunt Cup at Ascot. He also won the Wolferton Handicap at Royal Ascot in 2013 and the Group 3 Glorious Stakes at Goodwood.

Key Dovecote Novices Hurdle Trials

There are no obvious trials for the Dovecote Novices Hurdle but it is worth noting that nine of the last twelve winners had been successful on their last start.

All but two of those winners had raced within the past seven weeks.

Although this is billed as a trial for the Supreme, only two of the last twelve winners ran in that race.

River Wylde (2017) fared best when finishing third at Cheltenham.

Aintree has been the preferred option with five winners contesting the Top Novices Hurdle. Two were placed and three were well beaten.

The last twelve winners of the Dovecote have all been in the first three in the betting. Of those, four started favourite and six started as second favourite.

The shortest-priced winner during that time was Grumeti (4-9) in 2012.

Irving (2014) and Winter Escape (2016) also returned odds-on favourite.

The biggest field attracted in those 12 years was ten runners in 2018.

Horses aged five and six have dominated this event. Grumeti was the last four-year-old to win the race while Forgotten Voice (2013) was the oldest winner in the history of the race at the age of eight.

Dovecote Novices Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson has a superb record in the Dovecote with eight winners; Over The Counter (1988), Flown (1992), Kimanicky (1996), Premier Generation (1999), Shatabdi (2007), Forgotten Voice (2013), Days Of Heaven (2015) and River Wylde (2017).

Two jockeys share the honours with three winners apiece. Robert Thornton won it on Senorita Rumbelita (2006), Trenchant (2009) and Grumeti (2012).

Barry Geraghty was successful aboard Forgotten Voice (2013), Days Of Heaven (2015) and Winter Escape (2016).

Betting on the Dovecote Novices Hurdle

The betting market is usually a good guide to the Dovecote with the favourite and second favourite winning all but two of the last twelve renewals. It is also worth noting Nicky Henderson’s exceptional record in this race.

Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle Facts

  • The race is open to horses aged four and above.
  • It is run over a distance of about 2 miles, and during its running, there are eight hurdles to be jumped.
  • The race is scheduled to take place each year in February.
  • The race is held at Kempton Park.

Summary of the Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle

Thank you for reading our Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle guide.

We have looked at previous winners, stats, top trainers and jockeys and other stats, we hope you have found all the  information that you need.

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