The Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle is a Grade 1 race over two miles on the opening day of the Punchestown Festival. The race is confined to novice hurdlers aged five years or upwards.
The Champion Novice Hurdle takes place on the 4th of April 2024.
Willie Mullins has dominated this event in recent times with a record eight victories in twelve seasons.
Notable past winners include Moscow Flyer (2000), Brave Inca (2004), Hurricane Fly (2009), Jezki (2013) and Faugheen (2014).
The Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle is the Irish equivalent of the Cheltenham Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle. The competition usually includes horses that have previously competed in this race (also known the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle). Mikael d’Haguenet was the last horse to win both races in 2009.
Keep reading to find out more about the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle:
- 1 Punchestown Champion Novices Hurdle – Race Overview
- 2 Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Previous Winners
- 3 Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle 2022 Result
- 4 Famous Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Winners
- 5 Key Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Trials
- 6 Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Betting Trends
- 7 Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys
- 8 Betting on the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle
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- 9 Summary of the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle
- 10 2023 Punchestown Festival Related Articles
Punchestown Champion Novices Hurdle – Race Overview
The Alanna Homes Champion Novice Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle competition held in Ireland for horses aged four and up.
It is run in Punchestown racecourse over a distance of approximately 2 miles and 4 furlongs, with twelve hurdles to be leapt during the race.
The race is for novice hurdlers and takes place each year in late April or early May during the Punchestown Festival.
Check out our Punchestown Racecourse betting tips page if you are looking for tips on more events at Punchestown.
Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Previous Winners
Check out the previous winners for this race:
|1949||Cadamstown||9||11-04||J Brogan||J Powell|
|1950||Culworth||9||10-12||R Curran||W (Charlie) Hall|
|1951||Culworth||10||11-06||R Curran||W (Charlie) Hall|
|1952||Ballymagillan||6||10-09||Pat Taaffe||Tom Dreaper (Ir)|
|1953||Irish Lizard||10||10-04||Dick Francis||Frenchie Nicholson|
|1954||Little Yid||12||10-11||G Slack||Bobby Renton|
|1955||Stormhead||11||11-12||P Farrell||W (Charlie) Hall|
|1956||John Jacques||9||10-08||J Power||Walter Wharton|
|1957||Roughan||10||11-00||Harry East||Neville Crump|
|1958||Roughan||11||11-02||Fred Winter||Neville Crump|
|1959||Clanyon||11||11-04||Grenville Underwood||W Johns-Powell|
|1960||Fresh Winds||9||11-01||Stan Mellor||Roy Whiston|
|1961||Cupid's Charge||6||11-03||Bill Rees||Peter Cazalet|
|1962||Dagmar Gittell||7||10-11||Josh Gifford||Bobby Renton|
|1963||Barberyn||8||11-09||Michael Scudamore||W (Arthur) Stephenson|
|1964||Red Tide||7||10-06||Jeff King||Bob Turnell|
|1965||Hopkiss||7||10-12||E P Harty||Alec Kilpatrick|
|1966||Walpole||10||11-05||Josh Gifford||Ryan Price|
|1967||Georgetown||7||10-07||P Mahoney||Noel Kusbish|
|1968||Surcharge||10||10-08||S Davenport||John Barclay|
|1969||Dozo||8||10-05||Eddie Harty||Toby Balding|
|1970||Charter Flight||8||11-12||Johnny Haine||Bob Turnell|
|1971||Rigton Prince||10||11-01||John Enright||W (Arthur) Stephenson|
|1972||Sunny Lad||8||10-08||Ken White||Fred Rimell|
|1973||Inch Arran||9||11-02||David Mould||Peter Cazalet|
|1974||Clear Cut||10||11-08||Jonjo O'Neill||W (Charlie) Hall|
|1975||Our Greenwood||7||12-00||Tommy Carberry||Jim Dreaper (Ir)|
|1976||Lictor||9||10-00||David Sunderland||Edward Courage|
|1977||Churchtown Boy||10||10-00||Chris Read||Taffy Salaman|
|1978||Canit||8||10-00||Colin Tinkler||Fred Rimell|
|1979||Artic Ale||8||10-08||John Fowler[a]||Dan Moore (Ir)|
|1980||Uncle Bing||11||11-11||John Francome||Richard Head|
|1981||Mr Marlsbridge||8||10-10||Paul Barton||David Gandolfo|
|1982||Beacon Time||8||10-09||Kevin Mooney||Fulke Walwyn|
|1983||Tiepolino||11||10-04||Hywel Davies||Kevin Bishop|
|1984||Fabulous||11||10-00||Andrew Stringer||J S Wilson|
|1985||Smith's Man||7||10-00||Mark Perrett||Jenny Pitman|
|1986||Glenrue||9||10-02||Richard Dunwoody||Terry Casey|
|1987||Strath Leader||9||11-10||Tom Morgan||John Edwards|
|1988||Wiggburn||9||10-02||Mike Williams||Anne Hewitt|
|1989||Villierstown||10||11-10||Simon Sherwood||W (Arthur) Stephenson|
|1990||Wont Be Gone Long||8||11-07||Richard Dunwoody||Nicky Henderson|
|1991||J-J-Henry||12||10-10||Anthea Farrell[a]||Peter Beaumont|
|1992||The Antartex||9||10-02||Richard Dunwoody||Gordon W. Richards|
|1993||Sirrah Jay||13||10-00||Adrian Maguire||Toby Balding|
|1994||Indian Tonic||8||10-04||Chris Maude||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|1995||Dublin Flyer||9||12-00||Brendan Powell Snr||Tim Forster|
|1996||Joe White||10||11-00||Paul Carberry||Howard Johnson|
|1997||Bells Life||8||11-04||Glen Tormey||Philip Hobbs|
|1998||Cyfor Malta||5||11-01||Tony McCoy||Martin Pipe|
|1999||Listen Timmy||10||11-08||Tony Dobbin||Steve Brookshaw|
|2000||Northern Starlight||9||11-05||Tony McCoy||Martin Pipe|
|2001||Gower-Slave||9||10-07||Richard Johnson||Philip Hobbs|
|2002||Its Time For A Win||10||10-12||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins|
|2003||Clan Royal||8||10-02||Liam Cooper||Jonjo O'Neill|
|2004||Cassia Heights||9||10-00||Jim Culloty||Steve Brookshaw|
|2005||Cregg House||10||10-05||Davy Russell||Shane Donohoe|
|2006||Liberthine||7||10-04||Sam Waley-Cohen[a]||Nicky Henderson|
|2007||Dunbrody Millar||9||10-00||Jamie Moore||Peter Bowen|
|2008||Gwanako||5||11-08||Ruby Walsh||Paul Nicholls|
|2009||Irish Raptor||10||10-00||Paddy Brennan||Nigel Twiston-Davies|
|2010||Always Waining||9||10-00||Brian Hughes||Peter Bowen|
|2011||Always Waining||10||10-04||Tom O'Brien||Peter Bowen|
|2012||Always Waining||11||10-11||Tom O'Brien||Peter Bowen|
|2013||Triolo D'Alene||6||10-07||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2014||Ma Filleule||6||11-07||Barry Geraghty||Nicky Henderson|
|2015||Rajdhani Express||8||11-08||Sam Waley-Cohen[a]||Nicky Henderson|
|2016||Eastlake||10||10-11||Barry Geraghty||Jonjo O'Neill|
|2017||Ultragold||9||10-05||Harry Cobden||Colin Tizzard|
|2018||Ultragold||10||11-01||Harry Cobden||Colin Tizzard|
|2019||Cadmium||7||11-01||Paul Townend||Willie Mullins|
|–||no race 2020 [b]||–||–||–||–|
|2021||Livelovelaugh||11||11-00||Patrick Mullins[a]||Willie Mullins|
|2022||Mac Tottie||9||10-00||Sean Bowen||Peter Bowen|
|2023||Bill Baxter||7||10-04||Sam Twiston-Davies||Warren Greatrex|
Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle 2022 Result
Check out the latest result from this race:
Famous Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Winners
The Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle was open to four-year-olds until 1992. Jim Bolger’s Vestris Abu (1990) was the last winner from this age group.
Dawn Run won the race as a five-year-old in 1983, going on to become the only horse in racing history to land the Champion Hurdle and the Cheltenham Gold Cup. She was also the only horse to complete the English, Irish and French Champion Hurdle treble.
Klairon Davis won in 1994 and won the Arkle Challenge Trophy the following year. He went on to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 1996. 2000 winner Moscow Flyer also went on to an illustrious career over fences, culminating in Cheltenham Champion Chase victories for Jessica Harrington in 2003 and 2005.
2004 winner Brave Inca won the Punchestown Champion Hurdle the following year and the Cheltenham Champion Hurdle in 2006. He also won the Irish Champion Hurdle in 2006 and 2009 among his fifteen career victories, amassing almost £1 million in prize money.
There have been three further subsequent Champion Hurdle winners of the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle. Hurricane Fly (2009), Jezki (2013) and Faugheen (2014) all went on the Cheltenham glory. Hurricane Fly was one of the greatest Irish hurdlers of all time, winning 24 times from 32 starts over the lower obstacles.
He won the Champion Hurdle in 2011 and 2013, the Punchestown Champion Hurdle four times and the Irish Champion Hurdle five times.
Hurricane Fly’s 2009 victory also signalled the start of a period of total domination for Willie Mullins in the race.
Key Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Trials
Four of the last eleven winners ran in the Hardy Eustace Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse, two of the winning and two of them being placed.
Two winners and one placed horse from the Supreme have been successful in this race. Douvan (2015) and Klassical Dream (2019) both followed up their Supreme Hurdle victories in this race for Willie Mullins.
Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle Betting Trends
There have been four winning favourites in the last eleven seasons; Faugheen (2014), Douvan (2015), Klassical Dream (2019) and Echoes In Rain (2021). All four were trained by Willie Mullins and started odds-on, the shortest-priced being Douvan at a prohibitive 1-6.
Blackstairmountain (2010), Alderwood (2012) and Jezki (2013) were all second favourites while Cilaos Emery (2017) was third-best in the market.
There have also been a couple of shock winners. Draconien (2018) sprang a 25-1 surprise in 2018 and Don’t Touch It (2016) returned at 16-1.
An official rating of 139 or higher is usually required to win the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle. Only Shot From The Hip (2011) and Draconien (2018) have fallen below that figure in recent times on 136.
The highest-rated winner in recent seasons was Douvan (2015) on 160.
Eight of the last eleven Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle had raced at least once at this track, five of them having at least one course victory.
All eleven had won at least once over hurdles and had raced at least three times in the current season.
Five-year-olds have been the most successful age group in recent years, winning five of the last six renewals.
The oldest winners in the history of the event were the eight-year-olds Hotel Minella (1995) and Alderwood (2012).
Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys
Willie Mullins has an incredible recent record in this race with eight victories in the last twelve renewals. His winners were Hurricane Fly (2009), Blackstairmountain (2010), Faugheen (2014), Douvan (2015), Cilaos Emery (2017), Draconien (2018), Klassical Dream (2019) and Echoes In Rain (2021).
Ruby Walsh was aboard four of those winners and also partnered Iktitaf (2006) for Noel Meade, making him the most successful jockey in the history of the race.
Jessica Harrington has trained the winner of the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle on four occasions; Dance Beat (1996), Moscow Flyer (2000), Jezki (2013) and Don’t Touch It (2016).
Edward O’Grady and Noel Meade also trained four winners apiece, their most recent coming in 2011 and 2008 respectively.
Betting on the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle
Betting on the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle has predictably been dominated by Trainer Willie Mullins. He usually has several top-class two-mile novice hurdlers in his care.
The betting market does not really take shape until he confirms running plans and he is difficult to oppose on the evidence of recent seasons.
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Summary of the Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle
The Punchestown Champion Novice Hurdle is normally a high-class clash of emerging talent.
Dominated by Willie Mullins, who always has strength and depth in that department, it is often a race to spot a star of the future in.
It is one of the most eagerly anticipated of the Punchestown Festival and one of your favourites.
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