Sharp Novices’ Hurdle

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The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 2 race over an extended two miles at Cheltenham in November.

The race often attracts possible contenders for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Notable past winners include Cue Card (2010), Dodging Bullets (2012) and Altior (2015).

Find out more about the Sharp Novices Hurdle:

Sharp Novices’ Hurdle

Race Overview

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

There are eight hurdles to clear during the race, which is raced on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of around 2 miles and a half (2 miles and 87 yards, or 3,298 m).

The novice hurdlers’ race takes place in November each year.

Famous Sharp Novices’ Hurdle Winners

The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle has produced three future champions in Cue Card (2010), Dodging Bullets (2012) and Altior (2015).

Cue Card gained his first Cheltenham Festival victory in the Champion Bumper in 2010. He later added the Ryanair Chase in 2013 and was unlucky not to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup when falling in 2016. His biggest career success came in the King George VI Chase at Kempton Park in 2015.

Dodging Bullets also went on to prove top-class over fences. He was trained by Paul Nicholls to win the Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2015. That followed victories in the Grade 1 Clarence House Chase at Ascot and Tingle Creek Chase at Sandown Park.

Altior won this race for Nicky Henderson in 2015 and took the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle the following spring. He defeated Min and subsequent dual Champion Hurdle winner Buveur D’Air in what is regarded as one of the finest renewals in the history of the race.

The son of High Chaparral returned to Cheltenham to win the Arkle Chase (2017) and Queen Mother Champion Chase (2018 and 2019). His win in the 2019 Celebration Chase at Sandown completed a world record nineteenth consecutive victory for a National Hunt horse.

Key Sharp Novices’ Hurdle Trials

It is not possible to identify any specific trials for the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle. However, it is worth noting that 10 of the last 12 winners ran and won within the previous month.

This race can have an impact on the ante-post betting for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Seven of the last twelve winners ran in that race, although only Altior (2015) was successful.

Cue Card went on to finish fourth after winning here in 2010.

Horses aged four and five have dominated this race, winning all but one of the last twelve renewals. The only exception was Moon Racer (2016) who won at the age of seven for David Pipe and Tom Scudamore.

Elixir De Nutz (2018) won with an official rating of 130 while Dodging Bullets (2012) had been rated 150.

The two market leaders have an impressive recent record in the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle. Ten of the last twelve winners started favourite or second favourite.

Cue Card (2010) started odds-on favourite, as did 2021 winner I Like To Move It.

The only surprise results during the same period came from I’msingingtheblues (2007) at 14-1 and Golan Way (2008) at 8-1.

Sharp Novices’ Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Colin Tizzard has a good record here with three relatively recent victories; Cue Card (2010), Slate House (2017) and Elixir Du Nutz (2018).

Paul Nicholls, Nicky Henderson and David Pipe have also been among the winners in this race.

No jockey has been able to dominate this event. Over the last fourteen renewals, the only jockey to win it twice was Harry Cobden (2017 and 2018).

Popular Questions

What are important facts about Sharp Novices’ Hurdle?

Here are some important facts about Sharp Novices’ Hurdle:

  • The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is run at Cheltenham Racecourse, Great Britain
  • The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is for horses aged 4 and over
  • The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 2 National Hunt race in Great Britain
  • The Sharp Novices’ Hurdle distance is 2 miles and half a furlong

Summary of the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle

Thank you for reading our Sharp Novices’ Hurdle guide.

This novice hurdle has a habit of producing some national hunt horses of the future, mainly over fences. It is a race to saviour and spot new and emerging talent.

Check out more Horse Races In November or if you enjoy watching races at Cheltenham, check out our Cheltenham horse racing tips guide.