Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

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The Tolworth Hurdle is a Grade 1 race for novices. It was formerly run over two miles at Sandown Park in January. It is an important trial for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham.

The Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle has been moved this year and will now take place at AIntree on Boxing Day over the same trip.

Notable past winners include Desert Orchid (1984), Forest Sun (1990), French Holly (1998) and Yorkhill (2016). The 2022 renewal was won by Nicky Henderson’s Constitution Hill who won the Supreme by 22 lengths.

The race was staged as the 32Red Hurdle between 2011 and 2013 and was sponsored by the online casino 32Red from 2011 through 2018. It has been supported by Unibet since 2019.

Race Overview – The Tolworth Hurdle

Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle.

There are eight hurdles to clear during the course of the race, which is held at Aintree over a distance of around 2 miles.

Famous Tolworth Hurdle Winners

The Tolworth Hurdle was first run in 1976 with victory going to the high-class Grand Canyon, trained by Derek Kent and ridden by Peter Haynes.

The next two winners were the very talented but unpredictable Levaramoss (1977) and the future top-class chaser Western Rose (1978).

1981 winner Broadsword was the leading hurdler of his generation. He was denied victory in the Triumph Hurdle by Martin Pipe’s Baron Blakeney.

The popular grey Desert Orchid won this race for Trainer David Elsworth in 1984. He is most famous for his remarkable victory in the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup and his four King George VI Chase victories (1986, 1988, 1989, 1990). He also won the 1990 Irish Grand National with top weight.

Forest Sun went on to win the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1990 for Toby Balding and Jimmy Frost.

1998 winner French Holly stepped up in trip at Cheltenham to win the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle. He later won the Grade 1 Christmas Hurdle before finishing second to Istabraq at Leopardstown and Aintree and third in the 1999 Champion Hurdle.

Other notable winners include Behrajan (1999), Noland (2006), Melodic Rendezvous (2013) and Finian’s Oscar (2017).

The Tolworth Hurdle received a further boost with the impressive victory of Constitution Hill in 2022. Nicky Henderson’s gelding followed up his 14 lengths victory at the course in December with a 12 lengths success. He started joint-favourite for the Supreme Novices Hurdle which he won comfortably. He then confirmed his status as Champion Hurdle favourite with effortless victories in the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle and the Christmas Hurdle at Kempton Park.

What Happened In The 2023 Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

Check out the latest result from this race:

Key Tolworth Hurdle Trials

The Kennel Gate Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot in December has been an informative trial for the Tolworth Hurdle. Monsignor (1999), Marcel (2004) and L’Ami Serge (2014) all won the Ascot race before winning at Sandown Park.

Marcel also won The Supreme Trial at Cheltenham (registered as the Sharp Novices’ Hurdle) in November. Summerville Boy (2018) had been beaten in that race before winning the Tolworth Hurdle. The form of the 2019 renewal won by Elixir De Nutz was boosted by runner-up Grand Sancy and third-placed Southfield Stone. They won the Grade 2 Kingwell Hurdle at Wincanton and the Grade 2 Dovecote Novices’ Hurdle at Kempton respectively.

The main Cheltenham Festival target for Tolworth Hurdle winners is the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Five of the last twelve Sandown winners ran in the Supreme. Noland (2006), Summerville Boy (2018) and Constitution Hill (2022) were successful in both races.

French Holly (1998) and Yorkhill (2016) both won the two miles and five furlongs Ballymore Novices hurdle at Cheltenham.

Horses aged five or six have won all but three of the last twenty renewals. Only Thisthatandtother (2003), Melodic Rendezvous (2013) and Royal Boy (2014) bucked the trend by winning here at the age of seven.

An official rating of 135 or higher is usually required to win this race.

Melodic Rendezvous won off that rating while the highest officially rated winner was L’Ami Serge (149) in 2015.

Favourites have won seven of the last twelve renewals of the Tolworth Hurdle. L’Ami Serge (2015), Yorkhill (2016) and Constitution Hill (2022) were all odds-on winners.

Shock results are rare in this race. Captain Conan (2012) and Royal Boy (2014) were the longest-priced winners in recent years, both returning at 9-1.

Tolworth Hurdle – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson is the leading trainer in the history of the Tolworth Hurdle with six winners; New York Rainbow (1992), Minella Class (2011), Captain Conan (2012), Royal Boy (2014), L’Ami Serge (2015) and Constitution Hill (2022).

Paul Nicholls won it four times between 2003 and 2008 while Henderson won four times between 2011 and 2015; Thisthatandtother (2003), Noland (2006), Silverburn (2007) and Breedsbreeze (2006).

Willie Mullins won the race for the first time with Yorkhill in 2016 and Colin Tizzard was successful in 2017, 2019 and 2020 with Finian’s Oscar, Elixir De Nutz and Fiddlerontheroof.

Three jockeys share the honours as leading jockey in the Tolworth Hurdle with three winners apiece; Norman Williamson, Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty.

Facts about the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

  • The Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 National Hunt hurdle race in Great Britain which is open to horses aged four years or older.
  • It was first to run in 1974, and it was originally called the Tolworth Hurdle.
  • The race was given Grade 1 status in 1980, and it was renamed the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle in 1987.
  • The current sponsor of the Tolworth is JLT Group.

Summary of the Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle

Thank you for checking out our Tolworth Novices’ Hurdle guide.

The race is one of the top novice hurdle races of the season and has been won by progressive horses who have gone onto have successful careers.

We have looked at odds, tips, trends and more so you have all the information you need whether placing a bet or just watching the race.

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