AIB Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Tue March 11th 2008 

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Captain Cee Bee Leads McManus One-Two

1st (3) Captain Cee Bee 17-2
2nd (22) Binocular 8-1 Co Fav
3rd (16) Snap Tie 20-1
22 ran
Also: 8-1 Co Fav Muirhead, Pigeon Island, 40-1 Kalahari King 4th
NR: Zebra Crossing

With the change to soft ground, AP decided to switch his allegiance to Binocular(right) and it certainly appeared to be the correct decision as he was always going best of the two McManus runners, until the run in that is, when he failed to quicken up as well as Captain Cee Bee and `Choc` Thornton.

Captain Cee Bee

A day after his 57th birthday, JP McManus, the most prodigious owner in National Hunt racing, got a present worth waiting for when Captain Cee Bee and Binocular, wearing the famous green and gold hoops, gave the Irishman a one-two in the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices Chase, the opening race of the 2008 Cheltenham Festival.

The winner, Captain Cee Bee (17/2) , trained by Eddie Harty, was McManus’s 28th Cheltenham success, but it was Binocular (8/1), from the Jonjo O’Neill stable, who was predicted to be the more likely McManus winner and was the choice of the owner’s retained jockey Tony McCoy.

“From what I was hearing he [Tony McCoy] was very happy with his choice, but both trainers were expecting their horses to run well. With Binocular, if there was a worry, it was if he was experienced enough having only two runs. I did not know which to fancy,” said McManus, who added that he couldn’t ask for more than see both his horses coming up the hill clear.

“At the last I was looking to see how the rest of field was getting on. It was a shame that one of my horses had to lose. It was a great race - very exciting.”

For trainer Eddie Harty, son of the jockey of the same name, it was an astonishing success for Captain Cee Bee was his first ever runner at the Festival. Moreover, a jubilant trainer felt the horse didn’t how it full ability. “We knew he was pretty special.

"We'll have our 40 minutes of fame and see what happens after that! We've always loved the horse, he won a Flat race last year over a mile and three by nine lengths and that vindicated to me how good the horse was and he's just proven it now. We've always felt that he was Cheltenham material.

"To be honest, he didn't like the ground today. Choc was saying that he never travelled that well early on in the race because of the ground. I was slightly worried about my fella at the top of the hill - he was slightly niggling at him. I watched it on the big screen across the track at that point and I was slightly worried that he was dropping away. But then, when he jumped it, he was in contention. Binocular seemed to be cruising but my fella jumped it well.

"It's unbelievable - you dream about things like this and you think it will never happen. It's a strange feeling to be honest. It's not the euphoria; it's the release of the pressure of the last four months. You train the horse for the one day; you have certain things go wrong, not been able to get a run into the horse. You come here after a hundred and something days with no run hoping you're not going to leave Cheltenham with egg on your face. It's a relief more than anything else.

"My grandfather, my father's father, was Captain C B Harty and he was one of the members of the first Irish team to jump when Ireland had independence. He was a trainer in his own right, a trainer of trainers, a trainer of horses, a trainer of jockeys.

"My father rode successfully but never actually got to ride a winner at The Festival even though he rode many winners at Cheltenham. When he bought this fella, he named him Captain Cee Bee, which was a brave thing to do because horses named after people or places that mean something to you usually end up no good, but this fella is here today in the right spot. It's a family triumph in every sense of the word."

Robert Thornton, the winning jockey, said: “I wasn’t liking the ground early ground and, to be honest with you, I was off grinding behind the bridle from the first down the back straight.

“He’s picked up and held his position and the one thing he can do is jump which is a great attribute round here. Off the bend A P looked as though he was probably going better than me but I was half confident that Captain Cee Bee would pick up and he did. He missed the last and still got away with it. He’s gone well in ground he probably doesn’t like.

“The ground is described as good to soft and it has ridden soft for Captain Cee Bee, but he doesn’t like the ground and it depends on what you are sat on.

“If you were on a horse that loved that kind off ground then it would probably ride good to soft. You wait and see a couple of race before taking a view on what the ground is like.

“Its great to ride an Irish-trained winner, although I wouldn’t want to come in here carrying the Cross of St George!”



Nicky Henderson, trainer of second-placed Binocular, said: “He did nothing wrong, he jumped well, he travelled well and did everything right. Ironically the whole point of running here was to avoid (J P McManus’s) Franchoek (in the JCB Triumph Hurdle) and we were beaten by his horse here! I don’t know what the plan will be now, it probably depends where Franchoek and all the others go.”

Snap Tie

Snap Tie

Diana Whateley, owner of Snap Tie, who finished third, said: “We lost The Grey Berry recently so to be placed at Cheltenham is wonderful when everyone is trying so hard and in such a big field. The ground was not quite what we wanted for him but I’m just thrilled.”

The horse’s trainer Philip Hobbs said: “We’re very pleased. We’d have liked the ground to be better and it would have been nice to be in the shake-up a little bit closer but we’re very proud of him.”

Outsider Kalahari King claimed fourth at 40/1 to the delight of trainer Ferdy Murphy, who said: “I’m absolutely thrilled with him. It’s probably gone a little bit soft for him but it’s been a great experience and he’s a horse that can play at the big table. Tony (Dobbin) had a great spin round on him and this will do wonders for the horse’s confidence.”

Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle – Analysis

Irish-trained runners have landed five of the last seven renewals of the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and this year there are 46 entries from across the water, headed by the Jessica Harrington-trained Cork All Star. Last year’s Grade One Weatherbys Champion Bumper winner made a successful start over hurdles before finishing second to fellow entry Muirhead in the Grade One Royal Bond Novice Hurdle at Fairyhouse in December.

Oliver McKiernan’s Whatuthink finished third in that race, but the six-year-old gelding had Cork All Star back in third when triumphing in the Grade Two Future Champions Novice Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27, with fellow entry Forpadydeplasterer, trained by Thomas Cooper, separating the pair.

Last year’s Grade One Weatherby’s Champion Bumper second Sophocles could also return to The Festival. James Levy’s five-year-old gelding recorded a good victory in a competitive maiden at Leopardstown in December on his second start over hurdles.

Willie Mullins, who added to Tourist Attraction’s victory in this race in 1995 with Ebaziyan last year, has five entries including progressive hurdler C’Est Ca and last year’s Grade One Weatherby’s Champion Bumper fifth Fiveforthree, while fellow dual winner Edward O’Grady (1978 Golden Cygnet, 2003 Back In Front) could run Indian Spring, who finished second in the Grade One Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown on December 27.

Colm Murphy has engaged Megans Joy, who was a good winner of a Grade Three Novice Hurdle at Down Royal in November before finishing fourth behind Muirhead at Fairyhouse, while Gordon Elliott may run Harper Valley, who won the Best Odds Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham on December 15.

Nicky Henderson, who has won the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle twice before with River Ceirlog in 1986 and Flown in 1992, has made 14 entries, including impressive Newbury introductory hurdle scorer Khyber Kim, Working Title, who was an impressive 25-length winner on his hurdling debut, as well as Binocular, Zebra Crossing, Dave’s Dream and Doubly Guest, who have all enjoyed a winning start over the smaller obstacles.

The familiar Jim Lewis colours could be represented by the Paul Nicholls-trained Breedsbreeze, who was a convincing winner of the Grade One Tolworth Hurdle at Sandown on January 5.

The champion trainer, successful in this race with Noland in 2006, has six entries in total, including Cheltenham scorers I’msingingtheblues, victorious in the Grade Two Anglo Irish Bank Private Banking Novices’ Hurdle in November, and Five Dream, who scored in the Brightwells Cheltenham Bloodstock Auctions Handicap Hurdle on January 26.

Alan King has engaged his star hurdler Francheok among his 10 entries. The four-year-old gelding, winner of the Grade One Future Champions Finale Hurdle at Chepstow over Christmas, has twice won round Cheltenham this season, including an impressive display in the Grade Two Wragge & Co Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle on Festival Trials Day on January 26.

The Barbury Castle handler could also be represented by the third from that race, Squadron, useful flat performer Group Captain, recent Grade Two second Theatre Girl, and Oh Crick, who beat a host of older rivals under top weight in the Club 16-24 Annual Big Bash “National Hunt” Novices’ Handicap Hurdle at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day.

Philip Hobbs has engaged three horses, including Royal Country Zen, who finished second to I’msingingtheblues on his hurdling bow before winning his next two starts, including a three-quarter length victory over Andrew Turnell’s smart performer and fellow entry Blue Bajan.

The Minehead-based handler could also run Snap Tie, who chased home I’msingingtheblues in the Grade Two Anglo Irish Bank Private Banking Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in November, and former useful flat performer Cutting Crew.

Another decent flat performer, Numide, who won a Group Two at Longchamp before joining Gary Moore, could also take his chance. The five-year-old gelding has made an impressive start to his hurdling career, winning both his outings this season by wide margins.

Evan Williams has entered his classy six-year-old Deep Purple, who was an impressive winner of a Grade Two Novices’ Hurdle at Ascot before chasing home Breedsbreeze at Sandown in January, while compatriot Peter Bowen has engaged Grade One Challow Novices’ Hurdle victor Souffleur.

Howard Johnson, who won the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle with Arcalis in 2005, has four entries, including Striking Article, who was an easy winner at Wetherby in December on his only start over hurdles, expensive Irish import Logans Run, and flat Listed-winner Scriptwriter.

Ferdy Murphy may run his exciting six-year-old Kalahari King, who was a facile winner over hurdles at Musselburgh in December, while Kahlil Burke has entered Lemon Silk, who finished third behind Francheok in The Grade Two Cleanevent Juvenile Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham in November before scoring in a Grade Two Junior Hurdle at Lingfield the following month.



2007-WINNER-EBAZIYAN 6-11-07 Owner-Peter Garvey; Trainer-Willie Mullins IRE; Jockey-Davy Condon; SP-40/1
2ND-Granit Jack 5-11-07 Owner-John Hales; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-15/2
3RD-Amaretto Rose 6-11-00 Owner-Weatherbys Racing Club; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-2/1 Fav
22 ran, Time-3m 56.1s; Dist-3, nk

2006-WINNER-NOLAND 5-11-07 Owner-John Hales; Trainer-Paul Nicholls; Jockey-Ruby Walsh; SP-6/1
2ND-Straw Bear 5-11-07 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Nick Gifford; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-11/1
3RD-Buena Vista 5-11-07 Owner-Matt Archer & the late Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Timmy Murphy; SP-14/1 20 ran, Time-3m 54.50s; Dist-nk, 1¼ 5/2 Fav Sweet Wake (5th)

2005-WINNER-ARCALIS 5-11-07 Owner-Andrea & Graham Wylie; Trainer-Howard Johnson; Jockey-Graham Lee: SP-20/1
2ND-Wild Passion 5-11-07 Owner-Des Sharkey; Trainer-Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-10/1
3RD-Dusky Warbler 6-11-07 Owner-Mike Charlton & Rodger Sargent; Trainer-Gary Moore; Jockey-Jamie Moore; SP-20/1 20 ran, Time-3m 53.00s; Dist-6, ½ 13/2 Fav Marcel (13th)

2004-WINNER-BRAVE INCA 6-11-07 Owner-Novices Syndicate; Trainer-Colm Murphy IRE; Jockey-Barry Cash; SP-7/2 Fav
2ND-War Of Attrition 5-11-07 Owner-Gigginstown House Stud; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-33/1
3RD-Fleet Street 5-11-07 Owner-Henry Ponsonby; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Andrew Tinkler; SP-20/1
19 ran, Time-3m 55.60s; Dist-nk, 7

2003-WINNER-BACK IN FRONT 6-11-08 Owner-Dermot Cox; Trainer-Edward O’Grady IRE; Jockey-Norman Williamson; SP-3/1 Fav
2ND-Kicking King 5-11-08 Owner-Conor Clarkson; Trainer-Tom Taaffe IRE; Jockey-Barry Geraghty; SP-13/2
3RD-Chauvinist 8-11-08 Owner-Bunny & Nick Roberts; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-20/1
19 ran, Time-3m 56.80s; Dist-10, 4

2002-WINNER-LIKE-A-BUTTERFLY 8-11-03 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Charlie Swan; SP-7/4 Fav
2ND-Westender 6-11-08 Owner-Matt Archer and Jean Broadhurst; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-6/1
3RD-In Contrast 6-11-08 Owner-Peter Emery and A Staple; Trainer-Philip Hobbs; Jockey-Richard Johnson; SP-16/1
28 ran, Time-3m 54.25s; Dist-nk, 2½

2001 - Cancelled (Foot and Mouth Disease)

2000-WINNER-SAUSALITO BAY 6-11-08 Owner-The High Street Racing Syndicate; Trainer- Noel Meade IRE; Jockey-Paul Carberry; SP-14/1
2ND-Best Mate 5-11-08 Owner-Jim Lewis; Trainer-Henrietta Knight; Jockey-Jim Culloty; SP-6/1
3RD-Youlneverwalkalone 6-11-08 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-5/4 Fav 15 ran, Time-3m 51.70s; Dist-¾, 1¼

1999-WINNER-HORS LA LOI III 4-11-00 Owner-Paul Green; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-Tony McCoy; SP-9/2
2ND-Joe Mac 5-11-08 Owner-J P McManus; Trainer-Christy Roche IRE; Jockey-Conor O’Dwyer; SP-6/1
3RD-Arctic Fancy 6-11-08 Owner-The Cool Customers; Trainer-Julian Smyth-Osbourne; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-66/1 20 ran, Time-3m 54.6s; Dist-17, 7 11/4 Fav Cardinal Hill (ur)

1998-WINNER-FRENCH BALLERINA 5-11-03 Owner-Sue Magnier; Trainer-Pat Flynn IRE; Jockey-Graham Bradley; SP-10/1
2ND-His Song 5-11-08 Owner-David Lloyd; Trainer-Mouse Morris IRE; Jockey-Richard Hughes; SP-4/1 Fav
3RD-Gatflax 6-11-08 Owner-Giles Clarke; Trainer-Nigel Twiston-Davies; Jockey-Carl Llewellyn; SP-16/1
30 ran, Time-3m 50.9s, Dist-7, 1

1997-WINNER-SHADOW LEADER 6-11-08 Owner-James Blackshaw; Trainer-Charles Egerton; Jockey-Jamie Osborne; SP-5/1
2ND-Princeful 6-11-08 Owner-Robert & Elizabeth Hitchins; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Rodney Farrant; SP-25/1
3RD-Nordic Breeze 5-11-08 Owner-Malcolm Jones; Trainer-Martin Pipe; Jockey-David Walsh; SP-100/1
16 ran, Time-3m 49.5s, Dist-10, ½ 2/1 Fav Finnegan’s Hollow (f)

1996-WINNER-INDEFENCE 5-11-08 Owner-Indef Limited; Trainer-Jenny Pitman; Jockey-Warren Marston; SP-25/1
2ND-Kimanicky 6-11-08 Owner-Elaine Barnes; Trainer-Nicky Henderson; Jockey-Mick Fitzgerald; SP-11/2
3RD-Castle Sweep 5-11-08 Owner-Lord Vestey; Trainer-David Nicholson; Jockey-Peter Niven; SP-7/2 Fav
27 ran, Time-4m 1.8s, Dist-8, hd



(Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle since 2006, Letheby & Christopher Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2004-2005, Gerrard Wealth Management Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2003, Gerrard Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2001-02, Capel Cure Sharp Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2000, Citroen Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 1994-99,Trafalgar House Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 1991-93, Waterford Crystal Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 1978-90, Lloyds Bank Champion Novice Hurdle 1974-1977, Gloucestershire Hurdle before 1974)

Year Winner Age/Wt Jockey Trainer Owner SP Ran
2007 Ebaziyan 6-11-07 Davy Condon Willie Mullins IRE Peter Garvey 40/1 22
2006 Noland 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 6/1 20
2005 Arcalis 5-11-07 Graham Lee Howard Johnson Andrea & Graham Wylie 20/1 20
2004 Brave Inca 6-11-07 Barry Cash Colm Murphy IRE Novices Syndicate 7/2F 19
2003 Back In Front 6-11-08 Norman Williamson Edward O’Grady IRE Dermot Cox 3/1F 19
2002 Like-A-Butterfly 8-11-03 Charlie Swan Christy Roche IRE J P McManus 7/4F 28
2001 No Race (Foot and Mouth Disease)
2000 Sausalito Bay 6-11-08 Paul Carberry Noel Meade IRE High Street Racing Syndicate 14/1 15
1999 Hors La Loi III 4-11-00 Tony McCoy Martin Pipe Paul Green 9/2 20
1998 French Ballerina5-11-03 Graham Bradley Pat Flynn IRE Sue Magnier 10/1 30
1997 Shadow Leader 6-11-08 Jamie Osborne Charles Egerton James Blackshaw 5/1 16
1996 Indefence 5-11-08 Warren Marston Jenny Pitman Indef Ltd 25/1 27
1995 Tourist Attraction6-11-03 Mark Dwyer Willie Mullins IRE North Kildare Racing Club 25/1 20
1994 Arctic Kinsman 6-11-08 Carl Llewellyn Nigel Twiston-Davies Rosie Hambro 50/1 18
1993 Montelado 6-11-08 Charlie Swan Pat Flynn IRE Ollie Hannon 5/1 15
1992 Flown 5-11-08 Jamie Osborne Nicky Henderson Edward Winfield 13/2 17
1991 Destriero 5-11-08 Pat McWilliams Andy Geraghty IRE Elizabeth Furlong 6/1 21
1990 Forest Sun 5-11-08 Jimmy Frost Toby Balding Salehurst Paper Co Ltd 7/4F 18
1989 Sondrio 8-11-08 Jonathon Lower Martin Pipe Mrs J M Ryan 25/1 21
1988 Vagador 5-11-08 Mark Perrett Guy Harwood Amanda Harwood 4/1F 26
1987 Tartan Tailor 6-11-08 Phil Tuck Gordon Richards Edinburgh Woollen Mill Ltd 14/1 20
1986 River Ceiriog 5-11-07 Steve Smith Eccles Nicky Henderson Bobby McAlpine 40/1 29
1985 Harry Hastings 6-11-08 Chris Grant John Wilson Robert Leask 14/1 30
1984 Browne’s Gazette 6-11-08 Mr Dermot Browne Michael Dickinson John Poynton 11/2 18
1983 Buck House 5-11-08 Tommy Carmody Mouse Morris IRE Mrs S Purcell 8/1 22
1982 Miller Hill 6-11-08 Tom Morgan Dessie Hughes IRE J Harvey 20/1 19
1981 Hartstown 6-11-08 Niall Madden Mick O'Toole IRE J McGowan 2/1F 16
1980 Slaney Idol 5-11-08 Tommy Carmody Liam Browne IRE Mrs M Hayes 9/1 27
1979 Stranfield 6-11-08 Tommy Kinane Des McDonogh IRE D Devlin 16/1 16
1978 Golden Cygnet 6-11-08 Mr Niall Madden Edward O'Grady IRE Raymond Rooney 4/5F 18
1977 Mac’s Chariot 6-11-08 Dessie Hughes Mick O’Toole IRE Mrs A Jordan 7/1 16
1976 Beacon Light 5-11-08 Andy Turnell Bob Turnell Jim Joel 14/1 11
1975 Bannow Rambler6-11-08 Frank Berry Padge Berry IRE Mrs K White 9/2 18
1974 Avec Moi 5-11-06 Roger Rowell Auriol Sinclair Lord Blackford 5/4F 16
1973 King Pele 4-10-10 David Nicholson Gavin Pritchard-Gordon J Richardson 13/2 20
1972 Noble Life 5-11-06 Stan Murphy Christy Grassick IRE M Gallagher 16/1 18
1971(I) Persian Majesty 4-10-13 Terry Biddlecombe Ryan Price Ken Wheldon 13/2 10
1971 (II) Barnard 7-12-00 Johnnie Haine Fulke Walwyn Mrs B Heath 4/1 13
1970 (I) Ballywilliam Boy 5-12-00 Bobby Coonan Paddy Sleator IRE P Smyth 4/1 20
1970 (II) Bula 5-12-00 Paul Kelleway Fred Winter Bill Edwards-Heathcote 3/1F 21
1969 (I) Normandy 4-11-02 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Bryan Jenks 10/1 28
1969 (II) Private Room 5-11-10 Willie Robinson Fulke Walwyn Mrs A L Hoare 10/1 20
1968 (I) King Cutler 5-12-00 Brian Fletcher Denys Smith Joe Lisle 85/40 12
1968 (II) L’Escargot 5-12-04 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Raymond Guest 13/2 11
1967 (I) Chorus 6-11-12 Johnnie Haine Tom Jones Lord James Crichton-Stuart 15/2 20
1967 (II) Early To Rise 7-11-12 Jeff King Bob Turnell Paul Mellon 11/2 14
1966 (I) Beau Caprice 12-12-02 Tommy Jennings Fulke Walwyn Richard Head 6/1 14
1966 (II) Fosco 5-11-06 David Moore Mick Goswell David Montagu 7/2 19
1965 (I) Red Tears 5-11-06 Stan Mellor Tom Jones Major Victor McCalmont 7/1 19
1965 (II) Havago 6-12-04 Bobby Beasley Paddy Sleator IRE Clifford Nicholson 11/8 15
1964 (I) Flyingbolt 5-12-02 Pat Taaffe Tom Dreaper IRE Mrs Jean Wilkinson 4/9F 11
1964 (II) Elan 5-12-02 Dave Dick John Sutcliffe R Tucker 9/2 18
1963 (I) Honour Bound 5-11-10 Terry Biddlecombe Fred Rimell Katie Gaze 3/1F 18
1963 (II) Buona Notte 6-11-08 Johnnie Haine Bob Turnell Jim Joel 7/2 15
1963 (III) Deetease 5-12-02 Clive Chapman Basil Foster Charles Chandler 9/1 18
1962 (I) Tripacer 4-10-12 Tommy Carberry Dan Moore IRE Lady Honor Svejdar 20/1 18
1962 (II) Clerical Grey 4-11-02 Willie Robinson P Murphy IRE Mrs R A Palfreyman 100/8 18
1961 (I) Beau Normand 5-11-06 Bill Rees Bob Turnell Jim Joel 5/1 18
1961 (II) Greektown 5-12-02 Michael Scudamore Willie Stephenson Lionel Ensten 100/8 15
1960 (I) Blue Mountain 6-11-05 Dick Broadway George Todd Sidney Banks 5/1 20
1960 (II) Bastille 5-10-13 Bill Woods Tom Masson Mrs V Cripps 33/1 18
1959 (I) York Fair 5-11-10 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE John McShain 4/5F 16
1959 (II) Albergo 5-11-06 Doug Page Clem Magnier IRE Mrs Clem Magnier 9/1 19
1958 (I) Admiral Stuart 7-11-12 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Mrs T V Ryan 6/5F 19
1958 (II) Prudent King 6-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Captain R Westmacott 3/1F 19
1957 (I) Tokoroa 6-12-01 Dave Dick Fred Rimell David Deyong 5/4F 10
1957 (II) Saffron Tartan 6-11-12 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Lady Cottenham 10/11F 12
1956 (I) Boys Hurrah 8-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE M J Sheehan 9/4F 17
1956 (II) Pelargos 5-11-06 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE Vincent O’Brien 6/4F 22
1955 (I) Vindore 6-11-12 Mr Phonsie O’Brien Vincent O’Brien IRE J A Wood Evs F 19
1955 (II) Illyric 6-11-08 Tommy Burns Vincent O’Brien IRE R Mulrooney 3/1F 23
1954 (I) Stroller 6-11-08 Pat Taaffe Vincent O’Brien IRE Joe Griffin 13/8F 18
1954 (II) Tasmin 4-10-07 Rene Emery Harry Count FR Harry Count 5/1 18
1953 (I) Assynt 5-11-01 Eddie Newman Danny Morgan IRE Lady Ursula Vernon 9/4F 18
1953 (II) Dessin 7-11-08 Johnny Gilbert Frank Hudson H J Barlow 100/9 17
1952 (I) Cockatoo 6-11-03 Mr Phonsie O’Brien Vincent O’Brien IRE Harry Keogh 4/1 13
1952 (II) Evian 4-10-07 Fred Winter George Archibald M S Westwick 10/1 14
1951 (I) Red Stranger 4-10-12 Denis Dillon Ron Smyth L Jarvis 100/8 20
1951 (II) Oukileles II 4-10-12 Fred Winter George Archibald B Campbell 6/1 13
1950 (I) Tsaoko 5-11-08 Martin Molony Sam Armstrong H E Habib I Rahimtoola 4/9F 9
1950 (II) Sir Charles 4-10-04 Mr Michael Scudamore Geoffrey Scudamore S A Mailes 25/1 15
1949 (I) French Wedding 4-10-07 Jimmy Brogan Gerry Wilson E L Gosling 11/2 14
1949 (II) Tough Guy 4-10-00 Denis Dillon Ivor Anthony Jack Olding 4/1 18
1948 (I) Vulgan 5-10-10 Rickie Black John De Moraville H Coriat 9/2 13
1948 (II) Jean’s Last 6-11-00 Bryan Marshall Fulke Walwyn Lady Throckmorton 7/4F 21
1947 No race
1946 (I) Prince Rupert 5-11-03 Ron Smyth Ted Smyth John J Astor 9/2 19
1946 (II) Freetown 6-11-00 George Archibald W Larkin H Rogers 8/1 17
1946 (III) Gremlin 5-10-10 Phil Canty George Todd Desmond Baring 5/1 16



1. The Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle was known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle until 1974. Anglo Irish Bank sponsors the race for the third time in 2008. Capel Cure Sharp backed the contest in 2000 and the company, which became Gerrard Wealth Management, supported the race until 2003. Racecourse caterers Letheby & Christopher became the sixth sponsor since the initial backer Lloyds Bank in 1974 when supporting the contest in 2004 and 2005.

2. The Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is the only race at The Festival to have been divided. From 1946-1971 when known as the Gloucestershire Novices’ Hurdle, it divided on no less than 25 occasions. In 1963 and 1946 there were even three divisions.

3. The oldest horse to have won was 12-year-old Beau Caprice in 1966 (Div One). Three eight-year-olds have also been successful - Like-A-Butterfly in 2002, Sondrio in 1989 and Boys Hurrah in 1956 (Div One).

4. The 1993 winner, Montelado, holds a unique position in the history of The Festival at Cheltenham. He is the only horse to have won consecutive Festival races, landing the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 1992, the last race of that year’s meeting, and returning to win the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 1993, the first race 12 months later.

5. The Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle has thrown up one winner of the totesport Cheltenham Gold Cup and three Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle heroes. L'Escargot won in 1968, before consecutive Gold Cup triumphs in 1970 and 1971. Bula scored in 1970, before Champion Hurdle victories in 1971 and 1972, the 2002 Smurfit Kappa Champion Hurdle winner Hors La Loi III took the race in 1999, and Brave Inca took the Champion Hurdle in 2006 having landed the novice event two years earlier.

6. The race has been won by Irish-trained raiders on no less than 36 occasions, and by the French once. Of the 16 divisions from 1952-59, Vincent O'Brien won 10. Ireland also kept a stranglehold on the race for seven years from 1977-83 and has won five of the last seven runnings.

7. The smallest field was in 1950, with nine runners in Division 1, and the largest, 30 runners, for both Harry Hastings' win in 1985 and French Ballerina in 1998. The maximum field allowed is now 24.

8. Since the race ceased to be divided, big-name jockeys have found the Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices’ Hurdle difficult to win. Tony McCoy, successful on Hors La Loi III in 1999, is the only one of the last four champion jockeys to have scored in this particular contest, and only Charlie Swan (1993 and 2002), Tommy Carmody (1980 and 1983) and Niall Madden (1978 and 1981) have been successful twice.

9. The longest-priced winner was Arctic Kinsman at 50/1 in 1994, while last year’s victor Ebaziyan is one of only two 40/1 shots to have scored. The shortest-priced winners at 4/9 were Tsaoko in 1950 and Flyingbolt in 1964. Favourites have been successful eight times in the 35 runnings since 1972, with three of the last six winning.

10. The fastest time for the winning horse was achieved by Montelado in 1993 at 3m 50.6s. French Ballerina came close to that record in 1998 when her time was 3m 50.9s

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