SSS Super Alloys Novices' Hurdle
(Registered As The Classic Novices' Hurdle)
Grade 2, Cheltenham 16:10
£50,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus,
2m 4f 56y, Class 1  
Saturday 27th January 2024

Free Racing Tips

1 Gidleigh Park 5/6F
2 Lucky Place 15/2
3 Isaac Des Obeaux 18/1
6 ran NR: Lord Of Thunder, Moon D'Orange
Distances: ½l, 5½l, ¾l Time: 5m 9.96s (slow by 19.96s)

Trainer Harry Fry is contemplating the next move for Gidleigh Park after tyhe taklented six-year-old left Cheltenham with an unblemished record of four victories from four outings this season.

As the 5-6 favorite under jockey Johnny Burke, he faced a stiff challenge from Nicky Henderson’s Lucky Place. Despite being pushed to the limit, Gidleigh Park emerged victorious by a slim half-length margin in a closely contested finish.

Now, Harry Fry faces the strategic decision of choosing Gidleigh Park's path for the upcoming races. The options include keeping the horse at a similar distance for the Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle, which spans just shy of two miles and five furlongs. Alternatively, Fry must consider the possibility of stepping up Gidleigh Park's challenge to three miles for the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle—a race Fry has previously won with Unowhatimeanharry in 2016. The decision rests on Fry's evaluation of Gidleigh Park's capabilities and the optimal course for the horse's continued success.


“It’s a Grade Two on Trials Day and we were stepping up in grade, so we knew he needed to step up,” said Fry.

“Talking with Johnny there, the race hasn’t been run to suit and it has turned into a bit of sprint for home, but he has got down and battled and got the job done on the day.

“It’s the first time he’s had to really battle and he will have learned again and be sharper for it. But he’s almost given us more questions than answers in terms of which race to run him in in March.

“They didn’t go fast and we have to go home and reflect, but he’s won and we can’t complain about that. That’s what it is all about, a win is a win and he’s done it in spite of things being run not quite to suit, so it’s onwards and upwards.

“Come March they will go a proper gallop and he’s come here, stayed unbeaten and the dream is still alive. We will go home, enjoy it and it’s a nice dilemma to have.

“Relieved is probably the overriding feeling right now and we’ve got six weeks to now work out what race we go for.”

Fry is no stranger to handling quality young stock and although unwilling to compare him to the likes of the aforementioned Unowhatimeanharry and ill-fated Neon Wolf, he believes his future lies over the larger obstacles where the patience of winning owners, the Eyre Family, will truly be rewarded.

Fry continued: “He’s done everything right so far and I don’t like comparing horses, so we will just let him be Gidleigh Park. He will tell us how good he is on the racecourse.

“He’s a big, tall individual who was quite raw to begin with. In the outside school when we started, he could barely get round the bend and just in terms of giving him time, I’m delighted for the Eyre Family and it is their first winner here at Cheltenham.

“They have been patient and allowed us to take our time and ultimately he is a chaser, so what he is doing over hurdles is a bonus.”

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Classic Novices' Hurdle
(Grade 2)
£50,000 guaranteed, 4yo plus, 2m 4f 56y, Class 1
6 ran
Going: Good to Soft

1    Gidleigh Park 6 11-5 Harry Fry Jonathan Burke 5/6F
½ Lucky Place 5 11-5 Nicky Henderson James Bowen 15/2
Isaac Des Obeaux 6 11-5 Paul Nicholls Harry Cobden 18/1
¾ Johnnywho 7 11-5 Jonjo O'Neill Jonjo O'Neill Jr 11/2
Choccabloc 6 11-8 Nicky Henderson Sam Twiston-Davies 20/1
39 Antrim Coast 6 11-5 Gavin Cromwell Keith Donoghue 4/1

Year Horse Owner Trainer Age Weight Jockey SP

2000 Monsignor Malcolm Denmark Mark Pitman 6-11-12 Norman Williamson 1/2 f
2001 Indian Scout Indian Scout Partnership Ben De Haan 6-11-06 Liam Cummins 2/1
2002 Keen Leader Adair Catherwood Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-05 Liam Cooper 10/11 f
2003 Iris’s Gift Robert Lester Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-09 Barry Geraghty 1/3 f
2004 Abandoned
2005 Ambobo Sean Mulryan Arnaud Chaille-Chaille FR 5-11-12 Barry Geraghty 14/1
2006 Abandoned
2007 Wichita Lineman J P McManus Jonjo O’Neill 6-11-12 Tony McCoy Evens f
2008 Aigle D’Or J P McManus Nicky Henderson 5-11-09 Marcus Foley 7/4 f
2009 Diamond Harry Paul Duffy/Diamond Partnership Nick Williams 6-11-12 Timmy Murphy 8/15 f
2010 Restless Harry Richard Whitehead Robin Dickin 6-11-12 Henry Oliver 7/2
2011 Bobs Worth The Not Afraid Partnership Nicky Henderson 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 7/2
2012 Batonnier Raymond Mould Alan King 6-11-05 Wayne Hutchinson 12/1
2013 At Fishers Cross J P McManus Rebecca Curtis 6-11-12 A P McCoy 13/2
2014 Red Sherlock The Johnson Family David Pipe 5-11-09 Tom Scudamore 9/4
2015 Ordo Ab Chao A Marsh Alan King 6-11-09 Wayne Hutchinson 16/1
2016 Yanworth J P McManus Alan King 6-11-12 Barry Geraghty 2/1f
2017 Wholestone Simon Munir & Isaac Souede Nigel Twiston-Davies 6-11-10 Daryl Jacob 11/4 f
2018 Santini Mr & Mrs R Kelvin-Hughes Nicky Henderson 6-11-05 J McGrath 4/1
2019 Birchdale J P McManus Nicky Henderson 5-11-05 Barry Geraghty 2/1
2020 Harry Senior Brocade Racing Colin Tizzard 6 11-05 Robbie Power 4/1
2022 North Lodge McNeill Family & Niall Farrell Alan King 5 11-05 A P Heskin 7/1
2023 Rock My Way Nick Case, Syd Hosie, John Romans Syd Hosie 5 11-5 Tom Scudamore 13/2