Tips For The Supreme Novices Hurdle 2024 – Can Willie Mullins Be Beaten?

tips supreme novices

The two-mile contest is often run at a furious gallop, and it has often paid to sit in behind any front-runner in recent years.

Marine Nationale, Constitution Hill, Appreciate It, Shishkin, and Klassical Dream have all come from off the pace to win this race in the recent years.

Leading trainer, Willie Mullins has a fantastic record in the race and has taken the coveted prize back across the Irish Sea on no fewer than seven occasions.

Statistics show that horses need to have run at least twice so far this season and no winner in the last twenty renewals has won with any headgear (cheekpieces, visor or tongue-tie) and ten of the last twelve runners have at least won a Grade 2 race.

Previous Winners of the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

Runners To Watch

Below are selected runners who hold entries for The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle 2024.

Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.

MYSTICAL POWER – WILLIE MULLINS

Yet to prove himself at Grade1 level, but he has won a Grade 2. He took the Moscow Flyer Novices’ Hurdle and beat Jigoro by seven lengths in the process.

If lining up here he comes in defending an unbeaten record and represents top connections in JP McManus.

He is untested on a left-handed track such as this, but he has shown that he can come up a hill ease as he proved when winning at Galway and at Punchestown.

The form of that last win has not really been that well-advertised since. Open to improvement but a few questions to answer.

JERIKO DU REPONET – NICKY HENDERSON

Jeriko Du Reponet is another that comes here with an unbeaten record. He has won on flat tracks such as Newbury and Doncaster and the most recent of those came in only workman-like fashion.

He saw off the attentions of Lump Sum and whether that form is strong enough is open to debate.

Nicky Henderson has won this race twice in the last five years though, so knows exactly what type of horse to produce for it.

Yet to prove it in Grade 1 company, he has at least won a Grade 2. He looks the best of the English, but whether that translates into beating the Irish raiders, is a different question altogether.

FIREFOX – GORDON ELLIOTT

Firefox has a lot of questions to answer now having been swept aside so easily by Readin Tommy Wrong at Naas back in January.

That was his second attempt over two-and-a-half miles in a hurdles race and it was plain for all to see that he did not see out the trip.

A return to two-miles certainly is in his favour, but his lack of a win in a graded race is a massive concern. He is the only horse in this field to have beaten market rival Ballyburn.

He did win a bumper on a left-handed track by ten lengths, so no issues going this way around.

Gordon Elliott won this race with the unfancied Labaik back in 2017 so this is not beyond the realms of possibility for the six-year-old.

TULLYHILL – WILLIE MULLINS

Tullyhill moved into contention for this race following a breathtaking display on bottomless ground at Punchestown last time out.

It is worth remembering that the race in question was only at listed level though, and it could be foolish to be carried away with that form.

Other runners in this line-up are proven at a higher grade but he can only beat what is put in front of him and it is clear he is on an upward trajectory.

With Ballyburn declared for the Baring Bingham, this Cheveley Park bred will need to improve in the jumping department, but he has as good a chance as any.

SLADE STEEL – HENRY DE BROMHEAD

Henry De Bromhead’s runners always seem to peak around Cheltenham, so the fact that he ran so well at Leopardstown last time is a massive positive.

He has seven lengths to make up with Ballyburn should he take his chance and whilst that looks quite difficult, stranger things have happened.

It could be that the step back to two miles was an inconvenience for him having won over two-and-a-half at Navan in a Grade 2 race back in December.

As Ballyburn won’t take his chance, he could well be the one to pick up the pieces.

MISTERGIF – WILLIE MULLINS

Made quite a stunning debut in an ordinary maiden at Limerick about six weeks ago. He set about making all under Paul Townend and won in really convincing fashion.

His eighteen length victory was no fluke and the form of the race is beginning to work out well as a couple of also rans (John The Diva and Milo Lises) have come out to frank the form.

These French imports so often bring with them swathes of experience, but this is by far the toughest race he will have ever competed in.

TELLHERTHENAME – BEN PAULING

Having fluffed his lines badly at Aintree in December, Tellherthename came right back to his best when recording a fourteen length win at Huntingdon next time out.

Although he was taking a massive step down in class, he was able to dominate his rivals by making all and never looking back.

The better the ground, the better are his chances but you would just have liked to see him perform a bit better in better company.

Shishkin was the last horse to win at Huntingdon on the way to Supreme glory, but even that was at listed level.

One of the bright lights from the home brigade who should go well.

FAVOUR AND FORTUNE – ALAN KING

Proved to be a disappointing favourite when beaten by Fun Fun Fun at Exeter back in February in what was just a three horse race.

He didn’t seem to handle the track when finishing down the field in the Champion Bumper last season and was beaten a long way from home.

He had looked progressive at the start of the year and he even ran well in the Grade 1 Formby Novices’ Hurdle at Aintree in December.

His most recent run proved bitterly disappointing though as he was beaten in a three horse race by Fun Fun Fun.

Question are now being asked and it remains as to whether he can answer them.

ASIAN MASTER – WILLIE MULLINS

Has won every race he has contested since joining Willie Mullins, but this is a noticeable rise in grade for the seven-year-old gelding.

The form of his wins has not really worked out, so he looks to have it all to do. Being a son of Shirocco, he would enjoy every drop of rain that falls but that is far from guaranteed.

Still open to improvement but may have to settle for minor role against more accomplished and proven rivals.

KINGS HILL – PAUL JOHN GILLIGAN

Has improved with each of his starts and finally shed his maiden tag at the third time of asking last time out.

The win came in an ordinary maiden at Thurles and he was backed as though defeat was out of the question.

It was a workman-like success so further progress will be required. He hails from a small yard with no experience in a race such as this.

It would be some achievement if he were to win, but without being proven at least in Graded company, he looks up against it.

GOLD DANCER – WILLIE MULLINS

Was thrown straight in at the deep end when making his hurdling debut for Willie Mullins at the Dublin Racing Festival last month.

He was some thirty-seven lengths behind Ballyburn on that occasion, so needs to find plenty of improvement in order to reverse form with the likes of Slade Steel.

Will likely do better in time, but unlikely to be get involved here.

SUPERSUNDAE – WILLIE MULLINS

A new recruit for the Mullins team and hard to know what to expect from him in a race as competitive as this.

He was beaten two lengths on his second start in France where he was an unconsidered outsider.

The form of the race though is beginning to work out well with Jolimay and Lombron going on to win races subsequently.

This looks a daunting task all the same and he will find his way in a lower grade before progressing.

Who Ticks The Boxes?

2024 Supreme Novices Hurdle Tips & Key Trends

Firefox returns to two miles here and that should be a massive help to him. He clearly didn’t last the trip over half-a-mile longer when last seen finishing fourth to Readin Tommy Wrong at Navan in a Grade 1.

Prior to that he easily won a bumper at Down Royal and a maiden hurdle at Fairyhouse.

He is the only horse in this line-up to have beaten Ballyburn, who now races in the Gallagher Novices’ Hurdle and that form has been franked in much higher company since.

None of the last ten renewals of this race have been won by a horse using any apparatus including a hood, tongue-tie or a visor so that is why the likes of Mystical Power, Tullyhill and Slade Steel are passed over.

Favour And Fortune lost out by a narrow margin to Fun Fun Fun in a decent race at Exeter last time out.

The winner has come out to win a Grade 3 race at Naas subsequently, so he could well outrun his lengthy odds here.

Key Trends

  • No horse wearing headgear has won since 1992.
  • 16 of the past 18 winners won last time out.
  • 15 of the last 16 winners had won twice over hurdles.
  • 6 of the past 8 winners were rated 153+
  • 7 of the last 10 winners were trained by Willie Mullins or Nicky Henderson.

Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication

  • Tullyhill 3/1
  • Slade Steel 4/1
  • Mystical Power 4/1
  • Firefox 6/1
  • Jeriko Du Reponet 13/2
  • Mistergif 10/1
  • Asian Master 18/1
  • Tellherthename 25/1
  • Favour And Fortune 28/1
  • Gold Dancer 66/1
  • Supersundae 100/1
  • Kings Hill 125/1



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