Cheltenham Racecourse is pleased to announce that Sky Bet will sponsor the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle at The Festival™ presented by Magners for another five years.
The two-mile contest is the first race on Champion Day (Tuesday, March 12, 2019) and the traditional curtain-raiser to the four-day extravaganza.
Leeds-based Sky Bet first supported the G1 Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 2014, and the extension of its sponsorship will take Sky Bet's backing of the G1 contest up until at least 2023 - 10 years in total.
The five runnings of the G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle have produced some outstanding winners, most notably Altior in 2016.
Altior returned to The Festival in 2017 to land the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase and in 2018 to win the G1 Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase. The 2015 G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle hero Douvan also came back to Cheltenham the following year to capture the G1 Racing Post Arkle Novices' Chase.
The 2018 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle went to Summerville Boy, trained close to Cheltenham at Slad by Tom George, who beat Kalashnikov by a neck in a thrilling finish.
Ian Proctor, CEO of Sky Betting & Gaming, said: "The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle is an iconic part of the racing calendar and we have loved being associated with it.
"I am thrilled we have agreed to extend our sponsorship for another five years and cannot wait to hear that famous Cheltenham roar again next year."
Ian Renton, Regional Director, Cheltenham & The South West, The Jockey Club, added: "We thoroughly enjoy our partnership with Sky Bet and I am delighted that we are to work together for a further five years.
"The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle always provides a great race to start The Festival™ presented by Magners and, with many winners going on to victory again at the highest level, it really is a race to savour."
In addition to the flagship G1 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle, Sky Bet continues to support a series of races on the 'Road To Cheltenham':
Cheltenham, Sunday, November 18 - G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle
Ascot, Friday, December 21 - G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Novices' Hurdle
Punchestown, Sunday, January 13 - G2 Sky Bet Moscow Flyer Novice
Haydock Park, Saturday, January 19 - G2 Sky Bet Supreme Trial Rossington Main Novices' Hurdle
Musselburgh, Sunday, February 3 - G2 Sky Bet Supreme Scottish Trial Novices' Hurdle
Kempton Park, Saturday, February 23 - G2 Sky Bet Dovecote Novices' Hurdle
Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Facts And Figures
The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle was known as the Gloucestershire Hurdle until 1974.
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 putting their name to the event in 2004 and 2005, while Anglo Irish Bank was the sponsor from 2006 to 2008.
William Hill sponsored the race in 2009, while in 2010 the backers were the Stewart Family, on behalf of the charity Spinal Research.
Stan James supported the contest in 2011, with William Hill taking over the sponsorship again in 2012 & 2013.
Sky Bet became the sponsor in 2014 and announces today that its backing has been extended for a further five years.
The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle is the only race at The Festival™ presented by Magners to have been divided. From 1946-1971, when known as the Gloucestershire Novices' Hurdle, it divided on no less than 25 occasions. In both 1963 and 1946, there were even three divisions.
The smallest field was in 1950, with nine runners in Division One, while the most runners was 30, seen for both Harry Hastings' win in 1985 and French Ballerina's success in 1998. The maximum field allowed is currently 22.
MOST SUCCESSFUL OWNER
Jim Joel and Susannah Ricci have been the most successful owners, with three wins each. Joel saw his colours carried to victory by Beau Normand (1961, Division One), Deetease (1963, Division Three) and Beacon Light (1976), while Ricci landed three consecutive renewals of the race with Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015).
MOST SUCCESSFUL TRAINER
Before the Supreme Novices' Hurdle ceased to be divided, the most successful trainer was Vincent O'Brien, who landed an amazing 10 divisions between 1952 and 1959.
Willie Mullins is the most successful current trainer with five wins - Tourist Attraction (1995), Ebaziyan (2007), Champagne Fever (2013), Vautour (2014) and Douvan (2015).
MOST SUCCESSFUL JOCKEY
Before 1972, the most successful jockey was Tommy Burns, who landed seven divisions between 1955 and 1959.
Since the race ceased to be divided, Ruby Walsh leads the way with five wins (2006, 2011, 2013, 2014 & 2015).
The longest-priced winner was Arctic Kinsman at 50/1 in 1994, while the 2007 victor Ebaziyan is one of two 40/1 shots to have scored.
The shortest-priced winners at 4/9 were Tsaoko in 1950 and Flyingbolt in 1964.
Favourites and joint-favourites have been successful 10 times (just under 22 per cent) in the 46 runnings since 1972.
The oldest horse by far to have won was 12-year-old Beau Caprice in 1966 (Division One).
At the other end of the scale, 13 four-year-olds have been successful, although none since Hors La Loi in 1999.
The overall breakdown by age since the race was run as single division in 1972 is as follows:
4yo - 2 wins
5yo - 18 wins
6yo - 22 wins
7yo - 2 wins
8yo - 2 wins
The fastest time for the winning horse was achieved by Altior, who scored in 3m 46.00s in 2016.
The race has been won by Irish-trained raiders on no less than 42 occasions, and by the French once. Of the 16 divisions from 1952-59, Vincent O'Brien won an amazing 10. Ireland also kept a stranglehold on the race for seven years from 1977-83 and has won 12 of the last 20 runnings, most recently with Labaik in 2017.
DID YOU KNOW?
The 1993 winner, Montelado, holds a unique position in the history of The Festival™ presented by Magners 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 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle in 1993, the first race 12 months later.
The Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle has thrown up one winner of the Timico Cheltenham Gold Cup, three Unibet Champion Hurdle heroes and three winners of the Betway Champion Chase.
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 Champion Hurdle winner Hors La Loi III took the race in 1999, and Brave Inca captured the Champion Hurdle in 2006, having landed the novice event two years earlier.
The great Flyingbolt won a division of the novice race in 1964 before taking the Champion Chase in 1966. Buck House, the 1986 Champion Chase hero, had taken the novice race in 1983. Most recently, Altior won the 2016 Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle before landing the Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase in 2018.
Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle - Roll Of Honour
(Sky Bet Supreme Novices' Hurdle since 2014, William Hill Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2012-2013, Stan James Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2011, Spinal Research Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2010, williamhill.com Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2009, Anglo Irish Bank Supreme Novices' Hurdle 2006-2008, 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
2018 Summerville Boy 6-11-07 Noel Fehily Tom George Roger Brookhouse 9/1 19
2017 Labaik 6-11-07 Jack Kennedy Gordon Elliott IRE Aidan O'Ryan 25/1 14
2016 Altior 6-11-07 Nico de Boinville Nicky Henderson Patricia Pugh 4/1 14
2015 Douvan 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 2/1F 12
2014 Vautour 5-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 7/2JF 18
2013 Champagne Fever 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins IRE Susannah Ricci 5/1 12
2012 Cinders And Ashes 5-11-07 Jason Maguire Donald McCain Dermot Hanafin & Phil Cunningham 10/1 19
2011 Al Ferof 6-11-07 Ruby Walsh Paul Nicholls John Hales 10/1 15
2010 Menorah 5-11-07 Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs Diana Whateley 12/1 18
2009 Go Native 6-11-07 Paul Carberry Noel Meade IRE Docado Syndicate 12/1 20
2008 Captain Cee Bee 7-11-07 Robert Thornton Edward Harty IRE J P McManus 17/2 22
2007 Ebaziyan 6-11-07 Davy Condon Willie Mullins IRE Peter Garvey 40/1 22
2006 Noland 5-11-07Ruby 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 A P McCoy Martin Pipe Paul Green 9/2 20
1998 French Ballerina 5-11-03 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 Attraction 6-11-03 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 Rambler 6-11-08 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 EvsF 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 William Larkin H Rogers 8/1 17
1946 (III) Gremlin 5-10-10 Phil Canty George Todd Desmond Baring 5/1 16