The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle gets the honour of opening the action at the Cheltenham Festival every year. This really is an honour that comes with a lot of pressure as the race is expected to set the tone for the four-day event. It is a National Hunt Grade one rated race that brings together horses of four years or more competing over a distance of two miles and half a furlong (3298 meters) at the Old Cheltenham Course.
A run of well over half a century gives the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle a rich history which makes it just the ideal event to open this popular festival in Britain.
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh have had great runs in this opening race, each earning five wins in the trainer and jockey category respectively. They worked as a team between 2013 and 2015, sweeping first honours in all three years.
Mullins-trained Getabird is still favourite to win the 2018 event after winning both hurdle races he has started in with a considerable gap between him and the second placed finisher in the past season. First Flow, peerless in his last three jump races, is a close competitor.