The Challow Novices’ Hurdle (Saturday 29 December) is a Grade 1 Race run at Newbury over 2 miles 4½ furlongs. Novice Hurdlers aged four and older are eligible to run in it, which have been the rules since 1981. Notable winners include Bonanza Boy, Large Action, Bindaree, Denman, and Reve de Sivola.
Challow Novices’ Hurdle Trends
- The last 10 winners have been aged 4, 5, or 6
- Five of the last 10 favourites have won
- SPs of the winners have ranged from 4/11 to 8/1
- JP McManus has owned 2 of the last 8 winners
Challow Novices’ Hurdle 2018 Major Contenders
Owned by JP McManus, and trainer Nicky Henderson also trained the 2013 winner Captain Cutter for the same owner. Champ was beaten on his hurdling debut by the useful Vinndication, but won his next two hurdle races at long odds-on. Warmed up for this with a stylish win over course and distance in a handicap off a mark of 139, a race in which he conceded lots of weight to the next four horse. Now rated 150 and sets a decent standard for his rivals to aim at and could be tough to beat.
Trained by last year’s winning trainer Fergal O’Brien and this one has run in decent company since being beaten further by Vinndication on his hurdles debut than Champ was. Was beaten in Grade 1 company at both Cheltenham and Aintree after than but that meant he maintained his novice status for this season. Made favourite when falling in a Grade 2 at Chepstow on his seasonal debut but made up for that fall with victory in another Grade 2 at Cheltenham last time. Officially has 7b to find with Champ.
Finished second in a Grade 2 bumper at the 2018 Grand National Meeting and has won both his hurdle races so far. They include a maiden win at Chepstow and novice hurdle winner over course and distance last time. He was backed into favouritism for both those wins and improved his rating on both occasions. Officially rated 9lb inferior to Champ.
Mare who won a point-to-point before winning two low-key bumpers in September and November. Had her attentions switched to hurdles after that and belied odds of 12/1 at Sandown on her hurdles debut. However, the runner-up at Sandown had been beaten further by Coolanly at Cheltenham previously. Still unbeaten though and could have improvement to come for trainer that won the 2016 renewal.
Challow Novices’ Hurdle 2018 Summary
As usual, this race is packed full of novice hurdlers with lots of potential. Course and distance winner Kateson could be anything, as could the unbeaten Alsa Mix. However, Alsa Mix is held on collateral form by Coolanly, who in turn is held on form by Champ using a form-line using the useful Vinndication. Champ also made the biggest visual impact when winning over course and distance last time and looks a worthy favourite.
Challow Novices’ Hurdle 2018 Tip & Prediction