FREE The Juvenile Hurdling Division.

        Juvenile hurdlers

I know what your thinking, what better thing can you do in the middle of the Goodwood Festival in July, than have a look in to the Juvenile Hurdling Division.

so i have come up with the content. ..

The JCB Triumph Hurdle is the opening race on the final day of the Cheltenham Festival. It is a 2m1f Grade 1 contest restricted to four-year-old juvenile hurdlers and is the most prestigious race in the jumps season for this category of 4yo hurdlers. It has produced four subsequent Champion Hurdle winners in Clair Soleil, Persian War, Kribensis and Katchit, while 2018 and 2019 Grand National winner Tiger Roll triumphed in 2014. 

Though in general, more recently it wouldn’t pay to follow the winner forward.

only 4 of the last 12 winners won on their next run after Cheltenham, While 3/12 placed

And In terms of the Next Cheltenham Festival Run.

0 of the last 11 winners won on their next run at the Cheltenham Festival, 2 placed.

6 of those 11 ran in the Champion Hurdle.
0 of the 6 won with 2 places.

However,  we are purely looking at the juvenile season.

So If you decided to wait and pick this race up mid season, then trials are aplenty, with very traditional routes taken to the Festival

The Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle at Leopardstown has produced 6 of the last 9 winners ( Quilixios, Farclas, Ivanovich Gorbatov, Tiger Roll, Our Conor & Countrywide Flame). It has also thrown out nine placed horses in 10 years.

• The Finale Juvenile Hurdle at Chepstow is another Grade 1 contest that attracts some of the better juveniles,  2016 winner Defi Du Seuil went on to win the Triumph. 2019 winner Allmankind was respectively placed behind Burning Victory.

• The Grade 3 Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham has produced two of the last eight winners (Defi Du Seuil & Peace And Co).

• Kempton’s Grade 2 Adonis Hurdle has been won by some very visually impressive juveniles but it has not produced a Triumph Hurdle winner since Zarkandar in 2011.

• 2020 winner Burning Victory won a Grade 3 juvenile event at Fairyhouse in February on route to the festival. Though Last years impressive winner Teahupoo, did not run at Cheltenham, electing for Fairyhouse. 

All of the above trials are well trodden paths, and are not only useful for the winners, in being key players for the Triumph, the placed horses and lower, may turn up in the boodles, which we will look in to later.

Looking at trainers.

• Nicky Henderson boasts a massive 25% strike rate in the Grade 1, having saddled three winners and four placed horses from only 12 runners. In 2015 he had the 1-2-3!

• Philip Hobbs has won the race three times since the turn of the century, most recently with Defi Du Seuil in 2017.

• Gordon Elliott boasts a 22% strike rate in the Triumph Hurdle, having saddled two winners and two placed horses from just nine runners.

If your looking at the race from the very start of the season, then many people wish to look into the form of Many horses that convert from flat racing to hurdle racing. 

Until they jump a hurdle no one is completely sure as to how the animal will take to National Hunt racing, one metric punters use is how highly they were rated. 

A rule many use is to add 40Lbs from its flat rating, so if a horse is rated 65 on the flat this has him running to a mark of around 105.
The rule is nowhere near foolproof and i would personally against this, though it is fairly common.

An example of a recent flat purchases is..

The Willie Mullins trained Parmenion, a  gelded son of Soldier Hollow who won his only start to date over a mile and three furlongs for Edouard de Montfort. 
He was purchased at the arqana sales for €230,000

Or there are horses purchased from France with previous hurdling experience, such as
Matterhorn, porticello or magistrato, to give a small example.

Previous Hurdle Form can be advantageous,  with 9 of the last 12 winners having had at least 2 previous runs over hurdles.

Those who are to be gelded off the flat, may see the racecourse late, so it would be a preference to atleast wait for an entry before backing Antepost.


In The most recent renewal of the Triumph hurdle, members of our service backed the winner quilixios very early doors after his debut win in France for francois nicolle and his impending exportation to the yard of Gordon Elliot.
He had stayed on extremely well off the bridle in winning, and had rightly commanded quite the fee for his new owners Cheveley Park.  

As per the Horses To Avoid section, I felt zanahiyr had been over rated, and was well worth avoiding due to the lack of opposition he had faced and the hype gathered around him.
I didn’t agree with the correlation of his time compared to ballyadams win on the same card.
Therefore we dipped back in to the market and backed Haut En Couleurs at the peak of his odds after he won on debut in France. He had just been purchased by pierre boullard to join Willie mullins.
And The form of his debut had worked out well.
the fact that he had won, meant that he wouldn’t retain his novice status for the following season, therefore the likelihood of him running in the Triumph was a very high probability even though he was still yet to be seen over here.
With the standard set in the Betting market held by zanahiyr in my opinion achievable.  A chance was taken.
He was going as well as anything turning in, and finished a solid 3rd in the Triumph itself.

Although we backed the winner of the triump,  Very Arguably, the best juvenile of last season diddnt run in the Triumph at all.
Having won the Boodles handicap Hurdle,  Jeff Kidder backed up his smooth victory in no uncertain terms, winning the graded races at both the fairyhouse and punchestown festivals to  leave it open to debate, who the best juvenile was.

The race Jeff kidder won, As the name suggests, “the Boodles Juvenile Novices Handicap Hurdle”  is framed as a handicap or, in other words, a race in which each horse carries a weight allocated according to its assessed ability, so that, in theory at least, each horse has an equal chance of winning.

It was one of only a handful of races during the Festival that was not sponsored. Instead it is dedicated to the memory of Fred Winter, who won seventeen races at the Festival as a jockey and twenty-eight more as a trainer of horses. He died in 2004 and the race was named for him.  However that changed in 2019 when Boodles began sponsoring the race.

The race is open to juvenile novice hurdlers or, in other words, four-year-olds who, at the start of current season, have not won a hurdle race.

Despite Jeff kidders subsequent achievements, This race in theory is a consolation race, for those not deemed good enough to run in the Triumph Hurdle.

Though there are most certainly horses that target this race from early on, via being dropped out in the toughest of graded races, or winning whilst lightly raced in lesser company.
Both methods can see you line up here, with the aim of attempting to make use of an attractive looking Handicap mark.

This race is a reasonably recent addition to the Festival programme, having been introduced when a fourth day was added in 2005, and was upgraded to Grade 3 status four years later.

No trainer has won the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle more often than Paul Nicholls, who has landed the event on three occasions.

Sanctuaire (2010), Qualando (2015).
while his Katgary was an unfortunate runner-up (2014),  In contrast Diego Du Charmil (2016) stayed on strongly under Sam Twiston-Davies to hold off the challenge from stablemate Romain De Senam However the result would have been very different had the strong-travelling pair of Voix Du Reve and Campeador not crashed out when about to mount their challenge at the last.

In 2021 Paul saddled the 11/2 chance Houx Gris, who was very much in the mould of his previous winners, being a lightly raced French Juvenile.

Paul Nicholls, trainer of fourth placed finisher Houx Gris, said:  “I thought he was going to win going to the last but the stride just wasn’t there. He’s run real tidy though. He’s still learning and there’ll be a lot more to come. He’ll stay hurdling next season but the other horse (Hell Red) will probably go chasing. He ran tidy too.

Two-thirds of previous Fred Winter renewals have gone to a trainer based in Britain. Between 2006 and 2017, however that tide has changed rapidly.

Irish handlers have won the last four renewals of the Fred Winter.
The Emerald Isle trainer to enjoy the most recent success is not Willie Mullins but Gordon Elliott.
In fact, previous to this years renewal won by Jeff kidder, he has had horses finish at least second in each of the three previous years, winning the race twice in that period (and three times overall).
Elliott saddled three of the first four home in the 2020 Fred Winter.
In contrast, It is one of the few races at the Festival that Willie Mullins has yet to win, despite having had 14 runners down the years.

Though as mentioned above, Willie was unfortunate with the the Graham Wylie owned faller Voix Du Reve, and in all fairness, Saint Sam ran an absolute stormer here last year, so in general, he has been knocking on the door to finally win this race. 

It does have to be said though, that this race, as are the huge majority of handicaps, are often an afterthought for willie, with the graded races, a huge priority for the closutton team, and arguably rightly so.

Where as Paul Nichols and Gordon Elliot do target this race from early on, and that is where the contrast in records lie.

Below I have included some relevant Trends.

Boodles 12 Year Trends

Age – Race is for 4yo’s only
Price – 2 of the last 12 favourites/joint favourites have won, 4/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
Weight – 10/12 winners weighed between 10st-6lb and 11st-5lb
Last Run – 4/12 winners won on their last run before the Fred Winter Juvenile Hurdle, 9/12 winners had their last run within the last 32 days
Previous Distance Form – 11/12 winners had at least 2 runs over 15-17 furlongs, 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous win over 15-17 furlongs
Previous Hurdle Form – 12/12 winners had at least 3 previous runs over hurdles, 10/12 winners had at least 1 win over hurdles
Rating – 9/12 winners were rated between 125 and 134
Season Form – 10/12 winners had at least 3 runs that season, 10/12 winners had at least 1 win that season 

Previous winners.

2010 Sanctuaire  Paul Nicholls

2011 What A Charm A L T Moore

2012 Une Artiste JNicky Henderson

2013 Flaxen Flare Gordon Elliott

2014 Hawk HIgh Tim Easterby

2015 Qualando Paul Nicholls

2016 Diego Du Charmil Paul Nicholls

2017 Flying Tiger Nick Williams

2018 Veneer Of Charm Gordon Elliott

2019 Band Of Outlaws Joseph O’Brien

2020 Aramax Gordon Elliott

2021 Jeff Kidder Noel Meade

Subsequent form of the winner.

Next Cheltenham Festival Run –
4/11 winners ran in the County Handicap Hurdle at the next Cheltenham Festival, 0 of the 4 won, 0 placed

This year, Willie mullins, Gordon Elliot, and Paul Nicholls have all been busy in the early French Market, picking up juveniles.

However ofcourse it is not profitable to back all of their juveniles coupled/ blind. The most important aspect of Antepost betting is Indeed being selective.

There are many angles you may choose to take, whether it is the trainer record, a horse that was misfortune in running, or one that you belive has been targeted at this race, with sudden improvement looking very probable.

Antepost for the boodles Last year we backed Teahuppoo prior to his uk debut,  at 33/1 in the any race market,
In an attempt to get him in to the boodles, he had in my opinion the perfect profile for the race, and ended up the shortest price of Gordon Elliots options. 

I believed that his prior run in France, left him with plenty of time to get the 2 runs in he needed to get to the boodles,  the form of his French win, was of a solid standard with the 2nd good ball recieving some glowing reports from Paul nichols ditcheat base.

However after his 2 very positive runs in Ireland, connections decided to target Fairyhouse with Teahupoo, He did not end up in the boodles, and we cut are small losses on the race there.

There is certainly room for improvement in that regard, for this year. 

The boodles itself is very often a maximum field, with an abundance of juveniles declared for the race.

With the nature of the race being young inexperienced individuals, I would absolutely be against building a “book” for this race.

The Triumph Hurdle is a little more open to potentially  backing 2 or in rare cases even 3, with the possibility of the race cutting up nicely 

So in the Members sections, I will be going through the New additions purchased, with very early Analysis of their potential Long term Target.

I will Adding updates with results and analysis along the way, which will indicate us to their likely destination.

We will also be Narrowing down the field significantly with horses to avoid,  which allows us to be selective, and therefore to act early in cases where we feel we are getting strong value with the right opportunity in a race where the likes of Houx Gris was 25/1 + just a month or so out from the Festival.

There are no excuses to not be going in to the boodles without a live chance at solid odds.

So whether any of this was any use in Narrowing down the juvenile hurdling contingent throughout the season, or you have gone down a completely different path all together, I hope it was a worth while read.  

For Anyone who is interested in membership across the whole festival.  please feel free to send me an Email or PM via twitter.

If there aren’t any places left upon contact, it is absolutely not personal, I just like to keep numbers as personal as commercially viable. 

Ofcourse, there is absolutely no obligation to join, and please feel free to make use of the FREE content and stats provided in what may end up as a series of Handicap race profiles, including Trends and stats.

scooby 91
scooby 91

A guide to the juvenile Hurdling division.

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