Classic Novices Hurdle Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Festival Trials Day)

Updated: 486 Horse Racing

If you are a fan of horse racing trends then this preview of the Classic Novices Hurdle will be perfect for you! Not only do we look at the trends but we look at past winners as well as trainer and jockey records for the Classic Novices Hurdle, a race run over 2m4½f at Cheltenham during the Festival Trials Day.

Classic Novices Hurdle Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Festival Trials Day)
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Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

2025 Classic Novices Hurdle Preview

Scheduled to take place in January during trials day of each year at the Cheltenham racecourse is the Classic Novices Hurdle which is run over a distance of two miles, four and a half furlongs and is open to runners ages four or older who are novice hurdlers.

In terms of future form, the race serves as a trial for the Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle and the last eight winners of the race went on to run in that race next time out and only At Fishers Cross (2013) was successful in that race. Both Bobs Worth (2011) and Wichita Lineman (2007) also went on to win the Albert Bartlett at the festival.

Classic Novices Hurdle Information:

We also have a dedicated Cheltenham tips page that will cover this race as well as all of the other races on the day of the race, see which runners the OLBG racing tipsters are predicting to win this race and the others on the cards. You may also be interested in other preview blogs that we have packed full of information, head down to the Other Principal Races at Cheltenham Racecourse section for links to these.

How competitive is the Classic Novices Hurdle market? When looking at the over-rounds for the last 18 renewals, the most competitive market was in 2022 when the race had an over-round of 109%. The race in 2008 was a race that was most in the bookie's favour with an over-round of 118%, whilst on average over the last 18 renewals of the Classic Novices Hurdle, the over-round has been 113%, which means the bookie expects to pay out £100 for every £113 which is bet.

Classic Novices Hurdle Trends:

Looking at the future form, is the winner worth following next time out? From the past 18 if you had followed the winner of the Classic Novices Hurdle next time out then you would have backed a total of 3 winners. Backing all 17 runners who have been out since to win at SP next time out, would have returned an LSP of -9.36. Ahead of the 2025 Classic Novices Hurdle why not head over to the racing predictions for tips on other races today?

When looking over the past 18 renewals, a time of 5:01.14 was set by North Lodge in 2022, which is the quickest time over that period, the runner was trained by Alan King and ridden by A P Heskin. The slowest winning time was set in 2013 when At Fishers Cross won in a time of 5:33.17, booked to ride was A P McCoy on this Rebecca Curtis trained runner.

These are the top three quickest-run Classic Novices Hurdle over the last 18 renewals:

  1. North Lodge (5:01.14) in 2022
  2. Batonnier (5:02.00) in 2012
  3. Wholestone (5:04.10) in 2017

Classic Novices Hurdle Past Winners

Here are the Classic Novices Hurdle past winners for the last 10 renewals. Each row details the year of the race, the horse which won along with the age & weight of the horse. The trainer of the horse at the time of winning the Classic Novices Hurdle as well as the jockey is also displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

Gidleigh Park (GB)
6yo 11-5 5/6F
Jonathan Burke
Harry Fry (GB)
Rock My Way (IRE)
5yo 11-5 13/2
Tom Scudamore
Syd Hosie (GB)
North Lodge (IRE)
5yo 11-5 7/1
A P Heskin
Alan King (GB)
Harry Senior (IRE)
6yo 11-5 4/1
Robbie Power
Colin Tizzard (GB)
Birchdale (IRE)
5yo 11-5 2/1
Barry Geraghty
Nicky Henderson (GB)
Santini (GB)
6yo 11-5 4/1
Jeremiah McGrath
Nicky Henderson (GB)
Wholestone (IRE)
6yo 11-10 11/4F
Daryl Jacob
Nigel Twiston-Davies (GB)
Yanworth (GB)
6yo 11-12 2/1F
Barry Geraghty
Alan King (GB)
Ordo Ab Chao (IRE)
6yo 11-9 16/1
Wayne Hutchinson
Alan King (GB)
Red Sherlock (GB)
5yo 11-9 9/4
Tom Scudamore
David Pipe (GB)

Where have the winning runners come from?

Here are the countries where the winning trainers of the Classic Novices Hurdle have been based:

  • GB: 17 winners with an additional 28 placings from 141 runners
  • FR: 1 winner with an additional 0 placings from 2 runners
  • IRE: 0 winners with an additional 1 placing from 5 runners

Classic Novices Hurdle Trainer Statistics

There are two leading trainers in the Classic Novices Hurdle over the last 18 renewals with both Nicky Henderson and Alan King who have both won the race four times. Nicky Henderson winners have been with Aigle DOr (2008), Bobs Worth (2011), Santini (2018) and Birchdale (2019). Alan King winners have been with Batonnier (2012), Ordo Ab Chao (2015), Yanworth (2016) and North Lodge (2022). There is one trainer who has not had the best of times in the Classic Novices Hurdle, Paul Nicholls has sent a total of 11 runners to the race without recording any wins.

Here are some of the top Classic Novices Hurdle trainer statistics over the last 18 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

Nicky Henderson14-4-9+1.25+1.71
Alan King10-4-7+31.00+20.54
Nigel Twiston-Davies6-1-2-2.25-2.75
David Pipe4-1-2-0.75-0.49
Jonjo O'Neill3-1-1-1.00-1.40
Harry Fry3-1-2-1.17-0.83
Nick Williams3-1-1-1.47-1.67
Rebecca Curtis2-1-1+5.50+3.06
Syd Hosie2-1-1+5.50+2.90
A Chaille-Chaille1-1-1+14.00+8.40

Classic Novices Hurdle Jockey Statistics

Here are some of the top Classic Novices Hurdle jockey statistics over the last 18 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

Daryl Jacob3-1-1+0.75-0.35
A P Heskin2-1-1+6.00+3.38
Jeremiah McGrath1-1-1+4.00+2.40
Robbie Power1-1-1+4.00+2.40
Jonathan Burke1-1-1+0.83+0.52
Paddy Brennan9-0-3-9.00-4.03
Harry Skelton4-0-4-4.00-0.52
Sam Twiston-Davies3-0-2-3.00-1.10
Brian Hughes3-0-0-3.00-3.00
Harry Cobden3-0-0-3.00-3.00

Classic Novices Hurdle Trend Analysis

The trend factor which had produced 9+ winners and shows the best LSP, an LSP of +11.61 is when runners finished in 1st on debut. The worst performing factor that has failed to produce a single winner is when runners had 2 wins in the past year, when backing these the trend shows a record of 0-42.

The courses that have produced the most winners of the Classic Novices Hurdle are Newbury and Cheltenham, there has been a total number of 5 winners from each of those courses.

The race is open to both sexes with the Male runners having produced a total of 18 winners from a total of 143 runners whilst the Female runners have produced 0 winners from a total of 5 runners.

Looking over the past renewals, these are the stallions whose offspring have produced multiple winners of the Classic Novices Hurdle:

  • Oscar (2 Wins)
  • Sir Harry Lewis (2 Wins)

Looking over the past renewals, there is only one stallion whose offspring have been disappointed with multiple attempts but no wins in the Classic Novices Hurdle, that stallion is Flemensfirth who has failed to produce a winner from 8 runners.

Looking at the winning odds over the last 18 renewals, the biggest-priced winner was Ordo Ab Chao in 2015, winning for Alan King at odds of 16/1 under the guidance of Wayne Hutchinson. Looking at the runners at the head of the market over the last 18 renewals there have been 6 winning favourites in the race. Remember to bookmark the best racing tipsters page so you can get easy access to the best OLBG racing tipsters.

Other Principal races at Cheltenham racecourse

Here are some other notable races at the Cheltenham racecourse throughout the racing season that you may be interested in.

Races in January (Festival Trials Day)

Races in January

Races in March (Cheltenham Festival)

Races in April

Races in October

Races in November (November Meeting)

Races in December (Christmas Meeting)

Article Contributor Information

We are blessed with an excellent team of specialists and experts at OLBG. Contributing to creating and maintaining this Classic Novices Hurdle Preview are at hand, Andy and James. They both work on the Horse racing tips team team looking after the tipsters and managing the tips settlement, whilst also creating and managing all of the horse racing event previews for National Hunt Racing.

James Banting

James Banting

Tipster competition assistant

James Banting, a passionate horse racing enthusiast and aficionado, brings a wealth of experience to OLBG, having attended numerous race meetings over the years. His background working with the Jockey Club provides him with a unique insider's perspective on the industry.
Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy, a seasoned horse racing expert with over 15 years of experience, possesses a comprehensive understanding of the sport, from delving into complex statistical data for jump racing in the UK and Ireland to crafting insightful national hunt racing blogs for OLBG.

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