Top Novices’ Hurdle

The second race on the second day of the Grand National Festival is the Top Novices' Hurdle, and we have all the latest news and previews.

Jocky Jack Kennedy celebrates winning the Top Novices' Hurdle in 2019.

The Top Novices’ Hurdle is, as the name suggests, a race intended for novice hurdlers. Typically, the Top Novices’ Hurdle field is at least partly composed of horses that have already run in the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle. Despite the overlap, however, no horse has managed to win both races since Browne’s Gazette and that was back in 1984.

The British Horseracing Authority ranks this National Hunt hurdle race as Grade One and has done since 2016. The Top Novices’ Hurdle is traditionally held every April at the Grand National meeting.

Historically, the Top Novices’ Hurdle can be an excellent place to spot emerging talent and maybe do a little bit of betting, of course.

Date8 April 2022
Start Time (GMT)14:20
Distance2m ½f
Where to Watch
Horses’ Age4+
Grand National Festival Day 2: Top Novices’ Hurdle

Top Novices’ Hurdle: Past Winners

2021Belfast BanterKevin SextonPeter Fahey
2019Felix DesjyJack KennedyGordon Elliott
2018LalorRichard JohnsonKayley Woolacott
2017PingshouRobbie PowerColin Tizzard
2016Buveur d’AirNoel FehilyNicky Henderson
The Grand National Festival did not take place in 2020.

Top Novices’ Hurdle: Tips, Predictions and Previews

Note: the tips below refer to the 2021 Grand National Festival; updated previews will be available on the week of the 2022 Festival.

County Hurdle winner Belfast Banter needs further improvement to land what looks a deep enough Grade 1 here. Houx Grix was fourth behind him at Cheltenham and can improve again, while Any News and Third Time Lucki are players. The two to focus on are Dusart and AJERO. The former looked a smart prospect in beating subsequent Betfair Hurdle winner Soaring Glory on debut in November at Newbury and has a fine chance for Nicky Henderson but, at the prices, maybe Kim Bailey’s charge can make his extra experience tell. He’s won four on the trot after finishing second on his hurdles bow in September and handles all conditions equally. He can prove he’s worthy of this grade, and is an each-way price against the market leader.

Selection: Ajero @ 6/1

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