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1.30 Supreme Novices' Hurdle

The Supreme Novices' Hurdle always gets the Cheltenham Festival off to a bang as punters look to strike an early blow in their annual battle with bookmakers.

The Sky Bet sponsored event (1:30pm) is the traditional Festival curtain raiser. It is run over the Champion Hurdle course and distance of two miles and about half a furlong.

The race always attracts a large field and, therefore, experience of competing in similar conditions is often of paramount importance. As always, the ground is also crucial. If the going is on the quick side, then the flat bred runners often hold the key.

The race has thrown up stars of the future; both Brave Inca and Hors La Loi III followed up victory here by triumphing in the Champion Hurdle, whilst Binocular was second to Captain Cee Bee in 2008 and won the 2010 Champion Hurdle.

The race has also had an impact on the Gold Cup: Best Mate was second to Sausalito Bay in 2000, Kicking King was second to Back In Front in 2003 and War Of Attrition was second to Brave Inca in 2004.

Willie Mullins will be seeking a fourth success after scoring with Champagne Fever last term.

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