The National Hunt season boasts some of the most intense horse racing action on the planet.
But even the best horses that run at Cheltenham and the Grand National have to start from somewhere.
And you can watch the latest up-and-coming names that could become legendary champions by following novice hurdle races when horse racing betting throughout the season.
What is a novice hurdle?
A novice hurdle is a race run at a National Hunt meeting that features hurdle obstacles that horses must jump over.
But before we get to the novice bit, we need to understand the difference between hurdles and fences seen at National Hunt meets. While fences are sturdy obstacles reaching at least 4ft 6in, hurdles are smaller (3ft 6in) and more flexible.
The novice part of a novice hurdle relates to the experience level of the competing horses.
No horse can run in a novice hurdle once they have won a National Hunt race in the previous season (although novices can run until the next October if they win a race within the last few months of the previous season).
It means the majority of novice hurdlers are young, inexperienced horses that have the potential to become stars. Or they are horses that are making the transition from the Flat (no jumps) season to National Hunt (jumps) races.
A novice race run over fences is called a novice chase.
Why are novice hurdles important?
Novice hurdles offer some of the best introductory avenues for burgeoning National Hunt horses to run fast and compete for big wins.
That’s because the races are only open to horses yet to win a National Hunt race in the previous horse racing season.
Some of the most iconic horses in racing claimed novice hurdles wins on their path to greatness.
Best novice hurdles to bet on
Cheltenham’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle is a Grade 1 race that has produced iconic winners down the years. The likes of Douvan, Vautour, Go Native and L’Escargot all claimed this prestigious prize.
Cheltenham Festival also boasts the Grade 1 Spa Novices’ Hurdle and Baring Bingham Novices’ Hurdle.
Aintree, meanwhile, stages the Top Novices’ Hurdle with a prize fund of £125,000.
Racing betting on these iconic races will give you the best insight into how novices can hurdle their way to superstardom.
Many horses return to Cheltenham having starred in novice hurdles events to take greater prizes in years to come.
- What does it mean when a horse is On the Bridle?
- What is a Black type horse race?
- What are the different types of going in horse racing?
- What is a bumper horse race?
- What are blinkers and why do some horses wear them?
- What is an Allowance Race in horse racing?
- What is the difference between hurdles and fences in National Hunt racing?
- What is a halter and why do some horses wear them?
- What does it mean when a horse has spread a plate?
- What is the Rule 4 betting rule in horse racing?
- What is the difference between graded, handicap and selling horse races?
- What is a listed horse race?
- What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?
- Why do race horses have different ratings and what do they mean?
- When does the National Hunt season start and when does it end?
- Why are there different grades of horse race?
- Why are there 3 different types of National Hunt race?
- Why are race horses given different weights and what does it mean?
- How many different classes of horse race are there?
- What is a claiming race and what do they mean?
- What is an optional claimer in horse racing?
- What is a shadow roll and why do some race horses wear them?
- Why do some races start from stalls and some not?
- What is the difference between Derby and Oaks races?
- What does it mean when a horse knuckles during a horse race?
- What is a stayer in horse racing?
- What is a yearling horse and when are they ready to race?
- What does it mean if a horse has won a point race?
- What does a maiden mean in horse racing?
- How are horses’ ages calculated and why is it not the same as humans?
- What advantages do apprentice jockeys get when riding against professionals?
- What is a conditional jockey?
- What does the term ‘connections’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear cheekpieces?
- Who are the stewards in horse racing?
- What does ‘weighed in’ mean at the end of a horse race?
- What is a nursery race?
- Why are some National Hunt races run without fences?
- Why are some horses given a tongue tie during races?
- What does it mean when a horse is ‘pushed out’?
- How are horse racing ratings calculated?
- What does it mean when a horse has a ‘wind operation’?
- How high are the fences and hurdles in horse racing?
- What is an apprentice jockey?
- What is a Bull Ring in horse racing?
- What does the phrase ‘Look of Eagles’ mean in horse racing?
- Why do some horses wear a ‘weight cloth’ during races?
- What is the Triple Crown in horse racing?
- What is a Steeplechase race in horse racing?
- How high are the Cheltenham Festival fences and hurdles?
- Why is the Champion Chase named after the Queen Mother?
- Why does Cheltenham racecourse have an Old Course and a New Course? What’s the differences between the two?
- What is the Cheltenham roar? What difference does it make in races?
- Why are there no jumps in the Cheltenham Festival Champion Bumper?
- How many fans usually attend the Cheltenham Festival? How big is the capacity?
- What is a juvenile in horse racing?