The Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle, known for sponsorship purposes as the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle, is a Grade 3 race open to horses aged four years.
It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 2 miles and half a furlong.
Throughout the race there are eight hurdles to be jumped and it usually takes around four minutes to complete.
Paul Nicholls and Gordon Elliott have won the race three times apiece so it often pays to look at anything they may target here.
None of the previous sixteen winners of this race had ever raced at the course prior to winning this and the vast majority of the winners have never placed in a class one race before.
Jockeys to avoid in this race in particular are Tom Scudamore (0-11) and Daryl Jacob (0-10).
Willie Mullins, Alan King, Philip Hobbs and Gary Moore have tried and failed to win this race on multiple occasions with multiple runners.
Previous Winners of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle 2021.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Saint Sam – Willie Mullins
Saint Sam dipped his hooves into top class company in his last two races but ultimately came up short against the likes of Quilixios and Zanahiyr.
He was a useful juvenile in his native France where he scored good wins at Dieppe and Clairefontaine.
His run at Leopardstown should have left him pretty much spot on for this and it is worth noting that his half-brother Saint D’Oroux was placed third in this race last year.
He holds obvious claims and his price will reflect that.
Houx Gris – Paul Nicholls
Houx Gris is fully entitled to come on from his debut run for Paul Nicholls where he was beaten twenty-three lengths by Adagio at Chepstow.
He was a half decent performer in France where he won on the flat at Cluny and over hurdles at Auteuil.
The yard has won this race twice before so they know exactly the type of horse it takes.
It is likely to be one of their best chances of the meeting, so the grey has to command utmost respect.
Cabot Cliffs – Dan Skelton
Cabot Cliffs clearly has an affinity with Warwick having won there on his last two starts.
He put a good seventeen lengths between himself and the previously unbeaten Heross De Seuil last time out.
He ran a fair enough race at Cheltenham behind Duffle Coat in the Triumph Hurdle trial over the course and distance back in November.
Money has started to come for him in recent weeks and a bold display could not be ruled out for a team that do particularly well at this meeting.
Busselton – Joseph O’Brien
Busselton has similar form-lines to that of Saint Sam in that he has been beaten by the same two smart sorts in Zanahiyr and Quilixios.
There wouldn’t be much between the Mullins runner and the Joseph O’Brien inmate.
What he does have on his side is that Joseph O’Brien knows exactly how to win this race having done so with Band Of Outlaws two seasons ago.
He would appear to be suited by plenty of give underfoot and his chances may increase should the ground deteriorate.
Druids Altar – Joseph O’Brien
Druid’s Altar forms part of the Annus Mirabilis syndicate and they have some useful horses in training with Joseph O’Brien including San Andreas, Scholastic and Global Equity.
He was a useful performer on the flat winning races up to distances of a mile-and-a-half.
He won on his hurdling debut at Punchestown before being outclassed by Zanahiyr on two separate occasions.
He returned to form when justifying favouritism in a novice race at Naas last time and he just gives the impression that this could be his type of race where he could thrive.
A live each way player.
Coltor – Dermot Weld
Coltor has taken his time to find his feet over hurdles but finally got his head in front at Naas last month where he had a neck to spare over the Gordon Elliott trained Showbusiness.
He is another that clearly appreciates plenty of give underfoot and that win will have done his confidence the world of good.
He could well prove good enough to give his trainer what would only be his third-ever Cheltenham Festival winner following the successes of Silver Concorde in the Champion Bumper in 2014 and Rare Holiday in the Triumph all the way back in 1990.
He looks to have a progressive profile.
Sage Advice – Richard Newland
Was a useful type on the flat in Ireland when trained by Joseph Murphy where he won at Cork and was placed in three other races.
He had wind surgery and switched to the yard of Richard Newland in December and he wasted no time making an impression.
On debut for new connections he ran out a comfortable winner over Tinnahalla at Kempton Park.
He wasn’t disgraced behind Cabot Cliffs at Warwick next time but he did disappoint in a three runner affair at Fontwell a few weeks ago.
It is possible that the run came too soon and if fully over those exertions, he has the chance of a place at best.
Tinnahalla – Olly Murphy
Tinnahalla got his head in front at the third time of asking for Olly Murphy when seeing off the challenge of Homme Public at Catterick a few weeks ago.
The form was given a boost as the runner up came out to win a minor event just a few days later.
He is another that was a useful sort on the flat when trained by Jamie Osborne and he gives the impression that plenty of rain would suit.
Aidan Coleman has partnered him in every start over hurdles thus far and it will be a shock if he isn’t on board here.
Another with solid place claims in what is a fascinating renewal.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2021 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Tips
Cabot Cliffs could well prove to be the one here.
Dan Skelton has his yard in fantastic form at present and there was a lot to like about his wins at Warwick and he has the scope to progress again for connections.
In his youth he was owned by the likes of Michael Tabor and Mrs John Magnier.
He has certainly improved for a switch of discipline and he looks destined to go close.
Houx Gris commands respect from a yard that have won this with similar types in the past.
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 9/2 Saint Sam
- 9/2 Houx Gris
- 10/1 Busselton
- 11/1 Coltor
- 14/1 Cabot Cliffs
- 16/1 Sage Advice
- 33/1 Druids Altar