Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – Expert Tips & Predictions
The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is for four-year-olds new to the National Hunt scene. With the least form on offer, it can be the hardest race to solve, but with GG’s expert analysis and tips, we hope to give punters the best chance of finding the winner.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Bookmaker Odds – Race 6, Tuesday 14th March 4:50
|J: Mark Walsh|
T: Willie Mullins
|J: Philip Byrnes (5)|
T: Charles Byrnes
|J: Rachael Blackmore|
T: Ben Pauling
|Risk Belle |
|J: L P Dempsey|
T: Willie Mullins
|Sir Allen |
|J: Danny Mullins|
T: Andrew Slattery
|Perseus Way |
|J: Jamie Moore|
T: Gary Moore
|J: Simon Torrens|
T: Padraig Roche
|J: Sean Flanagan|
T: Paul Nolan
|Punta Del Este |
|J: Harry Skelton|
T: Dan Skelton
|Zanndabad (RESERVE) |
T: A J Martin
|J: Harry Cobden|
T: Paul Nicholls
|J: Paul O’Brien|
T: Harry Derham
|Samuel Spade |
|J: Luca Morgan|
T: Ben Pauling
|Jazzy Matty |
|J: Michael O’Sullivan (3)|
T: Gordon Elliott
|Morning Soldier |
|J: Darragh O’Keeffe|
T: Thomas Mullins
|Arclight (RESERVE) |
T: Nicky Henderson
|Mighty Mo Missouri |
|J: Conor Smithers (7)|
T: Mrs John Harrington
|J: Jordan Gainford|
T: Gordon Elliott
|Action Motion |
|J: H C Swan (5)|
T: Denis Gerard Hogan
|Fils De Roi |
|J: Paddy Brennan|
T: Fergal O’Brien
|Gordons Aura |
|J: Sam Ewing|
T: Gordon Elliott
|Romancero Le Dun |
|J: David Noonan|
T: Jane Williams
|J: Donagh Meyler|
T: Emmet Mullins
|Mr Freedom |
|J: Robert Dunne|
T: Sheena West
All About The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle in 2023
There is a chance that the winner of the 2023 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle has not even run over hurdles yet. With the race being limited to four-year-olds, for whom this must be their first season in National Hunt racing, the current crop will have raced very few times.
Considering how much Willie Mullins has dominated at the Cheltenham Festival over the years, it may come as a shock to find he is yet to train the winner of this race! That could be set to change this year however, with Tekao currently heading the betting, having only found two too good in the Grade 1 Spring Juvenile Hurdle last time out.
However, he was soundly beaten on debut by Comfort Zone, and they could both line up for a rematch here. Joseph O’Brien’s runner has won twice since that victory over Tekao, including a victory in Triumph Hurdle Trial at Cheltenham in January. If he opts for this race, he will likely prove a popular pick.
Andrew Slattery’s Sir Allen was only six lengths behind Triumph Hurdle hopeful Blood Destiny in December and has won both races since, so he could be another in with a big chance.
The Irish currently dominate the head of the market and another in with a lively chance is Joseph O’Brien’s Nusret. He’s not been far behind Lossiemouth and Blood Destiny in his most recent races, and both of those are widely expected to go well at the Festival this year.
However, this race has thrown up plenty of outsider winners over the years, so it might pay to look further down the betting.
A race exclusively for the youngest horses in National Hunt racing, the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle is into its 18th running this year.
Less than a third of the winners of the contest have gone off at single-figure odds so this is often a race to find some value. Even then, only three of those six were the favourite, with Band Of Outlaws the only market leader to oblige within the last decade.
Moreover, looking at the prices of those who were greater than 9/1, many of them are much bigger. In chronological order, such winners went off at 20/1, 40/1, 14/1, 11/1, 40/1, 25/1, 33/1, 25/1, 33/1, 33/1 & 80/1, and 10/1, with Brazil the latest winner of the race. It’s not as if quietly fancied horses are winning at shorter odds; these are fundamentally outsiders, some of them rank outsiders.
Yet that doesn’t mean you should ignore the big stables. Among those to have trained those unlikely winners are Paul Nicholls (Qualando, 25/1), Nicky Henderson (Une Artiste, 40/1) and Gordon Elliott (Flaxen Flare, 25/1 & Veneer Of Charm, 33/1), with Noel Meade having prepared Jeff Kidder in 2021. Last year’s winning trainer was Padraig Roche, which was his first ever winner at the Cheltenham Festival.
Perhaps it’s a case of the stellar yards keeping one back and with so little experience throughout the field, it should be no surprise that shocks happen on a regular basis. Either we simply haven’t seen the best of some of the four-year-olds in the field, or one or two have improved beyond measure since their previous start. It is far likelier to happen in this race than any other.
That said, there is still a fair chance the winner of this race will have shown some spark at some point during the season. Jeff Kidder was the first winner for eight years to have carried less than 11st.
However, the best statistic is saved for last. There have been 18 runnings of the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle and 17 different jockeys have won it. Mark Walsh became the only jockey to have won two renewals last year with Brazil, having previously steered Aramax to victory in 2020.
2023 Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Prize Money
Just over £78,000 was dished out between connections of the first eight finishers in March. Jeff Kidder’s took home just over £45,000 of that.
The prize pot for the 2023 renewal is £80,000.
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle History
Introduced in 2005, the Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle has given the juvenile hurdlers shy of Triumph Hurdle class a chance to win a significant prize at the greatest jumps Festival.
With inexperience to the fore, it is often the case that the horses who go on to achieve most may not have won this race. Of the previous winners, Sanctuaire may be the standout name, for all he is possibly best known for being eaten alive by Sprinter Sacre in the 2012 Tingle Creek. He was a two-time Grade 2 winner over fences though.
However, it is among the recently vanquished that we find Nube Negra. Dan Skelton’s now brilliant chaser was favourite for the race in 2018, but could finish only third to Veneer Of Charm. Just three years later and we know exactly who he is now.
The race’s greatest claim to fame is probably due to Gaspara’s feat in 2007. As with The Shunter doubling up at Kelso and Cheltenham in March to win a £100,000 bonus, David Pipe’s juvenile filly managed the same thing, arguably more impressively.
She rode the crest of a wave having joined Pipe from France, winning her first two novice hurdles before taking the Imperial Cup at Sandown. Three days later, she showed up in this race with a mere 4lb penalty and won impressively. Her bonus for connections was £75,000 and just as well: she never won again.
Maybe, the best winner was saved until 2021. Jeff Kidder may have been 80/1, but he’d step up to Graded company on his next two starts, winning at the highest level in Punchestown’s Champion Four Year Old Hurdle.
Last year’s winner Brazil failed to follow in the footsteps of Jeff Kidder, having only been able to finish third behind Knight Salute and Pied Pier. He’s been back amongst the winners this year, albeit only in Grade 3 company.
Winners since 2005
|2007||Gaspara|| J:Andrew Glassonbury|
|2008||Crack Away Jack||J:Paul Carberry|
|2009||Silk Affair||J:Tom O’Brien|
|2011||What A Charm||J:Paul Townend|
|2012||Une Artiste||J:Jerry McGrath|
|2013||Flaxen Flare||J:Davy Condon|
|2014||Hawk High||J:Brian Hughes|
|2016||Diego Du Charmil|| J:Sam Twiston-Davies|
|2017||Flying Tiger||J:Richard Johnson|
|2018||Veneer Of Charm||J:Jack Kennedy|
|2019||Band Of Outlaws||J:J J Slevin|
|2021||Jeff Kidder||J:Sean Flanagan|
Cheltenham Festival Racing Schedule