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2022 Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Trends
The Tolworth Hurdle is one of the most informative novice hurdle contests run outside of the big horse racing spring festivals.
Given the time of year that the Tolworth Hurdle takes place, emphasis is often placed on the ability to handle testing ground, something that doesn’t always translate to races like the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, which are generally run on better ground.
The Tolworth Hurdle has been won by many horses that have gone on to have great careers at the top level of the sport, but only Noland (2006) and Summerville Boy (2018) have done the Tolworth/Supreme double since the turn of the century.
However, Constitution Hill is already second favourite for the Supreme so if he justifies his extremely prohibitive Tolworth Hurdle odds in the way many expect, Nicky Henderson’s exciting youngster will head to Cheltenham as a leading contender to complete the big Grade 1 double.
2022 Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Details
- Date: Saturday, January 8th
- Course: Sandown
- Status: Grade 1
- Distance: 2m
- Age: 4yo+
- Prize fund: £70,000 (£39,865 to the winner)
- Live on: ITV4 and Racing TV at 2.25pm
Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Key Ten-Year-Trends
- 9/10 winners won their previous start over hurdles
- 9/10 winners ran within the last month
- 9/10 winners were NOT trained in Ireland
- 9/10 winners had run at least twice over hurdles
- 8/10 winners were aged five or six
- 7/10 winners were rated 135+
- 7/10 winners were sent off 7/2 or shorter
- 6/10 winners had won on a right-handed track
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Nicky Henderson and Colin Tizzard have both won the Tolworth Hurdle three times in the last decade but Henderson, who first landed the race in 1992, has won the Grade 1 contest five times in total. Henderson is responsible for the well-touted Constitution Hill this time around.
Paul Nicholls won the race four times between 2003 and 2008 but he’s not trained the winner since.
This is one of the few British Grade 1 contests that Irish-trained runners haven’t plundered on a regular basis, indeed Yorkhill’s success in 2016 is the only occasion the prize has gone over the Irish Sea.
Norman Williamson, Ruby Walsh and Barry Geraghty won the race three times apiece but the only modern-day rider to have won the race more than once is Tom O’Brien (2), who is unlikely to have a mount in the 2022 edition.
2022 Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Runner Guide
Constitution Hill - Could hardly have got his hurdles career off to a more impressive start when careering away with a novice event at Sandown early in December. The way he dispatched runner-up Might I suggests that rival has very little chance of turning the form around, even on slightly better terms, and Henderson team have made no secret of regard in which they hold this 5-year-old. Already the second favourite for the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and looks a potential star so looks impossible to oppose in what looks like a below-par Grade 1.
Datsalrightgino - Didn’t manage to win in four bumper runs but had wind surgery in the summer and form has gone to a new level over hurdles, where he is unbeaten in two starts. Hardly impressive in a steadily-run novice at Cheltenham but will be seen to better effect in a more evenly run race although both hurdles' wins have been on good ground so has much slower conditions to contend with here.
Dom Of Mary - Point and bumper (2m4f) winner but can’t win on what he showed when 10 lengths fourth at Newbury on hurdles debut and drop back to 2m looks against him.
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First Street - Best form so far when running away with Warwick novice event (2m5f) but below that level when beaten 20+ lengths in the Persian War at Chepstow so doesn’t look a Grade 1 horse at this stage.
Jetoile - Progressive over hurdles in the hood and best performance so far when making all the running in deep ground at Leicester (2m4.5f). The free-going sort who might appreciate the drop back in trip so could take some catching but form so far not within a stone of Constitution Hill.
Might I - Best form so far when second to Constitution Hill at this venue but was brushed aside so easily by that rival after the final flight that it’s impossible to see him reversing the form. Is an obvious place contender, however.
Mr Glass - Saw new trip out well when making all the running to win decent little Newcastle novice (2m6f) contest. Not sure the drop back to 2m is ideal but is on the up, has won on testing ground and the trainer knows what is required to win this race.
Shallwehaveonemore - Pulled hard on hurdles debut at Ascot but still ran extremely well to get within a length and a quarter of the winner. Appears to be held in quite a high regard so no telling how far he might go at this stage but will obviously need to settle better.
Whizz Kid - Four-time Flat winner on the continent but has a mountain to climb on hurdles debut if connections decide to run.
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2022 Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Betting odds
Current bookmaker odds - 4/9 Constitution Hill, 6/1 Might I, Mr Glass, 7/1 Datsalrightgino, 10/1 Jetoile, Shallwehaveonemore, 20/1 First Street, 33/1 Whizz Kid, 66/1 Dom Of Mary. (odds correct at time of publication)
2022 Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle Verdict
It’s almost impossible to oppose Constitution Hill whose form is already at least a stone clear of his rivals and he could literally be anything at this stage. He may well leapfrog stablemate Jonbon in ante-post Supreme Novices’ Hurdle lists if he impresses once again.
Might I, who was a remote second to the favourite last time, fits the trends so rates a solid place chance, but watch out for Shallwehaveonemore who shaped with a good deal of promise on hurdles debut despite doing plenty wrong and he could take a big leap forward, for all that he’ll need to.
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Unibet Tolworth Novices' Hurdle - Last Ten Winners
- 2021 Metier (7/4F) Trainer: Harry Fry, Jockey: Sean Bowen
- 2020 Fiddlerontheroof (5/4F) Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Robbie Power
- 2019 Elixir De Nutz (3/1) Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Tom O'Brien
- 2018 Summerville Boy (8/1) Trainer: Tom George, Jockey: Noel Fehily
- 2017 Finian's Oscar (11/10F) Trainer: Colin Tizzard, Jockey: Tom O'Brien
- 2016 Yorkhill (4/9F) Trainer: Willie Mullins, Jockey: Ruby Walsh
- 2015 L'Ami Serge (4/9F) Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Barry Geraghty
- 2014 Royal Boy (9/1) Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: A P McCoy
- 2013 Melodic Rendezvous (7/2) Trainer: Jeremy Scott, Jockey: Nick Scholfield
- 2012 Captain Conan (9/1) Trainer: Nicky Henderson, Jockey: Barry Geraghty