The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle is a notable Grade 1 hurdle race operated at Cheltenham. The event has a history that dates back to 1974 when it was inaugurated as the Aldsworth Hurdle. Held on the Old Course at Cheltenham, the race spans 2 miles and 5 furlongs. It is unique in its participant conditions; only horses aged four years and upwards who have not won a hurdle race in the current season are eligible to compete.
The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle has undergone various naming changes over the years, including the Sun Alliance Novices' Hurdle and the Neptune Investment Management Novices' Hurdle, largely due to changing sponsorship deals. Property developer Ballymore commenced its second round of sponsorship in 2018. Today, the race is officially recognized as the Baring Bingham Novices' Hurdle, as a tribute to William Baring Bingham, the previous owner of the Prestbury Park racecourse.
The race has seen many highlighted performances, particularly from Willie Mullins, a leading trainer at the Cheltenham Festival. Mullins holds the record for being the leading trainer in the history of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, boasting five wins under his belt with noteworthy horses including Fiveforthree in 2008, Mikael d'Haguenet in 2009, Faugheen in 2014, Yorkhill in 2016, and Sir Gerhard in 2022.
The outlook for the 2022/23 National Hunt season suggests continued dominance by Willie Mullins, especially in the build-up towards the 2023 renewal of the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle, slated for 1:20 pm on Wednesday, March 15. A participant to look out for in this event is the unbeaten Walk In The Park gelding Facile Vega, who claimed victory at the Weatherbys Champion Bumper at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival.