The Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle is a Grade 1 hurdle race run over 2 miles and 209 yards on the Mildmay Course at Aintree on the opening day of the Grand National Festival in April. As the name suggests, the race is restricted to horses aged four years or, in other words, horses aged three years at the start of the current season.

The Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle was inaugurated, in its current guise, as the Weetabix Hurdle, in 1976, when it replaced the Lancashire Hurdle, which was run for the final time the previous year. The word ‘Anniversary’ was added to the race title in 1988 and the race was promoted to Grade 1 status in 2005.

Nowadays, the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle is the second most prestigious juvenile hurdle in the British National Hunt calendar, after the Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. Indeed, it is often contested by horses that ran in the ‘championship’ race for juvenile hurdlers; the last horse to complete the Triumph Hurdle/ Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle double was Pentland Hills, trained by Nicky Henderson, in 2019.

Alan King and Paul Nicholls are, jointly, the leading trainers in the modern history of the Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle. King was responsible for Katchit (2007), Walkon (2009), Grumeti (2012) and L’Unique (2013), while Nicholls saddled Le Duc (2003), Zarkandar (2011), All Yours (2015) and Monmiral (2021). The 2022 renewal of the Anniversary 4-Y-O Novices’ Hurdle produced a dramatic result; odds-on favourite Pied Piper rallied to force a dead-heat with Knight Salute – whom he had beaten 17¼ lengths, on the same terms, in the Triumph Hurdle – in the final strides, only to be demoted to second place for causing interference.

The 2023 renewal of Anniversary 4-Y-O Juvenile Hurdle is scheduled for 2.20pm on Thursday, April 7. Look out for horses that feature highly in the ante-post lists for the Triump Hurdle, such as the promising Daddy Long Legs, from the first crop of European champion three-year-old colt Almanzor.