The National Hunt Novices’ Chase closes the curtain on what will have been an epic first afternoon of action from the Cheltenham Festival.
Twenty-three fences will have to be jumped in a race that usually takes in and around eight minutes to complete.
Previous Winners of the National Hunt Novices’ Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the National Hunt Novices’ Chase 2022.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
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RUN WILD FRED – GORDON ELLIOTT
Run Wild Fred has gone off favourite on both of his most recent starts but was firmly put in his place by stablemate Fury Road in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown back in December.
A remarkably consistent sort who seems to adapt to whatever ground is on offer at the time.
This is a massive step up in trip for him but this extra half-mile has to be a concern.
He loves to race prominently and if there is a strong pace, it could just find him out.
STATTLER – WILLIE MULLINS
Stattler has always given the impression that he would be a better chaser than a hurdler and he seems to have adapted to his fences without any problems.
He was fourth in the Albert Bartlett behind Vanillier at this meeting last year, but seems a completely different proposition now.
He won on his chasing debut at Fairyhouse and followed that up by taking a Grade 3 at Naas beating Farouk D’Alene.
Coped well with the step up in trip from two and a half miles to three miles no bother and no surprise if he is able to step up on that again here.
VANILLIER – GAVIN CROMWELL
Vanillier is wonderfully consistent but found Stattler 18 lengths too strong when they last met at Naas back in January.
He also has to turn around the form with Run Wild Fred based on their previous meeting back in December.
In saying that this talented grey enjoyed his day in the sun when wining the Albert Bartlett here last season and perhaps a return to this track will be in his favour.
He is another trying this trip for the first time and is likely to be lit up from the get-go as he too likes to be up with the pace. Just vulnerable to a finisher.
ONTHEROPES – WILLIE MULLINS
Ontheropes is just one of those horses who is incredibly frustrating.
He has started at single figure prices in six of his last eight starts only to massively disappoint.
There is a chance that this extreme trip could be the making of him, but others in this line up look far more reliable and trustworthy.
PATS FANCY – REBECCA CURTIS
Pats Fancy ran well in a Grade 2 Hurdle here in December 2020 but hasn’t come back to this track since.
In that time, he has gone chasing and picked up a couple of notable wins at Chepstow in handicap chases.
He was upped in grade but ran as well as could be expected against the 16 pound higher rated Bravemansgame.
He seemed to tire in the closing stages over three miles last time so his stamina is a definite concern.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2022 National Hunt Novices’ Chase Tips & Key Trends
It is hard to get away from the main protagonists at the head of the market. Given Gordon Elliott’s marvellous record in the race I shall side with RUN WILD FRED.
He has been a talking horse all year Jamie Codd gets the leg up on this fella. He has also proven his stamina by finishing second in an Irish Grand National.
Stattler has an incredible engine but could find himself in a jostle for the lead and may just get tired on the run in.
- Gordon Elliott has a fantastic record in this race
- 10 of the last 12 winners had contested a Graded novice chase
- 9 of the last 12 winners had run at least five times over fences
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 2/1 Run Wild Fred
- 9/4 Stattler
- 4/1 Vanillier
- 8/1 Ontheropes
- 17/2 Pats Fancy
- 10/1 Braeside
- 66/1 Beatthebullet