First run at Cheltenham in 1911, this historic race is no place for weak novices. Four miles around one of the toughest jump courses in the world, certainly sorts the men from the boys…..
Who won the National Hunt Novice Chase in 2016?
This race is turning out to be one of the hottest renewals of the race. It again proved a thorough test, with them going a really good gallop, and Minella Rocco came out on top with the maestro Derek O’Connor doing the steering.
Things didn’t look to promising through the first half as he raced well back, but it all clicked into play on the final lap and he made a race-winning move from two out.
It will be fascinating to see if it can turn into a Gold Cup contender this year.
How to find the winner of National Hunt Novice Chase?
Since the BHA dispensed with the penalty aspect of this race in 2011, the gruelling novice chase has been a friend of the punters, with winners relatively easy to find.
Much like all other staying chases at the Festival, previous experience of tackling Cheltenham’s lung-busting track is a huge advantage when undertaking this challenge. Five of the last nine winners had all had a run at Cheltenham before coming back to win at the Festival.
One trainer springs to mind when assessing this contest, Jonjo O’Neill, his record is pretty stunning for such a hard race to win.
Since 2002, O’Neill has won the race five times and seems to always target his classy staying chasers at this race rather than the RSA.
Ante post National Hunt Novice Chase tip?
FAGAN shouldn’t be underestimated if he can find his feet over fences. He ran a stormer to finish second in the Albert Bartlett last season behind Youknowwhatimeanharry and shaped like a horse that relishes the Cheltenham hill.
Four miles around Prestbury Park should be right up his street.