Marsh Novices Chase Tips - 1:30pm Cheltenham

The Marsh Novice’s Chase (formerly the JLT Novice chase) is the youngest of the three novice chases at the Festival in only it’s eleventh year. Ireland have won eight of the ten renewals with Willie Mullins securing four victories and Gordon Elliott two. They start on the new course here and race over 2m 3f 168 yards.

This year’s renewal features a very warm favourite in Gordon Elliott’s superstar Envoi Allen. Unbeaten in all eleven starts (twelve if you include his point to point win), he’s racked up four bumper wins (including the Cheltenham Champion bumper), four novice hurdles (including the Ballymore at the Festival last year) and all three of his novice chases. He’s won on good to heavy ground and doesn’t appear to have any flaws.He looks the best all round horse to come out of Ireland for many a year. His jumping seems effortless and it all comes so natural to him. It will be a major shock if Cheveley Park’s Muhtathir gelding is turned over here.

The majority of the opposition also have entries in either the Arkle Chase or the Festival Novice Chase (the old RSA) and may be running scared to one of those events although with the likes of Shiskin/Energumene and Monkfish there’s no easy race this season.

Energumene and Monkfish both hold an entry here but will be running in the Arkle/Festival novice chases respectively.

JP McManus’s Sporting John bounced back to form when winning the grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices Chase at Sandown coming from a long way back to beat Shan Blue 3 3/4 lengths. If he was to turn up here he would probably be the best hope the British have of beating the favourite.

Dan Skelton’s Shan Blue was runner up to Sporting John but his jumping is a joy to watch as he attacks all his fences with zest.

Nicky Henderson has four entered with the likeliest to run Chantry House even though he is in the same ownership as Sporting John. He put himself back in th eframe for this race when winning at Wetheby from Cocunut Splash. Henderson’s others are** Fusil Raffles** who’s won 3 of his 4 novice chases, Dame De Compagne who looks more likely to head to the new Mares Chase race and Allart who impressed on his chase debut at Ascot but did then take a fall at Haydock in January.

Willie Mullins has entered six but it’s hard to know what he will be running currently although Franco De Port could be interesting following his 10 lengths second to Energumene at the Dublin Racing Festival stepping up in trip here.

This is a race that is likely to cut up and it is impossible to look beyond the favourite Envoi Allen who has the potential to become one of the all time greats.

Punters Lounge Tip: Envoi Allen @ 5/6 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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