Northern Trust Novices Chase Tips - 4:50pm Cheltenham

2020 Northern Trust Handicap Chase Preview

A brand new sponsor for the Festival this year in the shape of Northern Trust, they take over the Novices’ handicap chase which was known as the Close Brothers Chase who have now attached their name to the Mares Hurdle.

It’s another tricky puzzle for the punters as although it’s a handicap there is normally no more than 7lbs from top to bottom and many are lightly raced over fences and have scope for much more than their present handicap mark.

A good example is if you at last year’s winner, A Plus Tard won off a mark of 144, just twelve months later he is on a figure of 165 and fancied for the Ryanair Chase this time round. It’s just trying to work out which trainer has expertly got their charge into that 7lb window of opportunity without busting a gut to get there.

Imperial Aura fits the bill for local trainer Kim Bailey, he knows how to work the system and has his 7yo on 143 after three starts over fences. He kicked off with simple task at Fakenham where both of his rivals failed to complete the course, he then came here and ran over three miles and was beaten 8 lengths by Pym. His mark stayed on 136 which was his hurdles figure so needed to nudge that up to get qualified for this race.

He went back to 2m4f at the trials meeting here in January and ran a nice race to finish behind Simply The Betts, they finished miles clear of the pack and was raised 7lbs for his efforts, that was job done as far as ‘Plan A’ was concerned. You get the feeling he has more to come, he’s a sound jumper, goes on any ground and should be thereabouts.

Trainer Jonjo O’Neil is no stranger when it comes to Cheltenham handicaps but he has yet to win this particular race. He has a chance with top weight Annie Mc. This mare has already landed a handicap plot when taking the EBF Final at Newbury last March, she was only rated 127 going into that race and bolted up by 8 lengths.

Since going chasing Annie Mc has been superbly placed to win three small field races without much fuss. The handicapper has been unable to get a proper handle on here as she has won three Mares’ only races and not really beat much in the process. She did go up 3lb after her last win at Bangor but just scrapes in here and you just have to think she is at least a couple of pound’s well in at the moment.

Dan Skelton has always thought plenty of Beakstown but he has just not clicked yet over fences in his three starts this term. He failed to fire in the Ballymore last year but chasing was always supposed to be where we see him improve. Well at the minute he is still 3lbs lower than his highest mark over the smaller obstacles so he could be well in here if the penny finally drops.

He was second to the useful Sam Spinner on chase debut which was fair enough but then was beaten 10 lengths by Champ over a longer trip at Newbury. He was no match for Mister Fisher back here in December so any thoughts of the Arkle or the Marsh Chase were distinguished. This race offers a good back up plan and its too soon to write him off. Trainer Mick Channon won this two years ago with Mister Whitaker who was owned by the Radford’s and the same combination team up with a 6yo called Hold The Note.

He was only a 130 rated hurdler and didn’t look anything special on his chase debut at Ludlow back in November. He was beaten 8 lengths by Western Ryder in a Class 4 race and then next time stepped up in class at Kempton. He was going ok when he got hampered so we didn’t really learn anything new.

Last time out he put it all together and was a very good second behind Two For Gold in a Grade 2 contest, he was only beaten half a length and that horse is rated 146. It was a big step up and there is probably more to come.

The Irish trained horses have only won this race three times since it was established in 2005 but more importantly they have won two of the last three renewals so that sounds a lot better.

Gordon Elliott likes to have a tilt at the handicaps and has a decent chance with Chosen Mate who up to now has been running over a shorter trip. He started out at Leopardstown at the Christmas meeting where he was third to Melon, beaten 11 lengths.

Next time out he was made favourite but was well beaten behind Annamix but made amends at Gowran at the end of January when he looked quite impressive and came home 11 lengths clear of Cappuccimix. His main rival did fall in that race but it was still something to build on.

Stablemate Galvin is worth considering, he was a decent 6th in the Ballymore last season behind City Island and although still winless over fences he has shown enough to suggest he is on a workable mark.

Last time out he was a good second to Salsaretta at Punchestown in November and has been given time off since after three quick runs.

Punters Lounge Tip: Imperial Aura EW 8/1 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
Northern Trust Novices Chase Latest Betting
ODDS:
UK
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EU
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US
Best Odds in BOLD
Backed
Drifting
Imperial Aura
6/16/16/17/18/17/1
Annamix
City Island
Zero Ten
12/112/1
Mount Pelier
Caribean Boy
16/1
School Boy Hours
16/1
Dunvegan
16/1
Simply The Betts
10/1
Espoir De Guye
10/112/116/1
Legal Eyes
16/114/1
Gallant John Joe
20/112/116/1
Myth Buster
20/120/120/120/1
Walk Away
20/116/120/1
Champagne Platinum
16/120/120/1
Moonlighter
14/116/120/1
Precious Cargo
20/116/120/120/120/1
Erik Le Rouge
20/1
Burbank
16/120/1
Im A Game Changer
20/116/120/125/125/1
Eclair De Beaufeu
12/114/125/1
Dashel Drasher
25/116/120/120/120/1
Put The Kettle On
16/116/125/1
Deyrann De Carjac
20/114/125/120/120/120/1
Earlofthecotswolds
25/1
At The Acorn
25/125/1
Pistol Whipped
20/120/125/1
Cloudy Glen
25/125/1
The Big Bite
25/1
Mont Des Avaloirs
25/120/125/125/125/133/1
Sensulano
20/125/133/1
Champagne Mystery
33/125/125/133/1
Dommage Pour Toi
33/133/125/133/1
Discordantly
33/133/133/133/1
Posh Trish
33/133/1
Dallas Des Pictons
20/120/133/1
Westend Story
33/133/1
Star Max
33/133/133/1
Roll Again
33/1
Speak Easy
25/125/1
Schiehallion Munro
33/133/1
Mercy Mercy Me
25/133/1
Southfield Stone
20/120/125/1
Robin De Carlow
25/140/133/133/1
Gowiththeflow
25/140/140/133/1
Fanion dEstruval
40/1
Jarveys Plate
40/133/1
Encore Champs
40/133/133/133/1
Musical Slave
50/133/133/1
Mr Antolini
33/150/150/1
Solomon Grey
33/150/150/150/1
Paint The Dream
25/116/120/120/150/1
Joke Dancer
50/125/1
De Plotting Shed
40/140/150/133/1
Not That Fuisse
66/140/150/150/1
Imperial Aura
8/1
Betfair
Bookie
Odds
8/1
7/1
7/1
6/1
6/1
6/1
Annamix
SP
Bookie
Odds
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
City Island
SP
Bookie
Odds
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Hold The Note
12/1
William Hill
Bookie
Odds
12/1
12/1
12/1
12/1
10/1
10/1
Galvin
12/1
888Sport
Bookie
Odds
12/1
12/1
12/1
12/1
SP
SP
Chosen Mate
14/1
William Hill
Bookie
Odds
14/1
12/1
12/1
12/1
10/1
10/1
Zero Ten
12/1
Paddypower
Bookie
Odds
12/1
12/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
Mount Pelier
SP
Bookie
Odds
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Beakstown
16/1
William Hill
Bookie
Odds
16/1
16/1
16/1
14/1
12/1
12/1
Caribean Boy
16/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
16/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
School Boy Hours
16/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
16/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Dunvegan
16/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
16/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Simply The Betts
10/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
10/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
SP
Espoir De Guye
16/1
Unibet
Bookie
Odds
16/1
12/1
10/1
SP
SP
SP
Legal Eyes
16/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
16/1
14/1
SP
SP
SP
SP
Off You Go
20/1
William Hill
Bookie
Odds
20/1
20/1
16/1
16/1
16/1
10/1
Gallant John Joe
20/1
Bet365
Bookie
Odds
20/1
16/1
12/1
SP
SP
SP
Myth Buster
20/1
888Sport
Bookie
Odds
20/1
20/1
20/1
20/1
SP
SP
Walk Away
20/1
Unibet
Bookie
Odds
20/1
20/1
16/1
SP
SP
SP
Champagne Platinum
20/1
Unibet
Bookie
Odds
20/1
20/1
16/1
SP
SP
SP
Moonlighter
20/1
Unibet
Bookie
Odds
20/1
16/1
14/1
SP
SP
SP
Precious Cargo
20/1
Betfair
Bookie
Odds
20/1