The JLT Novices Chase is a very recent addition to the festival. It has been scheduled as the first race on the Thursday and punters will be unable to rely on previous trends with this being a new addition. This race is likely to be popular with trainers that want to avoid the best 2m and 3m chasers as it provides the novice chasers with an opportunity to run over 2m 4f when in previous years they have had to take the 2m Arkle route, or consider taking the 3m RSA Chase route.
It has been given Grade 2 status but should still attract some classy horses that either don’t have the pace for the 2m race or lack the stamina for the 3m alternative. There are usually a number of course winners entered and the experience over these fences and on this tough, undulating track may be something to bear in mind when making your selections. Noble Prince won the inaugural race in 2011 which was no mean feat considering it was a step up in trip and it was his first crack at tackling the Cheltenham fences, and Willie Mullins made it two wins from two for the Irish when Sir Des Champs took the 2012 renewal. The Irish theme continued when the Tony Martin trained Benefficient won at a hansdome 20/1 at the 2013 festival.
The home side got on the scoreboard in 2014 when Taquin Du Seuil won for Jonjo O'Neil and Tony McCoy. The following year Vautour won for the second time at the Festival, he landed the Supreme Novices Hurdle the year before. In 2016 Mullins made it three victories when Black Hercules obliged under jockey Ruby Walsh who himnself was winning it back to back.
6/6 Winners aged 7yo or less.
6/6 Winners had won at Listed level or higher over hurdles.
6/6 Winners had ran at the Festival previosuly.
5/6 Winners have been trained in Ireland.
5/6 Winners were in the first 4 of the betting.
1/6 Favourites have won.
|2016||Black Hercules||7||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins||4/1|
|2015||Vautour||6||Ruby Walsh||Willie Mullins||6/4 f|
|2014||Taquin du Seuil||7||Tony McCoy||Jonjo O'Neill||7/1|
|2013||Benefficient||7||Bryan Cooper||Tony Martin||20/1|
|2012||Sir Des Champs||6||Davy Russell||Willie Mullins||3/1|
|2011||Noble Prince||7||Tony McCoy||Paul Nolan||4/1|