The Turners Novices’ Chase is open to horses aged five years and older and is run on the new course over a distance of two and a half miles. There are seventeen fences to be jumped and last year saw Bob Olinger make the most of a fall by Galopin Des Champs who appeared to be coasting to victory until sprawling onto the floor after the last fence.
There have now been ten quality renewals of the March Chase and eight of those winners were trained in Ireland. Eight of the previous ten winners had already raced at a previous Cheltenham Festival and seven of the winners had also won a Graded novice chase last time out. Willie Mullins has a fantastic record in the race having won it four times and last year Samcro became the eldest horse to win it at the age of eight.
|2022||Bob Olinger||7||Henry De Bromhead||Rachael Blackmore|
|2021||Chantry House||7||Nicky Henderson||Nico De Boinville|
|2020||Samcro||8||Gordon Elliott||Davy Russell|
|2019||Defi Du Seuil||6||Philip Hobbs||Barry Geraghty|
|2018||Shattered Love||7||Gordon Elliott||Jack Kennedy|
|2017||Yorkhill||7||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2016||Black Hercules||7||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2015||Vautour||6||Willie Mullins||Ruby Walsh|
|2014||Taquin Du Seuil||7||Jonjo O’Neill||Tony McCoy|
|2013||Benefficient||7||Tony Martin||Bryan Cooper|
|2012||Sir Des Champs||6||Willie Mullins||Davy Russell|
Turners Novices’ Chase Runners
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Turners Novices’ Chase. I shall provide some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Trainer: Gordon Elliott
Jockey: Davy Russell
Incredibly impressive when winning the Grade 1 Novices’ Chase at the Dublin Racing Festival last month and put some eight lengths between himself and Adamantly Chosen. He was quietly fancied to run well in last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle and uncharacteristically pulled up. He has certainly improved for the switch to fences and he beat likely rival Banbridge by over eighteen lengths in the Drinmore Novices’ Chase back in December. No surprise if he were to confirm that form here.
Trainer: Joseph O’Brien
Jockey: JJ Slevin
Was a gallant second to El Fabiolo at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Irish Arkle last time out. Doing all of his best work at the finish, he hinted that he could yet again have a say in a race at the Festival. He stormed to success in the Martin Pipe last season and relished every part of the steep uphill finish. He has already taken a liking to these fences as he won a Grade Two race here back in November. He has an awful lot of work to do to reverse the form with Mighty Potter but he should go well.
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Paul Townend
Had been well fancied to land the Irish Arkle at the Dublin Racing Festival just last month but found very little for pressure. That was hardly an ideal preparation for this but as a previous Supreme Novice Hurdler he has to command respect at the track. The last time he attempted this trip was in a bumper at Leopardstown that he won, so maybe a return to it could conjure some improvement. He disappointed badly in the Champion Hurdle last season at the Festival. Even now tackling these fences, there have to be reservations about backing him.
Trainer: Nicky Henderson
Jockey: Nico De Boinville
Outgunned by Gerri Colombe in the Scilly Isle Novices’ Chase at Sandown last month. A brave performance all the same, but Gordon Elliott should have a fair handle on how good that form actually is. Nicky Henderson won this race with Chantry House a couple of seasons ago, so knows exactly the right type of horse to send into battle here. Went well here in a Grade 2 Hurdle last season but disappointing that he hasn’t tried again since over fences and has been kept to flat tracks. May be found wanting up this hill at the end.
Trainer: Paul Nicholls
Jockey: Harry Cobden
This looks to be a little above his paygrade having been placed in lesser company a couple of runs back. He is a winner of three of his last four races though including a novice handicap over this course and distance at the end of January. Will sure be there to pick up the pieces if there are any faults over the leading contenders. Will need a lot of luck to go his way.
Trainer: Venetia Williams
Jockey: Harry Bannister
Is without a win in over two years and it is difficult to see it coming here. He has finished second on his last two starts in much lesser company and this really will be an uphill struggle.
James Du Berlais
Trainer: Willie Mullins
Jockey: Daryl Jacob
Has been injury-prone since joining Willie Mullins back in 2021. He did make a winning seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse in a beginners’ chase. That was followed up with a beleaguered effort at the Dublin Racing Festival, where he trailed in last of the six runners beaten thirty-one lengths. Needs a miracle to turn that form around.
Trainer: Laura Morgan
Jockey: Adam Wedge
Has not looked back since joining Laura Morgan and now comes here in search of a five-timer. Whilst he does deserve a shot in higher company, he may have bitten off a little more than he can chew here. He has won his last two races by a combined twenty-five lengths but this is very much a step into the unknown.
Trainer: Dan Skelton
Jockey: Harry Skelton
Was beaten twenty-four lengths by Jonbon in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown in December and has been well beaten in lesser company subsequently. Looks completely out of his depth here and will do well to complete.
Evens Mighty Potter , 7/2 Banbridge , 4/1 Appreciate It , 10/1 Balco Coastal , 12/1 Stage Star , 16/1 James Du Berlais , 66/1 Unexpected Party , 66/1 Notlongtillmay , 100/1 Christopher Wood
Turners Novices’ Chase Key Trends
11 of the last 12 winners contested a Graded novice chase last time out
9 of the last 12 winners were trained in Ireland
11 of the 12 winners had raced nine times or less over hurdles.
Turners Novices’ Chase Tips
Mighty Potter has done nothing wrong in two starts this year and has made an effortless switch from hurdles to fences. His last two wins have been emphatic and if in the same mood, he will take some stopping here. He already has the beating of Banbridge and should be able to confirm that form here despite late support for the latter.
Appreciate It is also a talent on his day and if he were to recapture his best form, he could well provide the main threat. Both are rated some eight pounds clear of Banbridge who loves it around here but is often found out at this very top level.
Selection: Mighty Potter @ 11/10 with Betfred
All odds are accurate at the time of writing.
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