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The Marsh Novices’ Chase is a Grade 1 novice chase, held over just shy of two and a half miles (two miles, three furlongs and 168 yards), and is the opening race on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival - which is also known as St Patrick’s Day. It is one of the newest races at the festival having been established in 2011, and has always held a sponsor, being backed by Jewson until 2014 and then JLT before becoming the Marsh Novices' Chase in 2020. The race is named after the five-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Golden Miller, and began life as a Grade 2 contest, but was upgraded to Grade 1 status in 2014.
The history of the Marsh Novices’ Chase
As mentioned above, the history of the Golden Miller is a short one, having been introduced into the festival schedule as recently as 2011. Winners of the race have a mixed record in terms of achieving success later in their careers, though both the 2012 winner Sir Des Champs and the 2015 winner Vautour went on to achieve better things, with the former subsequently finishing second in a Cheltenham Gold Cup and Vautour completing a Festival hat-trick by winning the Ryanair Chase the following year.
What happened in the 2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase?
Chantry House was a shock winner of the 2021 Marsh Novices' Chase, as the Nicky Henderson-trained raider made the most of an early faller from hot favourite Envoi Allen, with the Seven Barrows inmate going on to beat Fusil Raffles and Asterion Forlonge.
Who is the most iconic winner of the Marsh Novices’ Chase?
It could be that this particular section will require updating sooner rather than later due to the race’s limited history, though it will take a good horse to dethrone Vautour. A freak and fatal injury meant that his career was cut tragically short in 2016, though he proved to be a formidable performer during his time on the track, landing a gamble when winning the 2014 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, before justifying favouritism once again in this race 12 months later. Vautour was just denied by Cue Card in a thrilling renewal of the King George VI Chase at Kempton in December 2015, but he would complete a memorable Festival hat-trick when winning the Ryanair Chase the following March, scoring by six lengths, and although he never got the chance to prove his Cheltenham Gold Cup credentials, he signed off as a Festival great nonetheless.
Are there any trials for the Marsh Novices’ Chase?
There are several novice chases throughout the season that are worth noting when trying to pinpoint a serious contender for the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase, with the most important being the Altcar Novices’ Chase (Haydock), the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (Sandown) and the Pendil Novices’ Chase (Kempton).Other races to note include the Rising Stars Novices’ Chase (Wincanton), the Noel Novices’ Chase (Ascot), the November Novices’ Chase, the Ryman Novices’ Chase and the Timeform Novices’ Handicap Chase (all at Cheltenham). Over in Ireland, it may be worth keeping an eye on the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown, which takes place on Boxing Day.
Who is the most successful jockey in the Marsh Novices’ Chase?
The most successful jockey in the history of the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase is Ruby Walsh, who has ridden three winners in successive years, courtesy of Vautour (2015), Black Hercules (2016) and Yorkhill (2017).
Who is the most successful trainer in the Marsh Novices’ Chase?
The most successful trainer in the history of the Marsh Novices’ Chase is Willie Mullins, who has trained the winner of the race on four occasions. Mullins was responsible for all three of Walsh’s winning rides (Vautour in 2015, Black Hercules in 2016 and Yorkhill in 2017), and he also trained the 2012 winner of the race, Sir Des Champs.