Marsh Novices' Chase Tips: Fisher can excel

Mister Fisher was a game winner at Cheltenham in December.
Mister Fisher was a game winner at Cheltenham in December.

Following the release of the entries for the Marsh Novices’ Chase, Alex Stearn has taken a look through the field and picked out his best ante-post bet at this stage…

The Marsh Novices' Chase (previously known as the JLT) has attracted a huge 71 entries this year, and it usually proves to be an excellent contest that produces strong form going forward. Last year was no exception, with none other than Defi Du Seuil, current favourite for the Queen Mother, and Lostintranslation - current fourth favourite for the Gold Cup - filling the first two places. However, this year has the potential to be a heartwarming blast from the past, with a 12-year-old currently heading the market.

That protagonist is Faugheen, who was given the nickname ‘The Machine’ after his relentless galloping style that saw him conquer all before him in his early days. There’s no questioning that he was a true champion, but it had looked like the engine had lost its power in recent years, and many were questioning the decision of his connections to go chasing with him at the ripe old age of 11. One or two people still feel that way, but the sheer amount of unbridled joy that outpoured on social media following his 10-length defeat of Samcro in a Grade 1 event at Limerick on Boxing Day was arguably the biggest story of the festive period. If reproducing that, he could well be up to the task. The rematch could be on, too, as Samcro also holds an entry, but with handicaps possibly on his agenda before that, the plan for Elliott’s charge is still up in the air. 

Faugheen is one of 12 entries for the Willie Mullins team, and besides the old boy, the most eye-catching of those is Closutton’s star mare Laurina. She is on something of a comeback mission after bursting a blood vessel at Leopardstown over Christmas, but she had previously shown a high level of ability when winning on her chasing debut in minor company at Gowran Park in November. Admittedly, she proved to be just that little bit short of top-class standard when pitched against the boys over hurdles, but offered plenty of promise that her scope would see her in a better light over fences, and with a handy 7 lb sex allowance here, she could have plenty to recommend her at this trip if getting back to her best.

Owner J.P. McManus has a strong chance of winning this contest for the second year running with Fakir D’Oudaries, who could be vying for favourtism come post time if lining up for this. He was beaten in Grade 1 company over 2m 1f at Leopardstown last time out, but that was possibly down to the trip and giving the leader too much rope. Mark Walsh would have kicked himself after that ride, and we know that his true form is more like his previous start - when winning the Drinmore Novice Chase over two and a half miles at the beginning of December. That saw him register his first Grade 1 victory, and despite initial reaction suggesting he was the lucky beneficiary of Samcro falling at the second last when upsides, hindsight has allowed us to re-evaluate that and postulate that he could well have seen him off anyway. 

Of those from the Nicky Henderson yard, Mister Fisher is the headline act, and despite being beaten on his chasing debut at Warwick in November, he improved plenty for both the experience and the step up to two and a half miles to get his head in front at the second attempt at Cheltenham last month. He saw off fellow Marsh entrant Good Boy Bobby that day, and although he admittedly received 5 lb from that rival on that occasion, the emphatic nature of his win means the result would likely have been the same even off level weights. He also holds an entry in the Arkle, but it would be hard to see him dropping back to that trip at present and he looks excellent value.

Reserve Tank can’t be left out of discussions either, considering that he was a commanding winner of a Grade 2 event at Wincanton back in November. Admittedly, he’s twice been turned over at a short price either side of that success, but it would be no surprise should he play a part in the finish here considering there ought to be more to come from him at this intermediate trip. 

A horse with plenty of each-way appeal if heading to Prestbury Park is Itchy Feet, who is in the capable hands of Olly Murphy. He’s only had the one start over fences so far, winning a minor event at Leicester in December, but he barely turned a hair that day, and considering the high-class form he showed as a hurdler last term, he could well have slipped out of people’s minds.

Meanwhile, you can’t ignore the form figures of entrants such as Battleoverdoyen, Black Op, Master Tommytucker and Slate House, but they will surely all head to the RSA Chase, while Brewin’Upastorm is another high-class individual that seems more likely to be Arkle bound. 

Those inclusions make ante-post betting a minefield, especially trying to double-guess what Gigginstown will do with their horses, but there are a few that look certain to line up here. Itchy Feet makes plenty of appeal off the back of a facile win in lower-grade company, but it may pay to side with the horses with form at a higher level over fences. Of those, Fakir D’Oudaries, Laurina and Faugheen can each have a case made for them, but the name at the top of the shortlist is Mister Fisher. He’s yet to strike at the top level, but his performance to win at Cheltenham last time out was a lot better than the winning margin suggests, and with course form and high-class hurdling form to his name, there’s plenty of reasons to recommend him at tasty-looking odds of 14/1. 


Marsh Novices’ Chase, Cheltenham Festival, Thursday 12th March 2020 - back Mister Fisher at 14/1

Marsh Novices' Chase
Mister Fisher silk

Mister Fisher

Got off the mark over fences at the second time of asking when scoring at the December Meeting at Cheltenham, looking good value for more than the length and a quarter defeat of Good Boy Bobby on ground that was plenty soft for him. The Marsh Novices' Chase isn't looking the strongest bearing in mind that the market is currently headed by a 12-year-old, and there's plenty of value around his double-figure price.

2020 Arkle Trophy Odds
Advert Disclaimer is a free online resource which endeavour to provide helpful and useful content and odds comparison to its visitors. Please be advised that accepts affiliate commission from the companies appearing on the site, and agreed commission levels impact the location and order in which the companies (and/or their products) are presented on the website. Any ratings that appear on this site is determined by our subjective opinion of the brand but also based on market share and reputation, each brand's conversion rates, commission paid to us and general consumer interest. Company listings on this page don't imply our endorsement. We do not feature all providers on the market. Except as expressly set forth in our terms and conditions, all statements and warranties regarding the information presented on this page are disclaimed. The information, including odds, which appear on this site is subject to change at any time.

100% Up To £50 Welcome Bonus + 25 Spins

#AD 18+; New bettors get 100% of deposit up to £50; Once per household; Min deposit £15 (no Skrill/Neteller); Wager a total of 8 times deposit + bonus, with max qualifying bet stake equal to your initial bonus amount; Bonus expires after 60 days; Min odds of 4/5 on singles, or 2/5 per leg for acca; Some bet types excluded; Free spins validity: 7 days; Free spins max. winnings = £100; See full terms; Terms apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 In Free Bets
#AD 18+. Play Safe. New customers using Promo code H30 only, Min £10/€10 stake,  min odds 1/2, free bets paid as 2 x £15/€15, free bets credited after  settlement of first qualifying bet, free bets will expire 30 days after  the qualifying bet is placed, payment method/player/country restrictions apply.
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets (APP Only)
#AD New UK, IE & Malta customers only. 18+. Min £10/€10 first deposit using Debit Card or Trustly. Place a bet of £10 at min odds of 1.5. Free bets expire in 90 days. Full T&Cs apply.
Welcome Offer
#AD Bet £10 & Get £50 in Free Bets for new customers at bet365. Min deposit requirement. Free Bets are paid as Bet Credits and are available for use upon settlement of bets to value of qualifying deposit. Min odds, bet and payment method exclusions apply. Returns exclude Bet Credits stake. Time limits and T&Cs apply.
Bet £10 Get £60 in Bonuses
#AD New UK customers only. Register using the promo code BETFRED60, deposit and place first bet of £10+ on Sports (cumulative Evens+) within 7 days of registration. First bet must be on Sports. £20 in Free Bets to be used on Sports, £10 in Free Bets to be used on Lotto and 50 Free Spins (20p per spin) credited within 48 hours of bet settlement. Further £20 in Free Bets credited 5 days after settlement. Bonuses have a 7-day expiry. Payment restrictions apply. SMS verification and/or Proof of I.D and address may be required. Full T&Cs apply.
Bet £20 & Get It Back As CASH If It Loses
#AD New customers only. Place your FIRST bet on any Horse Racing market and if it loses we will refund your stake in CASH. Max refund for this offer is £20. Only deposits made using cards will qualify for this promotion. T&Cs apply.
Money Back As Cash Up To £20
#AD Max £20 refund on first bet. Bet must be placed in first 7 days of account opening. Only deposits made via Debit Card will be eligible for the promotion. T&Cs apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets + £10 Casino Bonus
#AD Minimum deposit of £10 using deposit code 30F - A qualifying bet is a ‘real money’ stake of at least £10 placed on any sports market - Minimum odds of 1/2 (1.5) - Free bets credited upon qualifying bet settlement and expire after 7 days - Free bet stakes not included in returns - Casino Bonus must be claimed within 7 days • To withdraw bonus/related wins, wager bonus amount x40 within 14 days • Wagering req. vary by game • Withdrawal restrictions and Full T&C’s apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £30 Free Bets
#AD Offer includes a free £1 Race Index spread bet to try out our exciting 50-25-10 race markets. Place a £10 fixed odds bet at minimum odds of 1/2. Get 2 x £10 free fixed odds bets + 2 x £5 free Winning Favourites spread bets. Bet with live streaming on all racing and greyhounds! Ts&Cs Apply. 18+
Bet £10 Get £20 In Free Bets
#AD Min stake £10. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). First bet only. Free bets expire in 7 days. Cashed out bets won’t apply. Payment method restrictions. Online UK customers only. 30 days to qualify for £20 in Free Bets. 18+. T&Cs apply
£25 Free Bet + 10 Free Spins
If your account has Sportsbook losses at the end of your first day's betting, QuinnBet will refund 50% of your losses as a Free Bet up to £25 (min 3 bets) Plus 10 Free Spins on Asgard Warriors. Even if your account is up, you're guaranteed a £5 Free Bet Plus 10 Free Spins provided you place at least 1 bet of £10 or greater at the minimum odds. T&Cs apply | 18+ New UK Customers Only |
Latest racing results
1stCurley Rose
2ndMidnight Train
3rdDonna Italiana
1stKenilworth King
2ndDiamond Jill
1stStrike Red
2ndZero Carbon
3rdEmperor Spirit
View All Today's Results