National Hunt Novices' Chase Ante-Post Odds: Déjà Vu on Day 1

National Hunt Novices' Chase 2022 Odds.
National Hunt Novices' Chase 2022 Odds.

The National Hunt Chase concludes day one of the Cheltenham Festival and as always it is shaping up as a cracker. We look at the odds for the race and provide our ante-post tip...

The most gruelling of Novices’ Chases at the Festival is of course the 3m6f National Hunt Novices’ Chase, but it’s a race with some roll call - the likes of Tiger Roll and Galvin winning it in recent times, and the much loved Native River narrowly missing out on success in 2016 to Minella Rocco. So what of the 2022 renewal, is there a future Grand National or Gold Cup winner lurking amongst the 48 that are currently entered?

Well the market has the Irish pair of Run Wild Fred and Stattler, representing the powerhouse pair of Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins respectively, as the ones to beat - both sitting around the 4/1 mark.

The former has as consistent a form line as you’re likely to see with a plethora of 2s and a 1 in there for good measure - and they’ve been in good company too - latterly a second to Fury Road at Grade 1 level. A second season Novice by virtue of not winning last year, Run Wild Fred can boast experience over his rivals and has already shown he can do it on the big stage, so he’s certainly worthy of his place in the market.

Cheltenham Tips

Stattler represents the same connections that won this last year with the aforementioned Galvin, who is currently near the top of the Gold cup market, and only has one run over fences to his name. Last year’s Albert Barlett fourth was a ready winner on chase debut at Fairyhouse and really could be anything in this sphere, but representing the connections he does, we can more than presume that he’s going to be a very good horse. In a market that sees many in there with their targets still uncertain, Stattler looks the safest bet at this stage. He’ll almost certainly go for this race (He’s a best price of 20/1 for the Brown Advisory Novices' Chase), he’s from a yard that knows exactly how to win this and he was bright enough over hurdles when that was never really his forte, so he’ll carry my ante-post money.

Capodanno is another live chance for Willie Mullins, the six-year-old twice raced over fences at the time of writing. A winner on chase debut, he finished second next time out to Bob Olinger - though there is no shame in that. He’s a talented beast and showed this with a big 3m handicap win at Punchestown over hurdles, but so far he’s been confined to 2m3f trips over fences so still has a way to go in that department. Though he is shortest for this race, he’s also 10/1 for the Brown Advisory, and I wouldn't want to pick what race he ends up in at this stage making him a fairly risky bet at 7/1.
En Beton is the first of the double-figure runners in the market and looks certain to be running here as opposed to any of the other novice races, and at first glance his form looks strong indeed - a 21-length demolition job on chase debut. He represents Willie Mullins and Cheveley Park, why isn’t he shorter? Well, he quite possibly wouldn’t have won that race, with his stablemate Egality Mans taking a crashing fall when holding every chance to out. That said, En Beton was travelling best of the two at the time and Torygraph, who is a decent enough yardstick, was some 36-lengths behind, so he is written off at peril.

The aforementioned Fury Road is the obvious choice on form but he looks Brown Advisory bound so I’d stay clear, which takes you to Threeunderthrufive, the first of the British challengers to feature in the market. He’s looked brilliant this season for Nicholls, scooping four wins with two of them at Grade 2 level, but such is the state of the British horses currently that, despite them being Graded races, there really isn’t much depth to them, and he was some 9lb clear of the field on ratings when winning the Hampton Novices’ Chase at Warwick ast time out. He represents top connections, will run here and looks smart enough, but he’s this price for a reason and he needs to show he can cut it with the best first. 

Vanillier is already accustomed to success at the Festival having won the Albert Bartlett in 2021 - which has regrettably worked out as a rather weak race. He’s made three starts over fences and has form of 313, the win coming at Grade 2 level and the latter third in the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase behind Fury Road and Run Wild Fred. He looks a great chaser but so far there isn’t anything to suggest he’ll flip the form and he’d need to really step it up a gear to bag a second Cheltenham success.

National Hunt Novices' Chase
Stattler silk


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