National Hunt Challenge Cup Preview
A novices steeple chase over 4 miles for amateur riders only.
National Hunt Chase Last Ten Winners
Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds
|2017||Tiger Roll||7yo||G Elliott||Ms L ONeill||16/1|
|2016||Minella Rocco||6yo||JJ ONeill||Mr D OConnor||8/1|
|2015||Cause Of Causes||7yo||G Elliott||Mr JJ Codd||8/1|
|2014||Midnight Prayer||9yo||A King||Mr J Newman||8/1|
|2013||Back In Focus||8yo||W Mullins||Mr P Mullins||9/4F|
|2012||Teaforthree||8yo||Rebecca Curtis||Mr JT McNamara||5/1F|
|2011||Chicago Grey||8yo||G Elliott||Mr D OConnor||5/1F|
|2010||Poker De Sivola||7yo||F Murphy||Ms K Walsh||14/1|
|2009||Tricky Trickster||6yo||N Twiston-Davies||Mr S Twiston-Davies||11/1|
|2008||Old Benny||7yo||A King||Mr C Huxley||9/1|
National Hunt Chase Trends
|15/15||had won within their last 3 starts|
|15/15||had made no more than 1 start in the past 90 days|
|15/15||had made 4+ starts going left handed recording at least 1 win|
|15/15||completed last time out in a Class 4 or better over 2m5f or further|
|15/15||competed in a field of no more than 12 runners last time out|
|15/15||finished in the first five on debut|
|13/15||had previously run in a Graded race|
OLBG blogger Micko70 has written a blog on the NH Chase. Check out his his trends based blog here.
National Hunt Chase Analysis
Stamina is obviously the key here but the question is how to ascertain if your selection is likely to stay this marathon trip at what is likely to be an early stage of a steeplechase career?
A good stat to concentrate on is when contenders have had form over three miles and further over hurdles as these horses are more likely to translate that stamina from the smaller obstacles to this extreme distance over fences.
Also, look out for a high stamina index from the sire of your selection. For example, the 2014 winner Midnight Prayer had a stamina index of 13.3f. The higher this figure is the greater the influence of stamina. Look for sires around the 12/13f figure or above.
This has become a decent race for horses at the head of the market with the last six winners returning a starting price of 8/1 or under.
The conditions of this race changed in 2010 and since then the highest rated horse has won three times.
This suggests that we should be focusing on the classier runners rather than trying to find a horse likely to improve for a step up in distance.
Other information to note is the great records of owner JP McManus (six winners in the race) and of trainer Jonjo ONeill who has won this race an amazing five times in the last fifteen years (as well as also winning the race in 1995!)
Below is a table of how the top trainers have fared in this race in the last ten years:
|Trainer||Runners||Wins||Places||Win LSP||Each Way LSP|
|N Twiston Davies||7||1||0||5.00||0.88|
Alan King has matched Jonjo ONeill with two winners in the last ten years and this looks like a race that King likes to target.
Gordon Elliott has also recorded two recent wins with Cause of Causes and Chicago Grey and any runners from the Elliott yard should get the closest inspection.
This seems to be one race at the Festival that Nicky Henderson does not take too seriously with the master of Seven Barrows running just three horses here in the last ten years and all of those started at 20/1 or bigger.
National Hunt Chase Preview
Making sure you have a top amateur rider on your selection may seem an obvious statement but the advantage gained by having a one of the more established amateurs on board cannot be underestimated.
A scan of the last ten years shows that this race has tended to fall to the best pilots and one rider in particular is well worth siding with. Top Irish point to point rider Derek O'Connor won the race in 2011 and again last year and his record in the race makes impressive reading.
Below is a table of how the top amateur riders have fared in the National Hunt Chase in the last ten years:
|Trainer||Rides||Wins||Places||Win LSP||Each Way LSP|
|Ms N Carberry||10||0||3||-10.00||-5.44|
|Mr D OConnor||9||2||4||6.00||8.45|
|Mr JJ Codd||8||1||1||1.00||-2.00|
|Mr W Biddick||7||0||2||-7.00||-4.12|
|Mr P Mullins||6||1||1||3.25||-1.96|
|Ms K Walsh||5||1||2||10.00||8.38|
|Mr S Waley Cohen||5||1||1||7.00||5.88|
|Mr J Newman||3||1||0||9.00||3.00|
Nina Carberry is the only amateur rider to ride in the race in each of the last ten years and despite going close on three occasions she has yet to win the race.
Other top Irish amateurs such as Jamie Codd, Katie Walsh and Patrick Mullins have all managed to win the race once.
Top English amateur Sam Waley Cohen has surprisingly only managed to get a ride in this race in five of the last ten years. Despite that he has managed a win at 11/1 and another placed ride at 20/1.
Tips from the OLBG forum on the National Hunt ChaseOLBG member JamPizza feels that his selection can break the poor run of horses trained by Paul Nicholls in this race:
See more tips on the National Hunt Chase here via the OLBG forum.
Prior to this horses poor run in the Reynoldstown last time out, Paul Nicholls was putting this horse forward as one of his 2 best bets of the week (the other being Politologue). It might well be that ARPEGE D'ALENE needs a big field though (finished 2nd in the Pertemps last year) and perhaps saw too much daylight in the 5 runner Reynoldstown. If that run can be ignored, the horse has some really good form at Cheltenham and importantly has a further 2 major positives in its favour in that the horse has been staying on well at the end of its races and it's sired by Dom Alco which suggests that the horse will see out this 4 mile trip better than many of its rivals. The run here on New Years Day when a staying on 3rd over 3 miles 2 furlongs on soft ground is another piece of form which suggests this 4 miles could be ideal. The first three in that race pulled well clear of the other 13 runners and this horse will be plugging on when many of the others have had enough. It could be a real war of attrition if the rain keeps falling.
The final race on Day 1 is the Close Brothers Novice’s Handicap Chase Check out the tips and race preview for that race here.