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
|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|
|2007||Butlers Cabin||7yo||JJ ONeill||Mr A Berry||33/1|
National Hunt Chase Trends
|10/10||had ran at least three times over fences|
|8/10||were aged 7 or 8|
|8/10||had run at least 4 times since 1st November|
|8/10||had won a race since 1st November|
|7/10||were rated 129 or higher|
|7/10||finished 1st or 2nd on their last completed start|
|7/10||had their last run that year|
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 Sven 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.
This is a hard race to work out too far in advance so as we get closer to the race there will be far more information available here.