Cheltenham Festival 201813.03.18-16.03.18
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National Hunt Chase Betting Tips & Race Preview – Cheltenham Festival 2018

Leading jockey at the National Hunt Chase during the Cheltenham Festival

The National Hunt Chase is a huge test for both horses and jockeys and a very tough race to win. The race is for novice chasers and also amateur riders, add into that the fact that it is ran over four miles and you can see why this is such a tough test. We have seen some very tough horses win this race over the past few seasons and you certainly need toughness to last this trip out. Betting can be quiet on this race, with many horses jointly entered in both this race and the RSA Chase, making it hard to predict what the field will be.

That won’t stop people being excited about the race though, and with many exciting novice chasers coming through this season, we could see a very good horse land this race. Gordon Elliott has a very good record in the race and has won two out of the last three running’s so he will be looking to send one of his best novice chasers to the race. Let's check our National Hunt betting tips.

National Hunt Chase Tips – Day 1, 16:50

Favourites Horse Odds Best Bookmaker Mares’ Hurdle Tips
#1 Sutton Place 20/1 Bet365 Read Sutton Place Preview Here
#2 Ballyoptic 20/1 Betfair Read Ballyoptic Preview Here

2018 Cheltenham National Hunt Chase Preview

Horse jumping over the fence during last year's National Hunt Chase

The National Hunt racing betting can often be one of the most difficult endeavours to work out because of the extreme distance involved, novice horses and amateur riders. There is also the possibility that some horses may not run because they are also entered in the RSA Chase over a slightly shorter distance. Gordon Elliott has been the man to follow in this race recently and Sutton Place looks like being a very interesting chaser this season for him. He looks like he will stay this marathon trip, and prior to injuring himself on his last start last season, he had won five in a row. Elsewhere, Ballyoptic looks an interesting recruit to novice chasing and after comfortably staying three miles over hurdles, he is another who should have no problems staying this marathon distance. He ran some good races last season over hurdles, although just fell short of the top level and if he takes to chasing, this race will certainly be on his agenda.

There are many interesting horses in the field this season and if a few of them turn up then we can expect a great National Hunt Chase at the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.

National Hunt Chase Tips – Cheltenham 2018

Sutton Place, Favourite #1

Favourites Horse Odds Best Bookmaker Bet Now
#1 Sutton Place 20/1 Bet365 Bet Now

Sutton Place is still young, raw and potentially a top class animal. He won five in a row before pulling up lame on his final out of last season. He missed Cheltenham last season to wait until he was mentally stronger, and that means we look set to see him at the 2018 festival. This horse really could be anything at the moment, and looks tailor made for this sort of test. At least this is what we found in the National Hunt Chase trends.

He hasn’t shown the top quality form that others have who are in contention for this race, although he has won at Grade Two and Grade Three level. A step up to chasing looks sure to suit this big horse, as does a step up in distance after he has stayed on very well over shorter distances so far in his career. The Gordon Elliott team know what it takes to win this race and the feeling is that this horse is going to be their number one contender by the time we reach Cheltenham.

Ballyoptic, Favourite #2

Favourites Horse Odds Best Bookmaker Bet Now
#2 Ballyoptic 20/1 Betfair Bet Now

National Hunt betting doesn't have to be tough. Ballyoptic has the potential to be a very interesting recruit to chasing and it would not be a surprise to see him run in the National Hunt Chase. He has ran over three miles, or further over hurdles and looks capable of handling the step up in distance if that is the way he goes. He ran some good races last season, although looked just short of being top class in those races, maybe the switch to fences will bring out more from him.

He has form at Cheltenham in the past, although was pulled up when running in the World Hurdle at the 2017 festival. He came 4th behind Unowhatimeanharry at the course in his run before that, and stayed on well up the hill, something else which points to him staying the distance. Ballyoptic is an exciting recruit to chasing and he will be fun to watch all season, with this race potentially being his number one target.

National Hunt Chase Betting Odds

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Cheltenham National Hunt Chase Winners

Irish trainers have a very good record in this race, with both Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins winning the race in recent years. For Britain, Jonjo O’Neill won the 2016 renewal of the race and this is a race that he likes to target Aside from that there are not big National Hunt Chase trends to follow, it is about deciding which is the best horse for the race, one that can stay the extreme distance and one that will be partnered by one of the top amateur jockeys. Being a race of this nature, it is highly unlikely that this will change, and we will continue to see a variety of winners from different stables.

Last 10 winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2017 Tiger Roll Ms L O’Neill Gordon Elliott
2016 Minella Rocco Mr D O’Connor Jonjo O’Neill
2015 Cause Of Clauses Mr J Codd Gordon Elliott
2014 Midnight Prayer Mr J Newman Alan King
2013 Back In Focus Mr P Mullins Willie Mullins
2012 TeaForThree Mr J T McNamara Rebecca Curtis
2011 Chicago Grey Mr D O’Connor Gordon Elliott
2010 Poker De Sivola Ms K Walsh Ferdy Murphy
2009 Tricky Trickster Mr S Waley-Cohen Nigel Twiston-Davies
2008 Old Benny Mr C Huxley Alan King

Leading Trainers

Wins Trainer Years
3 G.Elliott 2011, 2015, 2017
2 A.King 2008, 2014
1 Jonjo O’Neill 2016
1 Willie Mullins 2013
1 Rebecca Curtis 2012
1 Ferdy Murphy 2010
1 Nigel Twiston-Davies 2009

Leading Jockeys

Wins Jockey Years
2 Mr D O’Connor 2011, 2016
1 Ms L O’Neill 2017
1 Mr J Codd 2015
1 Mr J Newman 2014
1 Mr P Mullins 2013
1 Mr J T McNamara 2012
1 Ms K Walsh 2010
1 Mr S Waley-Cohen 2009
1 Mr C Huxley 2008

Cheltenham 2018 National Hunt Chase Race Conditions

Falling fence during last year's National Hunt Chase

The National Hunt Chase is a unique test for both jockey and horse at Cheltenham and is a great part of the festival. The long distance staying novices get the chance to win a big prize, something that wouldn’t be possible for them to do at shorter distances because they need a long trip.

The age limit of the race is 5 years old and upwards, but the horses taking part must be novice chasers. There is also a restriction on riders, this race is for amateur riders only and some of the best amateurs are booked to ride in the race, weeks before the event takes place.

With a tough stamina test, it takes a very genuine and strong horse to win the National Hunt Steeplechase.

Location Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham England
Race Type Chase for novice horses and amateur riders
Distance Four Miles (4M)
Age 5 years old and up
Surface Turf