Cheltenham Festival 201813.03.18-16.03.18
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Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase 2018 Betting Tips, Odds & Race Preview

Ballyalton won the Novices' Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in 2016

The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is always a race that throws up a dark horse that looks extremely well handicapped. Many of the big stables target this race because it is a chance for their novice chasers who have slightly disappointed to redeem themselves. Those who are top class will head into one of the graded novice races, while the rest compete here, and if you are well handicapped then you will have a great chance of winning. Let's check our Novices Handicap Chase tips.

Looking back at those that have won this race recently, many of them have gone on to be rated much better than when they won the race, showing this race is a stepping stone for the future. When we find out the field, many horses will look well handicapped to you, but it is only the top quality well handicapped horses that will have a chance, such is the competitive nature of this race.

Novices’ Handicap Chase Tips – Day 1, 17:30

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2018 Novices’ Handicap Chase Preview

Riders during the Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival

Tully East won the race last season after a brilliant ride from Denis O’Regan to produce the horse right when it mattered. He won the race off a handicap mark of 138 last year, and is now rated in the mid-140s, something we expect will rise even further when he returns to action over fences this winter. Like many before him, we think he will continue to improve and make his handicap mark from last year’s festival look very lenient.

Going further back, in 2015 Irish Cavalier won this race after being handed a low handicap mark. He won the race off 137 and is now rated in the 150s, showing both improvement and how well handicapped he was that day. It will take a similarly well handicapped horse to win the 2018 race, and when the field comes out everyone will be looking to see who looks the best bet. Up until a victory for Ireland last year, British trainers had won this race eight times in a row and they hold a clear advantage on the stats for this race, as Novices Handicap Chase odds suggest.

Novices’ Handicap Chase Betting Tips – Cheltenham 2018

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Novices’ Handicap Chase Betting Odds

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Cheltenham Novices’ Handicap Chase Winners

Despite winning the Novices Handicap Chase Cheltenham last season, Ireland have just two wins in this race to their name, elsewhere it has been all about the British trainers. No one has really dominated the race though, and in the last ten years we have seen ten different trainers win the race.

Last 10 winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2017 Tully East D.O’Regan A.Fleming
2016 Ballyalton B.Hughes I.Williams
2015 Irish Cavalier P.Townend R.Curtis
2014 Present View B.Powell J.Snowden
2013 Rajdhani Express S.Waley-Cohen N.Henderson
2012 Hunt Ball N.Schofield K.Burke
2011 Divers G.Lee F.Murphy
2010 Copper Bleu R.Johnson R.Johnson
2009 Chapoturgeon T.Murphy P.Nicholls
2008 Finger On The Pulse B.Gerraghty T.Taffe

Leading Trainers

Wins Trainer Years
1 A.Fleming 2017
1 I.Williams 2016
1 R.Curtis 2015
1 J.Snowden 2014
1 N.Henderson 2013
1 K.Burke 2012
1 F.Murphy 2011
1 R.Johnson 2010
1 P.Nicholls 2009
1 T.Taffe 2008
Leading Jockeys
Wins Jockey Years
1 D.O’Regan 2017
1 B.Hughes 2016
1 P.Townend 2015
1 B.Powell 2014
1 S.Waley-Cohen 2013
1 N.Schofield 2012
1 G.Lee 2011
1 R.Johnson 2010
1 T.Murphy 2009
1 B.Gerraghty 2008

Cheltenham 2018 Novices’ Handicap Chase Race Conditions

Jockeys jumping over the fences during Novices' Handicap Chase at Cheltenham Festival

The Close Brothers Novices’ Handicap Chase is a very difficult handicap to win, requiring a novice that is talented, but also well handicapped. The race doesn’t have many stats to go on, other than the Irish trainers have won just two renewals of the last ten. Elsewhere, no trainer or jockey has won the race more than once.

The race is ran over a distance of two miles, four and a half furlongs, and it is open to horses who are aged five or older. The race is a chase race, confined to novice horses only, which usually means there are a lot of unexposed horses in the field. Novices Handicap Chase betting doesn't have to be tough, start today with our help!

Location Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham England
Race Type Handicap chase
Distance Two miles and four and a half furlongs (2M4 ½ F)
Age Five year and older
Surface Turf