• Marsh Novices' Chase 2m abt 4f

    (Registered as the Golden Miller Novices Chase)


    All winners so far aged 6 or 7 years

    Eight of the nine had previous run within 54 days

    All nine had run at a previous Festival but only four were winning there for the second time

    Irish Trained have won seven of the nine, six of those at no bigger than 4/1

    The last 8 winners all won their last completed chase

    Seven of the last eight had won a Graded chase.

    Eight of the nine returned no bigger than 7/1

    Only one winner had less than three previous chase runs. He was unbeaten over fences.

    Last five rated at least 151 after mares allowances.


    Race Distance - 2 miles 4 furlongs. In 2014 became a Grade 1 (now making 14 in all). Had been a new race in 2011. As a Grade 1 and 2 novice chase all carry 11st 4 lbs. Mares receive 7lbs. My personal view is that the 2011 version was just OK but as the race ages, the quality is definitely improving. With Vautour and Yorkhill it rose to a new level.


    Aged 6 or 7 years. Irish trained (sorry Jonjo) lead 7-2. Willie Mullins has won four of the nine. Quality course form becoming important or at least a Festival novice hurdle run last year. Ran at a previous Festival. Top rated has only won it once. Last five rated at least 151 after mares allowances. Take on beaten favourites last time, those that have fallen in a chase and those with less than 3 chase runs unless Mullins trained, of course. Had been placed in G1 chase or won at least a G3 last time. Won last time. Scilly Isles form coming into vogue.

  • Evidence

    2011 - AP got off the mark for the week on Noble Prince (rating 146, 4/1 2nd fav). He was an Irish Trained 7 yr old who hadn't been outside the first two on his three previous starts that season. His last two runs finished second in two Leopardstown Grade 1s over 2 miles. Wishful Thinking 2nd and fav top rated on 155. One mare unplaced, Blazing Tempo. One blinkered runner unplaced, Mr Thriller. Winner had previously been 5th in a County Hurdle.


    2012 - Sir Des Champs a 6 yr old off 148 beat Champion Court 150 and For Non Stop 151. Winner unbeaten over 3 that season and 3/1 2nd fav. Previous two wins were small field Irish G2s over 2m 4f. Zaynar only blinkered runner and unplaced. Winner had won 2011 Martin Pipe Hurdle and was then 2nd in 2013 Gold Cup.


    2013 - Benefficient 147 came back up the run in to beat Dynaste 161 by 4l. Had won a two finisher Irish Arkle as his prep. 20s was big. Three seven yr olds filled the places. Marito may have got close but fell two out. No runners blinkered. Bryan Cooper's career took off.

    2014 - Jonjo said it was his week's best chance and Taquin De Seuil 7/1 ridden by a very sore AP got up to beat Uxizandre. Taquin De Seuil won both here and at the Paddy Power Meeting 2013. Was a Class 2 Chase Course winner and over the trip. Rated 147. Won last time. Not out of first three that season. A seven yr old beat a six year old. Latter wore cheekpieces.

    2015 - Ruby made all on Vautour, rating at the time of 154. Impressive. Backed from 5/2 to 6/4 during the day. A long way behind were Apache Stronghold and Valseur Lido beaten 15l. Ages were 6, 7 and 6 respectively. Vautour's third chase. Form figures 121. Came here from winning G2 over 19f at Leoperdstown in January.


    2016 - There was a mess at the start when Zabana unseated Davy Russell and Outlander was hampered. A 7yr old Black Hercules jogged it. Off 152 backed down to 4/1co fav of three. (after all the scribes saying he should be in the 4 miler), Bristol De Mai (top rated) caught L'Ami Serge for second on the run in. That bit was a surprise.


    2017 - Willie had had no winners in first two Festival days with Douvan (inj)beat at 1/4. People were saying Willie couldn't train and had lost the power of his legs. A Thursday four timer settled that with three G1s kicked off here by Yorkhill 6/4 fav..


    2018 - Gordon Elliott's first JLT with the mare Shattered Love at 4/1 outstaying the 3/1 fav Terrefort by 7 lengths.


    2019 - A good quality race. Defi Du Seuil 3/1fav had too much pace up the run in for the front running Lostintranslation, the pair clear.


    Defi Du Seuil became the first of the nine winners not to run at the previous years Festival. He had won the 2017 Triumph.


    Willie Mullins has trained four out of the nine winners. None of his winners priced bigger than 4/1. Best of his three runners last year was Real Steel 13/2 in sixth.


    FESTIVAL HURDLE FORM - In 2011 1st, 2nd and 4th all ran well in 3 different 2010 Festival handicap hurdles. In 2012 first three home all repeated the good runs in 2011 hurdles. Benefficient had been unpl behind Simonsig in Neptune. Trainer stated immediately after this win that 'he just didn't act on the sharper 'old' course'. Placed horses 2013 had no festival hurdle form although Dynaste had been a seven length second to Big Bucks in a Cleeve Hurdle. 2014 only previous Festival form was Double Ross (3rd in this) filled similar position in 2013 Martin Pipe Hurdle. 2015 - Vautour had strolled home by 6l in the 2014 Supreme. 2016 didn't work. Black Hercules well beaten in Albert Bartlett wins. L'Ami Serge, well punted only 4th in Supreme, placed 3rd in this. 2017 Yorkhill completed a Festival double after his win in the Neptune in 2016. 2018 Shattered Love had been the Pricewise tip in the 2017 Ballymore, ran poorly there. All placed horses in 2018 had never run here before. As stated Defi Du Seuil won the Triumph two years before this, the placed horses had ran in the 2018 Supreme, Lostintranslation 7th and Mengli Khan 3rd.


    14 G1 winning hurdlers have run, five have won. Mengli Khan had won a Royal Bond.


    7 year olds lead 6 year olds 6-3. No other age group involved.


    Last 12 yr old to win any Novice race at the Cheltenham Festival was Beau Caprice in the Gloucester Hurdle (Supreme) Div 1 in 1966. Faugheen


    10 of the 14 G1 Chase winners to run have been placed at least. Defi only qualifier last year, Terrefort only qualifier in 2018, second.


    Seven of the nine were Irish trained. Six of those seven didn't start any bigger than 4/1.


    The last eight winners no more than 7 hurdle runs in UK and Ire before going chasing.


    Seven of the nine had already won a graded chase.


    18 beaten favs last time have run in this. One winner Black Hercules 4/1. two last year, unplaced. Yorkhill is the only top rated horse to win this. Real Steel top rated last year off 152.


    Last five winners rated at least 151 after Shattered Love's 7lb allowance taken into account


    Eight of the nine winners were no bigger than 7/1. Seven were novice hurdlers the previous season. Seven of the last eight won last time out (Black Hercules F the exception). Six of the nine had finished in the first three in a Grade 1 chase. Defi Du Seuil won the Scilly Isles from Lostintranslation. Shattered Love won the G1 3 mile novice chase at Leopardstown Christmas Battleoverdoyen. Yorkhill had yet to run in a G1 Chase but had won three G1 hurdles. Sir Des Champs had won a G2, and I think Black Hercules would have won a Navan G2 if he hadn't crumpled at the last.


    Yorkhill only one with less that 3 runs over fences. He had two unbeaten runs. Defi had four. Shattered Love hadn't been seen since Xmas, the other eight winners ran within 54 days, Defi 40, Yorkhill 53, Black Hercules was 32.


    Of the 92 total runners, 18 hadn't completed all their chase starts. One winner, Black Hercules.


    Defi Du Seuil first to double up wins with the Scilly Isles Sandown though Terrefort and and Top Notch, winners at Sandown were both second in this last two years. Itchy Feet bt Midnight Shadow, the pair clear. None came from the PJ Moriarty/Flogas 2m 5f chase at Leopardstown though Outlander may have been a little unlucky. He fell four out here when travelling well enough behind Black Hercules in 2016. La Bague Au Roi went to Aintree last year. In 2018 Monalee and Al Boum Photo went to the RSA, Invitation Only third at Leopardstown PU here.




    Simon Rowlands ATR Sectional Spotlight







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Wealth Warning.  Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader.  There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice.  I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors.  (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races.  It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race.  Stands now at 8.  Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle.  Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite.  Always happens.  Usually on Gold Cup Day. 

Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol.  A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.