• Close Brothers Novices Handicap Chase



    All winners ran in a chase in the last 60 days
    Six of the 12 winners had fallen in a chase
    A first time headgear wearer has been placed in 7 out of the last 8
    In the last nine, a maiden over fences has won three and gained a place in the other six
    Only one of the last eight winners had competed in a Graded Chase






    Race Distance - 2 miles abt 4 and a half furlongs. In 2011 this took the place of the Jewson Novice H'cap chase but is slightly different in conditions in that it is a 0-140 novice handicap. Now usually a handicap in name only as each of the last four versions had no more than a 10lb weight range. Last year it was 4lbs. Makes the ratings range 140 to 136. In 2015 it was only 6lbs. All bar one horse of the last two Grade 1 JLT Novice Chases (first race Thursday) were rated above 144. Those that tend to compete here have poor early chase form and are now showing recent significant chasing improvement. Quite Interesting fact that in 2004 King Harald got £46k for winning this. First prize 2016 only £37k.

    Oppose those older than 7 unless previously finished in top 4 in previous Festival G1 Novice hurdle. Last run was in a chase within the last 60 days Not worse than 3rd on last completed run unless Henderson trained. If tried, has won over 2m 4f. Has won at Class 3 level. Unlikely that a conditional jockey/amateur will be placed unless called Waley-Cohen. Did not win at least the first chase attempted but may have already won two chases. Not running under a penalty. Rated between 124 and 142 over hurdles. A placed horse is either a course winner or placed at a previous Festival. Maiden over fences to be placed. Apart from when running on this course, has finished in the first 4 in all completed starts over fences. Irish trained having recent difficulty. Unlikely to have completed a graded chase. Half of the 12 winners had fallen in a chase.




  • Evidence



    ’06 had 6, 3 finished 1-2-3. ‘Performed well’ included Reveillez’s previous 4 length sixth to No Refuge in Sun Alliance Novice Hurdle.

    ’07 had Rasharrow, previous 3rd in Champion Bumper, finished fourth here.

    '08 Fleet Street previously 3rd in a Supreme Novice, finished fourth here at 66s.

    '09 although 1st and 2nd had run at previous festivals the theory didn't work. Straw Bear (2nd in a Supreme) did finish 5th despite his inability to jump fences.

    '10 winner Copper Bleu had been 4th in the 2009 Supreme Novice.

    '11 Quantitiveasing 2nd and Tullamore Dew 3rd had finished 5th and 2nd respectively in the 2010 Coral Cup.

    '12 Battle Group 4th (4th in 2011 Coral Cup)

    '13 Ackertac 2nd at 66s (5th to Hunt Ball in this race '12)

    '14 Attaglance 2nd 10s won Martin Pipe Hurdle in 2012

    '15 Thomas Crapper 2nd 6/1fav, previous 2nd to Don Poli in M Pipe Hurdle. 1st and 3rd came from Nov H'Cap Chase Trials Day.

    '16 Ballyalton previously 2nd to Faugheen in the Neptune. Bouvreuil 2nd in Fred Winter


    Ballyalton (9), Copper Bleu (8 yrs) only winners older than 7.


    All winners last run was in a chase within the last 60 days. Ballyalton 25 days


    Ballyalton only one of the last eight to have run in a Graded chase. Fell in the Reynoldstown.


    10 of the 12 winners beaten in first two chase starts. Not Present View. Won second chase.


    Past 10 rated at least 132. Apart from King Harald, the very first winner at 110 and Finger On The Pulse at 147, all the rest rated between 124 and 142 over hurdles.


    10 from 12 had finished in first 2 last time. Not Ballyalton (F) nor Rajdhani Express.


    Before Ballyalton, the previous four were the first winners of this to have last race in a h'cap. Two were both top weights.


    Before Ballyalton, last five winners had not run at a previous Festival. Present View never ran here before victory. Along with Divers and Hunt Ball, had never run in a graded race.


    9 from the 12 finished in the first four in all completed starts over fences. Not Ballyalton, Rajdhani nor Divers. All three surprisingly failed this stat in a Cheltenham chase.


    Only 1 from 10 runners under a penalty have paid a dividend. Some have to run and win within last fortnight to get into this race.


    All 12 winners had won to Class 3 level in a chase or a hurdle.


    8 from the 12 won one from previous two runs and 5 from last 8 won last time out.


    Irish Cavalier, Copper Bleu and Chapoturgeon had never won over 2m 4f. Chapoturgeon had never run over the trip but had been a very easy chase winner last time and Copper Bleu had been a close second in a G2 Aintree novice hurdle over this trip. he had never run over 2m 4f over fences before. Irish Cavalier's last run was 3rd in the 2m 4f course nov hcap chase on Trials day. He had ran unplaced in an Aintree 2m G2 novice hurdle.


    N Henderson won with Rajdhani and has had three runners up. JP McManus won with Reveillez and has had two runners up and a third.


    6 from the past 11 had only won once over fences. Three from the last six had won at least twice.


    Ballyalton, Irish Cavalier and Finger On The Pulse had yet to win over fences. All three had been placed in their last completed run. 29 maiden chasers have run in the 12 races. One has been placed in the last 9 of these including the last two winners and the second in 2014.


    IRISH TRAINED - 30 have tried, one winner Finger On The Pulse 2008 and 6 placed, the last being Brigets Pet 33s last year. Not a lparticularly recent hunting ground.


    6 of the 12 had fallen at least once over fences but only Ballyalton and Radjhani Express of the last six. Quality improving?


    JOCKEYS Shane Shorthall (claiming 5) 4th last year and Mr Sam Waley-Cohen (winner 2013) the only amateur or conditional jockeys to have ever finished in the first 4 in any of the 12 versions of this race. Perhaps Sam not as bad a jockey as Mark Winstanley likes to joke about?



    BLINKERS/CHEEKPIECES etc - Ballyalton in cheekpieces, Irish Cavalier in first time cheekpieces, the first winners from the 50 to try. Last year 10 of the 20 runners wore some sort of headgear. Bouvreuil hooded in second place. 2015 Generous Ransom 3rd in second time cheekpieces. 2014, 6 tried best Ahyaknowyourself 3rd. 2013 Ackertac 2nd at 66s. Something wearing first time headgear has been placed in this at big prices in 7 of the last 8. Didn't work 2014 with Art Of Logistics or Close House the only qualifiers.


    Everyone went 1/4 odds 1-2-3-4. Hallelujah.

All Posts

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 (Gary). The Stats Proverb says 'Relevance Is In The Eye Of The Beholder.' I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. I tend to improve as a tipster as the week goes on, possibly too concerned on the Tuesday. 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.