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JLT Novices Chase

Marsh Novices’ Chase 2m abt 4f

(Registered as the Golden Miller Novices Chase)

HEADLINES

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.

Summary

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.

Look for

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.

Contenders

Faugheen

– Top rated
– 12yo

+ Ran at a previous Festival, won
+ Irish trained
+ Mullins
+ Won lto, G1 Chase

Mister Fisher

– UK trained

+C2 Novice Chase winner here
+ Won G2 Chase lto
+ Age 6

Itchy Feet

– UK trained

+C2 Novice Chase winner here
+ Won G1 Scicilly isles lto (vogue form)
+ Age 6

+ Festival novice hurdle run last year.

Stats suggest:
Itchy Feet

My selection:

Faugheen, 1pt win 6/1
Itchy feet, 1pt win 7/2

Cant help but be drawn to back Faugheen. He’s an absolute machine at the age of 12 making the switch to fences, winning all chase starts including a 10 length thrashing of Samcro. Didn’t win quite so easy last time, but Mullins has a good record in the race and any punter & racing fan that doesn’t love Faugheen isn’t someone you should associate with. Age is the obvious negative, double the target age bracket, but he’s different gravy and I’d love to see him win.

Itchy feet was impressive when winning the Scicilly Isles last time out and looks the one to put it to the mighty Faugheen.

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