Jewson Novices Chase Tips Cheltenham as Peddlers Cross one to beat

There are few better sights in National Hunt racing that seeing a crop of talented novices chasers hurtle around Cheltenham’s majestic course. The Festival already had two events of these types, the RSA Chase and Arkle Chase, but added another to the roster last season when introducing the Jewson Novices Chase – a race which is run over two miles and five furlongs for horses that maybe don’t have the speed for an Arkle or the stamina for a the gruelling RSA Chase.

The event is not to be confused with the old Jewson Novices’ Handicap Chase which has been renamed the Centenary Novices’ Chase, which is now run as the last race on Tuesday’s card. This race is the opener to St Patrick’s Day and it had Irish punters celebrating last year.

Noble Prince, trained by Paul Nolan, became the first winner of the race under a trademark AP McCoy ride. The 16-time Champion Jockey stalked the leaders as the horses, who were being led by Wishfull Thinking, turned for home and it looked as though the Phillip Hobbs’ runner had plenty left in the tank three from home. However, his race was run as they approached the last and this is when McCoy produced the classy novice to fly past the long-time leader and give McCoy his first win of the 2012 Festival.

Jewson Novices Chase Tips

Peddlers Cross should take all the beating in the Jewson Novices Chase and don’t forget we have negotiated an increased free bet of £100/€100 from Paddy Power for all visitors of to spend on any race at Cheltenham! Claim here!

With the race only in its second year looking for past trends would seem pretty irrelevant but there was a standout statistic from last year’s race to keep in mind for this season’s renewal.

Three of the first four home all ran decent races at the previous season’s Festival – winner Noble Prince finished fifth in the County Hurdle, Wishfull Thinking fell in the Coral Cup but looked certain to make the frame at the time and Radium was second in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockey’s Handicap Hurdle.

Willie Mullins has long been associated with winners at the Cheltenham Festival, 21 to be precise, and he saddles the favourite for the Jewson in the form of classy novice Sir Des Champs.

The six-year-old has a 100% strike rate at Cheltenham following his win in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle last season and has been confirmed for a return this season by Mullins. He has gone on record saying that he isn’t sure what novice race to run the Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding in, but rumours from Ireland are suggesting that the Jewson will be his target rather than a testing RSA Chase.

The rangy former French recruit is unbeaten since undertaking his chasing campaign in Ireland, with wins easy at Fairyhouse and Limerick before finding Graded company a little bit more difficult in the Bet On Your Mobile Novice Chase over Christmas. He still managed to maintain his unbeaten record, but only just, as he required all the urgings of jockey Davy Russell to beat Fists of Fury and Hidden Cyclone in a real head-bob of a finish. Despite his progressive profile the horse is probably not entirely straightforward and it´s hard to know how good the Irish form actually is.

This will be enough for punters to look elsewhere for their bets on the race and many will put their faith in the strong British novice form. It is unlikely that high-class pair Peddlers Cross and Al Ferof will run in the Jewson over the Arkle Chase, but For Non Stop is a British runner that has the two mile five furlong race as his prime target.

His trainer Nick Williams is renowned for his poor Cheltenham record but trends are there to be broken and his promising charge looks like a horse to keep onside. He is still a maiden over fences but has some real top class second placed finishes behind Al Ferof and Cue Card – he will be winning races soon and that could come at the Festival.


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