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National Hunt Chase

17:30 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-15

Winner: £60762.5

Runners: 6

Going: Good To Soft

No. of hurdles: 23

Distance: 3m5f201y

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The National Hunt Challenge Cup, known as the National Hunt Chase, is a novice chase for amateur riders over 3m6f at the Cheltenham Festival. Up until 2019 it was run over 4m but the distance was reduced due to welfare concerns after 2020's race, in which only four of the 18 runners completed. It is run as the final race on the first day of the festival.

NO.DRAW
FORM
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HORSE
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NR(0)
2-1465
silk
Ontheropes

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T: W P Mullins
8
11-6
152
160
Returned from a lengthy absence to win the 3m Munster National at Limerick (3m, soft) in October; never in serious contention when 30l fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and made inroads all too late when respectable fifth in first-time cheekpieces (retained today) for good 3m1f handicap at Gowran Park on latest outing; tongue-tie is added; has to be well worth a go at marathon trip but others have more convincing claims.
2(0)
6-14P3
silk
Braeside

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J: Mr R James
T: Gordon Elliott
8
11-6
148
159
The best of him has not been seen on last two starts (hot handicap and stiff task in Grade 2) but he looked the right type for this earlier this term, winning the Cork Grand National (3m4f, heavy) and running-on fourth in top 3m handicap at Leopardstown (3m, good to yielding); every yard should suit.
5(0)
22-212
silk
Run Wild Fred

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J: Mr J J Codd
T: Gordon Elliott
8
11-6
158
165
Always prominent when runner-up in last season's Irish National (3m5f, yielding; had earlier figured on heavy) and he won well from the front in a good 3m handicap at Navan (good) in November; creditable second in a Grade 1 last time; a leading contender on form and a bold show looks on its way.
1(0)
P2-15P
silk
Beatthebullet

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J: Mr James King
T: Rebecca Curtis
8
11-6
126
135
Strength of stamina won him his novice hurdle (3m2f, soft) and a three-runner chase (3m, good) but the form is a long way short of what's required in this race; cheekpieces (worn on last six starts) are replaced by blinkers; 200-1 when pulled up in the Albert Bartlett last year; big outsider again.
6(0)
34-311
silk
Stattler

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J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
7
11-6
153
166
No match for Vanillier when fourth here 12 months ago as a novice hurdler; 2-2 over fences, however, and he had Vanillier 18l adrift in Grade 3 at Naas (3m1f, good to yielding) on latest outing; that is narrowly the pick of the form in this line-up and the way he asserted late on suggested he's sure to stay beyond 3m1f; highly respected.
7(0)
-43133
silk
Vanillier

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J: Mr Derek O'Connor
T: Gavin Cromwell
7
11-6
148
159
Grade 1 Albert Bartlett winner here (3m, good to soft) as a novice hurdler last season and he did it in style, stretching 11l clear from the turn for home; won a four-runner Grade 2 on his second start as a novice chaser, before fading for 18l defeats in two good races (Stattler won latest); that was disappointing but he should stay all day and remains one to take seriously given what he did here 12 months ago.
4(0)
6-4112
silk
Pats Fancy

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J: Mr B O'Neill
T: Rebecca Curtis
7
11-6
143
159
Has taken off since chasing, winning two novice handicaps at Chepstow (about 3m, good to soft/soft) in December and second of four to top prospect Bravemansgame at Newbury; improvement needed but he will stay.

RACING POST TIP

circle_v2
silk
Braeside
The most eyecatching recommendation is probably Run Wild Fred's second in last season's Irish Grand National, a performance which he has backed up over 3m this term. He also represents Gordon Elliott, who has been the leading trainer in this race in recent years, but watch out also for BRAESIDE, Elliott's other runner, whose best performances this term suggest that he too has what is required. The stable may well be set for a one-two. Stattler needs to be taken very seriously and it is impossible to forget the way that Vanillier motored clear at this meeting last year as a staying novice hurdler.

Verdict

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NATIONAL HUNT CHASE PREVIOUS WINNERS

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NATIONAL HUNT CHASE KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - NATIONAL HUNT CHASE 2021

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