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Cheltenham Festival

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National Hunt Chase 2021 Racecard

The National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase is the second-oldest race at the Cheltenham Festival, but has actually been run the most number of times because the Grand Annual handicap wasn’t run for a large period of the late 19th century.

4:50 Tue 16 Mar NATIONAL HUNT CHASE

Distance: 29f 201y Age: 5yo + Prize: £93,750 Going: Gd/Sft

Analyst's Verdict

Royale Pagaille's late defection puts a different slant on this and NEXT DESTINATION could be the one to take advantage given Paul Nicholls' sound jumper is an impressive 2-2 over fences and will be suited by this longer trip. Gutsy Reynoldstown victor Remastered is another who will thrive for this stamina test and is feared most, with Irish hopes Galvin and Escaria Ten much respected too.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
1
134-044P5
jockey silks 1. EDEN DU HOUX (FR)
J: David Noonan
T: David Pipe
7
11-6
* *
134-044P5
* *
Useful hurdler but yet to match that form since sent chasing and well below par on his last 2 runs after a wind op. Has serious questions to answer at present.
2
23110-512
jockey silks 2. ESCARIA TEN (FR)
J: A. P. Heskin
T: Mrs Denise Foster, Ireland
7
11-6
* * *
23110-512
* * *
Fast-improving chaser who was easy winner of 3m1f Thurles maiden before excellent second to Eklat De Rire in Grade 3 at Naas. Open to further improvement up in trip, and he needs considering.
3
U422-1111
jockey silks 3. GALVIN (IRE)
J: J. W. Kennedy
T: Ian Ferguson, Ireland
7
11-6
* * *
U422-1111
* * *
Nearly landed a valuable pot at the Festival last term. Retained novice status and made it 4-4 in first half of season with emphatic 3m win here in October. Not ruled out with better to come at 3m6f.
4
PU6-3243R
jockey silks 4. LITHIC (IRE)
J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr.
T: Jonjo O'Neill
10
11-6
* *
PU6-3243R
* *
Dual hurdle winner but long-standing maiden over fences who refused 2 out (well held) in Carlisle handicap chase last month. Easy to look elsewhere.
5
12-F52
jockey silks 5. LORD ROYAL (FR)
J: P. Townend
T: W. P. Mullins, Ireland
6
11-6
* * *
12-F52
* * *
Useful hurdler who has quickly reached same level over fences, tongue tied when runner-up in 3m Navan novice in January. Still lightly raced and may do better still now tackling this longer trip.
6
4-15P39U1
jockey silks 6. MACGILONEY (IRE)
J: Sean Flanagan
T: Denis Hogan, Ireland
8
11-6
* *
4-15P39U1
* *
Fairly useful hurdler/chaser who got back on track with win in Fairyhouse novice (3m1f) last month. This longer trip should suit but faces a very tough ask.
7
PP/P4-2522
jockey silks 7. NESTOR PARK (FR)
J: Luca Morgan
T: Ben Pauling
8
11-6
* * *
PP/P4-2522
* * *
Dual hurdle winner in 2018/19. Still to score over fences but arrives on back of two very useful efforts when runner-up at Newbury and Ffos Las. This trip should prove within his compass. Respected.
8
211
jockey silks 8. NEXT DESTINATION (IRE)
J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
9
11-6
* * * * *
211
* * * * *
Grade 1 staying-hurdle winner for Willie Mullins in 2017/18 who has impressed with Grade 2 chase successes at Newbury and Warwick for current yard. Good jumper. More to offer at this trip. Big player.
9
12444-314
jockey silks 9. OFALLTHEGINJOINTS (IRE)
J: Robbie Power
T: Colin Tizzard
7
11-6
* * *
12444-314
* * *
Looked excellent chasing prospect when stylish winner of 3m Exeter handicap only to disappoint when last of 4 in Grade 2 at Doncaster. Remains with potential so no forlorn hope.
10
52P33-111
jockey silks 10. REMASTERED
J: Tom Scudamore
T: David Pipe
8
11-6
* * * *
52P33-111
* * * *
Hasn't looked back since sent chasing and made it 3-3 with smart effort to land Grade 2 Reynoldstown at Ascot last month. Bold-jumping front runner who will relish this extended trip. Well in the mix.
11
5F-11112P
jockey silks 11. SOLDIER OF LOVE
J: Bryony Frost
T: Paul Nicholls
8
11-6
* * *
5F-11112P
* * *
Vastly improved after a wind op in first half of season, completing a four-timer at Newton Abbot. Not seen out since pulled up on heavy ground in 3m novice here in November but type to bounce back.
12
FF0-132P0
jockey silks 12. THE MIGHTY DON (IRE)
J: James Davies
T: Nick Gifford
9
11-6
* *
FF0-132P0
* *
Capable of useful form but has never looked a natural over fences, and off bridle a long way out when pulled up at Taunton in January. Well held switched to bumper latest and very hard to fancy here.
13
92-3212
jockey silks 13. SNOW LEOPARDESS
J: Aidan Coleman
T: Charlie Longsdon
9
10-13
* *
92-3212
* *
Has come to chasing late but taken to it very well, landing 3m1f handicap at Haydock before excellent second in Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby over Christmas. This demands a big step forward, though.

Betting Forecast : 9/4 2.25 GALVIN, 4/1 4 NEXT DESTINATION, 5/1 5 ESCARIA TEN, 10/1 10 LORD ROYAL, 11/1 11 REMASTERED, 22/1 22 SNOW LEOPARDESS, 33/1 33 SOLDIER OF LOVE, 40/1 40 THE MIGHTY DON, 40/1 40 OFALLTHEGINJOINTS, 50/1 50 NESTOR PARK, 66/1 66 EDEN DU HOUX, 100/1 100 LITHIC, 100/1 100 MACGILONEY

The inaugural running of the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase was in 1860, but the race was transferred permanently to Cheltenham in 1911.

Often referred to colloquially as the ‘four miler’, the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase for amateur riders, which is open to horses aged five years or older.

It is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham, and, as the name suggests, is run over a distance of about four miles (3 miles 7 furlongs and 170 yards), and during its running there are twenty-four fences to be jumped.

The race is for novice chasers, those horses that have not won a race over fences before that season, and was upgraded to Grade 2 status in 2017 having previously been a listed contest.

The race’s title has been added to in recent years to commemorate notable names from the world of horse racing.

The 2008 running was titled the Peter O'Sullevan National Hunt Chase in celebration of the 90th birthday of the ‘Voice of Racing’ Peter O'Sullevan, while the 2012 running was titled the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Chase to mark the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II.

The 2013 race was run as the John Oaksey National Hunt Chase in memory of John Oaksey, a notable amateur National Hunt jockey and racing journalist who died in September 2012.

The National Hunt Chase included the name of former champion jockey Terry Biddlecombe, who died in January 2014, in its title that year, while the 2015 race name celebrated the life of trainer Toby Balding.

The most successful National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase trainer is Jonjo O’Neill , who has won the race six times since 1995, with: Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Sudden Shock (2003), Native Emperor (2004), Butler's Cabin (2007), and Minella Rocco (2016).

Willie Mullins has won the race twice as a trainer, including with Rathvinden in 2018, but he also won the race twice as a jockey when riding for his father Paddy Mullins, the trainer of Dawn Run who is the only horse to ever complete the Champion Hurdle/Gold Cup double.

Dawn Run was ridden by Jonjo O’Neill on both occasions. Willie Mullins recorded National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase wins as a jockey with Hazy Dawn (1982) and Macks Friendly (1984), and is one of a large number of jockeys that have won the race on two occasions.

One of those is his own son Patrick , who won the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase with Back In Focus (2013) and Rathvinden.

The 2017 renewal of the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase was renamed in honour of JT McNamara , the amateur rider who sustained a serious back injury and a broken neck after a fall at the 2013 Cheltenham Festival which left him paralysed and using a wheelchair.

McNamara won the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase twice, with Rith Dubh (2002) and ten years later with Teaforthree (2012). McNamara passed away in 2016. No jockey has won the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase more than twice in recent times.

In terms of Timeform ratings, a smart performance of usually needed to win the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase.

That was the case in 2017 when Tiger Roll prevailed for trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Lisa O’Neill.

Tiger Roll produced a then career-best effort that day, but even bigger days were to come, the former Triumph Hurdle winner going on to add a third Cheltenham Festival win when winning the 2018 Cross Country.

Less than a month later, he added the biggest win of his career when landing the 2018 Grand National at Aintree. He has since added a fourth Cheltenham Festival win, when successfully defending his Cross Country Crown in 2019.

As you’d expect given the National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase’s distance of four miles, many of the field go on to compete in the Grand National.

The most successful National Hunt Challenge Cup Chase jockeys still riding are Derek O'Connor, who has won the race with Chicago Grey (2011) and Minella Rocco (2016), Patrick Mullins, who won the race on Back in Focus (2013) and Rathvinden (2018), and Jamie Codd, who added to Cause of Causes’ 2015 win when guiding Le Breuil to a gutsy success in the 2019 renewal.

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National Hunt Chase 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the National Hunt Chase?

3 miles, 7 furlongs and 170 yards

How many obstacles are jumped in the National Hunt Chase?

24

What day of the festival is the National Hunt Chase?

Day 1

What time is the National Hunt Chase?

17:30

What weights are carried for the National Hunt Chase?

11 st 6 lb (6yo+). 11 st 4 lb (5yo).

What is the purse for the National Hunt Chase?

£125,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the National Hunt Chase*?

Dermot Daly, Bunny Cox, George Small, John Fowler, Tony Fowler, Willie Mullins, Tony Martin, Marcus Armytage, JT McNamara, Derek O'Connor, Patrick Mullins and Jamie Codd.

Who is the leading trainer in the National Hunt Chase*?

Jonjo O’Neill

Who won the National Hunt Chase?

You can check out our National Hunt Chase results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the National Hunt Chase?

Click the link to visit our National Hunt Chase Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1946

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2022

Days Hours Mins Secs

HORSE SEARCH

CHELTENHAM RACES 2022

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

4 Aidan O'Brien's number of winners in past 10 runnings. (saddles POINT LONSDALE)
21% Frankie Dettori's strike rate at ASCOT (rides REACH FOR THE MOON)
27% Charlie Appleby's strike rate with horses running in races between 7f and up to 10f (saddles NEW SCIENCE)
;