NH Challenge Cup

A steeple chase over 4 miles for amateur riders only.

National Hunt Chase Trends

10/10had ran at least three times over fences
9/10had finished first or second in a chase over at least three miles
9/10had won over at least 3miles (hurdles or fences)
8/10were aged seven or eight
8/10had finished in the first four last time out
7/10had no more than five races over fences

Back PERFECT GENTLEMAN for the National Hunt Chase

National Hunt Chase Analysis

Stamina is obviously the key here but the question is how to ascertain if your selection is likely to stay this marathon trip at what is likely to be an early stage of a steeplechase career?

A good stat to concentrate on is when contenders have had form over three miles and further over hurdles as these horses are more likely to translate that stamina from the smaller obstacles to this extreme distance over fences.

Also, look out for a high stamina index from the sire of your selection. For example, the 2014 winner Midnight Prayer had a stamina ndex of 13.3f. The higher this figure is the greater the influence of stamina. Look for sires around the 12/13f figure or above.

This has become a decent race for favourites with three of the last four market leaders obliging.

Other information to note is the great records of owner JP McManus (four winners in the race) and of trainer Jonjo O’Neill who has won this race an amazing four times in the last thirteen years (as well as also winning the race in 1995!)

On the other end of the scale is the surprisingly poor record of Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls who has managed just one placed horse from fifteen runners, most of whom were in the first five in the betting.

National Hunt Chase Last Ten Winners

Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds

2014Midnight Prayer9yoA KingMr J Newman8/1
2013Back In Focus8yoW MullinsMr P Mullins9/4F
2012Teaforthree8yoRebecca CurtisMr JT McNamara5/1F
2011Chicago Grey8yoG ElliottMr Derek OConnor5/1F
2010Poker De Sivola7yoF MurphyMs K Walsh14/1
2009Tricky Trickster6yoN Twiston-DaviesMr S Twiston-Davies11/1
2008Old Benny7yoA KingMr C Huxley9/1
2007Butlers Cabin7yoJJ ONeillMr A Berry33/1
2006Hot Weld5yoF MurphyMr R Harding33/1
2005Another Rum7yoI DuncanMr M OHare5/1

National Hunt Chase Preview

Making sure you have a top amateur rider on your selection may seem an obvious statement but the advantage gained by having a one of the more established amateurs on board cannot be underestimated.

A scan of the last ten years shows that this race has tended to fall to the best pilots and one rider in particular is well worth siding with. Top Irish point to point rider Derek O'Connor won the race in 2011 for Gordon Elliott and his overall record in the race makes impressive reading: 2F142P254

Twelve of the thirty win and placed horses in the last ten years have come from Ireland but surprisingly only Chicago Grey and Back In Focus have actually won the race for the Irish in the last decade.

The high number of placed Irish horses shows that the lesser known trainers like to target this race and horses from the less prominent Irish yards are well worth a second look. Horses from less well know Irish yards have been placed at 40/1 (twice), 100/1 and 150/1 in the space of the last ten runnings.

The conditions of this race changed four years ago and since then the highest rated horse has won three times.

This suggests that we should be focusing on the classier runners rather than trying to find a horse likely to improve for a step up in distance.

National Hunt Chase Tips

OLBG member Jam Pizza suggests that PERFECT GENTLEMAN has the required pedigree for a stamina laden race such as the National Hunt Chase:

“This horse is by Kings Theatre whose progeny have a terrific 4 from 8 record at this extreme trip so that's a tip in itself. The horses campaign over shorter distances though reeks of being laid out for this especially when the horse is staying on well at the end. A certain W Mullins trains the horse for a certain P W Mullins and I think the numerous hints should be taken.”

Back PERFECT GENTLEMAN for the National Hunt Chase

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