U2 once sang that 'all is quiet on New Year’s Day' but nothing could be further from the truth when Cheltenham opens its gates for the Dipper Novices' Chase.
Cheltenham’s New Year’s Day card hosts seven top quality races, including two Grade 2’s, on what is a popular betting day that sees Black Op top the Dipper Novices' Chase betting at 5/2 with Ladbrokes.
The Roger Brookhouse-owned gelding made a pleasing start to his chasing career when finishing third to the resurgent Defi Du Seuil at Exeter, and is now out to cement his position as one of this season's top novice chasers.
What is the Dipper Novices’ Chase?
Run on the Cheltenham's New Course and over a distance of 2m4f, the Dipper Novices’ Chase is a £35,000 race that often throws up a few pointers for the novice chases at the Cheltenham Festival. The race was first run in 1980 and was won by Little Owl, who went on to take the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following year.
Dipper Novices' Chase Trends
- Graded success has been key with 9/10 winners having already won either a Grade 1 or 2.
- 9/10 winners had previously run at Cheltenham before, with 7/10 having already won at the course.
- 9/10 winners had at least run twice over the distance in their careers.
- 9/10 winners have been aged between 7 and 9.
- 6/10 winners had won their last race prior to running in the Dipper Novice’s Chase.
- The favourite or second favourite has won 5 of the last 5 renewals with 9/10 winners coming from the top three in the betting.
Dipper Novices' Chase Favourites
Surprisingly Black Op (5/2 Ladbrokes) is leading the way in the ante-post betting for the Dipper Novices' Chase, even though Defi Du Seuil (NAP) gave him a bit of a thumping at Exeter 25 days ago.
Defi Du Seuil clocked up an impressive seven-timer of wins, four of them at Cheltenham, when he first bounced onto the scene under the tutelage of Philip Hobbs, and because he flopped in a few races after that impressive start, he had almost become a forgotten horse before Exeter.
Naturally, Black Op will improve for the experience, but Defi Du Seuil may have stolen a march on him already in the confidence stakes and looks the best bet in the Dipper Novices' Chase.
What About An Each-Way Bet?
The Colin Tizzard-trained Lostintranslation is trading at 4/1 with Paddy Power and it easy to see why given his decent form behind La Bague Au Roi, who won the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Wednesday.
Tizzard also trains the White Moon for Brocade Racing, the six-year-old boasting the profile of a horse that is shouting out for a change of luck.
He was quite fancied in the Exeter novice chase that Defi Du Seuil won, but was always on the back foot after an early mistake. If Tizzard has managed to iron out some of his issues he is well worth a bet at the decent each-way odds of 14/1 with Coral.