National Hunt Novices' Chase 2022 Trends

The best way to narrow down the field in the National Hunt Novices' Chase is by analysing the race trends. So we've looked at the most important trends for you, and used them to find the best horses to follow right now for the 2022 running of the Cheltenham Festival's longest race.

National Hunt Novices' Chase 2022 Trends
National Hunt Novices' Chase 2022 Trends

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2022 National Hunt Novices' Chase Trends


The last 10 winners:

  • Had run at least three times over fences
  • Had run at least twice that season, and four times in the past 12 months
  • Had won a hurdle race
  • Had won no more than four chases, if any

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Last ran at least 31 days ago
  • Did not run in a handicap last time out (exception Ravenhill in 2020)
  • Had run in a chase over at least 3m before - eight winning at least once
  • Were ridden by a jockey based in Ireland

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won at least one chase
  • Had never won at Cheltenham before, but seven had run there previously

Key Trials in the last 10 years

The are no standout trials for the National Hunt Novices' Chase, mainly due to it being such a long race at 3m6f. However, it pays to follow Grade 3 novices chases run over 2m4f-3m in January and February.

Look for horses in those races that did not win, but were placed or ran well. 2019 winner Le Breuil, for example, finished fourth in the Grade 2 Altcar Novices' Chase over 2m4f at Haydock, on his last run before Cheltenham Festival success, and Minella Rocco was second in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot before his victory in 2016.

Four placed horses have come from the Grade 2 Ten Up Novice Chase at Navan, so that's one to keep a keen eye on and it's worth noting only three of the last 12 winners had previously won a Graded race, while only one of the last seven winners won their last outing.


Trainer Trends

  • Gordon Elliott is a master in this contest, winning the race four times since 2011. Interestingly, he’s never had a placed horse in the race - it's all or nothing.
  • Willie Mullins has saddled two winners and three placed horses from 15 runners in the past 10 years. He was expected to collect again in 2020 but odds-on favourite Carefully Selected was beaten when unseating his rider at the final fence.
  • Jonjo O’Neill is the race’s winning-most trainer (5) but he’s only landed it once (Minella Rocco in 2016) since 2007.

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Jockey Trends

This race is restricted to amateur riders and those based in Ireland have won 11 of the last 12 renewals. Jamie Codd stands alone as being the only pilot to have scored on three occasions in this famous race. He is always regarded as a significant booking, as is Patrick Mullins, who has won the race twice.

In 2021, COVID-19 restrictions on travel by amateur sports people meant that amateur riders did not take part in the Cheltenham Festival.


How did the trends do last year?

They have had better years. Ravenhill’s lack of a recent run may well have put many off. He fell in a hot handicap chase in November of that season and wasn’t seen again until the National Hunt Chase on March 10.

The other potential negative was his age. Ravenhill was only the third 10-year-old to win the race this century, and only the fourth since 1980.

Runner-up Lord Du Mesnil had a very strong trends profile going into the race. A guaranteed stayer, he had the highest official rating going into the race and he rewarded each-way support.



Who Fits The Trends Best In 2022?

All trends points towards Run Wild Fred for Gordon Elliott. He's had 10 runs over fences, but just one win over 3m in the valuable Troytown handicap Chase last November. He's run three times this season, including finishing second in a Grade 3 novice chase and in a Grade 1. The catch is that he might end up in a handicap at the Festival instead.

Capodanno is shaping up to be a trends pick for Willie Mullins, having been second in a Grade 2 at Punchestown last time out to big Cheltenham favourite Bob Olinger. The current worry is that his two runs over fences doesn't give him enough experienced. Trends suggest three is the absolute minimum.

Trainer Paul Nicholls has never won this race but he would have a great chance of breaking his duck if deciding to head to here rather than the RSA Chase with Threeunderthrufive, who has won two Grade 2 novice chases this season. He has five runs over fences in novices chases, including four wins all over 3m, with one coming at Cheltenham. He also finished sixth in last year's Albert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle.

If the winner of that event, Vanilier, were to line up, he'd also be an excellent fit for the trends, having run only three times over fences, including winning a Grade 2 and placing in a Grade 1 over 3m.


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2021 National Hunt Novices' Chase Result

PositionNamePriceTrainerJockey
1stGalvin7/2Ian FergusonJack Kennedy
2ndNext Destination3/1Paul NichollsHarry Cobden
3rdEscaria Ten11/4f Denis FosterAdrian Heskin


Cheltenham Festival 2022 Trends

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Cheltenham Festival Day Two Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Three Trends

Cheltenham Festival Day Four Trends


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