Thomas Crapper

Novices’ Handicap Chase Tips – Day 1- Cheltenham 2015

Chaps' Novice Handicap Chase

Outright Betting

The concluding handicap on day one provides both a great opportunity for punters to either play up any profits or claw back losses from earlier in the afternoon, and history suggests a juicy-priced winner could be lurking.

Another Big Priced Winner?
Indeed, with winners at 8/1, 16/1, 10/1 and 12/1 in four of the last five years alone, there is a feeling backers have a chance of nailing a decent priced winner that isn’t too far down in the market –

in fact, 8 of the last 10 winners came from the first five in the betting…

Trends Summary

Of the last 10 novices’ handicap chase winners…

9 were 5-7yo’s – others were 1-64
9 made the top two last time out – others were 1-86
9 ran during the last 16-45 days – others were 1-77
8 carried 10st11lb to 11st7lb – others were 2-73
8 came from the first five in betting – others were 2-139
7 had just one previous outing at Cheltenham

Generous Ransom Suited By Ground
One such runner at the right end of the market is Nick Gifford’s 7yo, Generous Ransom (8/1), who arrives having won a decent novices’ handicap over C&D 45 days ago (2m5f, soft). Considering he wasn’t suited by the mud that day, he did well to record a career best, suggesting there should be more to come on better ground.

Another with the right odds is 12/1 shot, Little Jon, who won a three-runner novice on his chase debut in October, but hasn’t shown much since, while the 8yo, Thomas Crapper (10/1), is another who needs to show more of late and will have to overcome the age trend.

Hobbs To Strike Again?
In better form is Philip Hobbs’ 7yo, Horizontal Speed (16/1), who got off the mark over fences at the fourth attempt in a small novice at Wetherby 59 days ago (2m4f, good to soft). Decent ground will suit on Tuesday, and it’s interesting to note that Hobbs won this race in 2010 with a similar sort who had a confidence booster last time out.

Nicholls Has Options
Paul Nicholls also won this in 2009, and has several entries in the 5yo, Keltus (14/1), Ceasar Milan (201/) and Wilton Milan (33/1). The odds suggest Keltus – with Sam Twiston-Davies booked – looks his best chance, and he has been given a rest since a 2l second to a decent sort in Royal Regatta (winner since) at Newbiry in November (2m1f, soft). The trip is the only question, but he remains interesting.

Also of interest is the 6yo, Knock House (16/1), who fits the trend of having made the top two last time out, coming in a novice handicap at Kempton on Boxing Day (2m4f, good to soft). Keeping on all the way to the line, he shapes like he can win a race like this if ready following a 74-day absence.

Big Prices For Henderson
Nicky Henderson won this in 2013, although his 7yo, Cocktails At Dawn (16/1), failed to make the top two when fourth (of five) at Kempton in January, making it four straight defeats when sent off as favourite. Therefore, Henderson’s followers may get better value via the 7yo, Golden Hoof (25/1), who won a 2m4f novice on good ground at Aintree in October, before two defeats on soft ground. A return to better ground will help, and he looks well priced.

Recommended Bets
Plenty in with chances, but the improving, Generous Ransom, knows what it takes to win here and comes from the favoured end of the betting based on past renewals.