With the first two days covered, our Cheltenham Festival ante-post series heads into the Thursday with the Marsh Novices’ Chase coming up first.
The 2m4f chase, which was introduced in 2011, has seen the likes of Vautour and Defi du Seuil claim success in the contest.
Our team have made their predictions for the 2022 renewal of the contest, in hope of pinpointing a serious contender for the race come March.
Here are three selections to add to your Marsh Novices’ Chase calculation for next season.
MY DROGO (8/1 – Various)
A seriously promising sort under the guidance of Dan Skelton, My Drogo could well become a force in the novice chase division next season.
The six-year-old was impressive over hurdles last term, winning all four of his starts over the smaller obstacles including the Grade 1 Mersey Novices’ Hurdle.
He obliterated his rivals in the 2m4f contest at Aintree, clearing away from the field to win by nine and a half lengths.
He is extremely versatile but the distance of the Marsh looks tailor-made for him, with his price of 8/1 holding significant value at this stage.
BLUE LORD (28/1 – Betway)
Hailing from Willie Mullins’ yard, Blue Lord could well be a surprise contender in this contest come March next year.
The gelding was unfortunate in the Supreme, as he surely would have finished second had he not fell at the last.
Paul Townend opted to ride him at Punchestown and the Irish Champion Jockey had stated in the past that he should be fine over two and a half miles.
The six-year-old could be interesting over fences next term, with his odds of 28/1 potentially holding some each-way value at this stage.
MCFABULOUS (33/1 – Bet365 + Betway)
Last season didn’t go to plan for McFabulous, but tackling fences could well be the making of the seven-year-old.
The gelding claimed success in the Persian War Novices’ Hurdle and the Relkeel, but he struggled to justify favouritism in the National Spirit Hurdle and he tanked in the Aintree Hurdle.
Paul Nicholls has stated his confidence in his recruit, stating after his Relkeel success that he will be a ‘super chaser’.
He might be one worth taking a chance on here and his price of 33/1 is very tempting.