The Novices Handicap race is a Steeple Chase held at Cheltenham Racecourse annually for The Festival Trials. This event is the last time hooves will canter down this world-class course before the real deal takes centre stage of the horse racing world in March.
The Festival Trials offer one last opportunity for Cheltenham Festival hopefuls to finalise plans and decisions before The Festival takes place just a few months after.
The Novices Handicap Chase will be the second race on the race card for Festival Trials Day on Saturday the 30th of January 2021.
About the Race
This year’s Novices Handicap Chase is officially listed as The Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase. It is a class 2 listed National Hunt Steeple Chase open to any horses aged five or above.
The Novices Handicap Chase is two miles four furlongs and 127 yards in length. It has been run by some of the greatest horses to ever bless the sport.
The Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase will begin at 13:15 on Saturday the 30th of January 2021.
There are currently 19 entries for the January 2021 Festival Trials Day, all competing for a share of the £11,574 prize pool.
- Sevarano (IRE) – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-12 – trained by Oliver Sherwood
- Espoir De Romay (FR) – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-5 – trained by Kim Bailey
- Lieutenant Rocco (IRE) – 6 years old – weighing in at 11-5 – trained by Nick Mitchell
- Umbrigado (IRE) – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-4 – trained by David Pipe
- Hold The Note (IRE) – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-3 – trained by Mick Channon
- Alnadam (FR) – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-2 – trained by Dan Skelton and ridden by jockey Harry Skelton
- Ballymoy (IRE) – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-2 – trained by Nigel Twiston-Davies
- Sully D’Oc Aa (FR) – 7 years old – weighing in at 11-2 – trained by Anthony Honeyball
- Lust For Glory (IRE) – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-1 – trained by Nicky Henderson
- Nestor Park – (FR) – 8 years old – weighing in at 11-1 – trained by Ben Pauling
- Maypole Class (IRE) – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-12 – trained by Jonjo O’Neill
- Notre Pari (IRE) – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-10 – trained by Olly Murphy
- TheGallantWay (IRE) – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-8 – trained by Fergal O’Brien and ridden by jockey Connor Brace
- Eden Du Houx (FR) – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-6 – trained by David Pipe
- Mac Tottie – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-6 – trained by Peter Bowen
- Sunset Showdown (IRE) – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-6 – trained by Rebecca Curtis
- Belargus (FR) – 6 years old – weighing in at 10-0 – trained by Nick Gifford
- Big Nasty – 8 years old – weighing in at 10-0 – trained by Martin Keighley and ridden by jockey James Best
- High Up In The Air (FR) – 7 years old – weighing in at 10-0 – trained by Gary Moore
There’s a lot of competition in this year’s Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase, with some great ability set to be on show.
When Festival Trials Day comes around, all eyes will be on Cheltenham Racecourse. Many of those with an interest in the sport will be considering putting their money where their mouths are, and many bookies will be offering fantastic promotions in order to ensure bets are placed with them in particular.
You don’t have to be a horseracing expert to get involved, though. Our tips will give you all the information you need to make sure you have the best chance at bagging yourself some great profits from this thrilling occasion at Cheltenham.
Just like any other racing fixture held at Cheltenham Racecourse, The Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase can entice some fantastic looking odds out of the bookies.
It’s not too often the favourite of this race has come out on top in recent history. The previous 5 years have witnessed 12/1, 8/1, 6/1, 11/2 and 9/2 starting price winners.
A £10 bet on Royal Vacation to win this race in 2017 would have returned £120 in profits. Even Kildisart winning last year with his starting price of 9/2 would have meant £45 in profits from a £10 stake.
Last year’s winner of The Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase was joint second-favourite Simply The Betts with a starting price of 11/2. The 7-year-old ridden by jockey Gavin Sheehan beat second-placed 5/1 favourite Imperial Aura to take the £17,204 first-place prize.
In 2019, it was 7-year-old Kildisart that took the first-place prize of £17,022, ridden by jockey Daryl Jacob and trained by Ben Pauling.
Kildisart began the race with a starting price of 9/2, beating 3/1 favourite SpiritOfTheGames who only managed third-place after slightly hampering out at the third hurdle.
The 2018 Timeform Novices’ Handicap Steeple Chase was won by 6/1 third-favourite and very popular Mister Whitaker, ridden by jockey Adrian Heskin and trained by Mick Channon.
The joint-favourites for this race at 11/4 were Sizing Tennessee who finished in third and BallyAndy who pulled up after struggling from the start.
Back in 2017, it was 12/1 outsider Royal Vacation that took home the £15,640 first-place prize, ridden by jockey Paddy Brennan and trained by the excellent Colin Tizzard.
Joint-favourite 5/1 Singlefarmpayment was brought down at the 12th hurdle, with the other 5/1 runner Champers On Ice losing pace very early on in the race.
King’s Odyssey managed to hold on to win The Novices Handicap Chase in 2016 with a starting price of 8/1. King’s Odyssey was ridden by jockey Leighton Aspell during this race and trained by Evan Williams beforehand.
3/1 favourite Un Temps Pour Tout managed fourth but never managed to trouble the leaders. Only seven of the original fifteen scheduled runners managed to make it past the finish line in this race with three not running, four pulling up and one falling.