Novices' Handicap Chase Betting Tips, Predictions, Preview & Free Bets (Cheltenham 2020 - DAY 1)

  • Written by David Bet
This race was formerly known as the Jewson Handicap Chase and was introduced in 2005. The race has been now renamed and moved to the last race on the first day of the Cheltenham Festival. This race will always have a very tight look to it now that the race conditions have changed and the whole field are likely to be very closely matched.A Plus Tard won the 2019 Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase. Check out here our Cheltenham 2020 Novices' Handicap Chase race preview, with odds, tips, predictions, trends, free bets and betting promotions.

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The Close Brothers Novices' Chase concludes the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, and the race, first run in 2005, has only been won by the favourite twice. This race is a Listed chase covering two miles and four and half furlongs, for novice chasers aged five and older who have a handicap rating of between 0 to 140.

5/1 favourite A Plus Tard landed in this race 12 months ago. This year the race will have a brand new sponsor in the shape of Northern Trust.

And now we'll take a closer look at this year's Northern Trust Novices' Handicap Chase and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.

IMPERIAL AURA ran a cracking trial for this handicap when second to Simply The Betss over C&D two monts ago. Kim Bailey’s progressive 7-y-o is open to loads of improvement over fences after just three runs in this sphere. His run behind Pym at Cheltenham in December was eye-catching to say the least.

GALVIN finished sixth behind City Island and Champ in last season’s Ballymore and would have given RSA fancy Battleoverdoyen a race had he not capsized on chase debut. Last time out he was a good second to Salsaretta at Punchestown in November and has been given time off since after three quick runs. He will run off a mark of 142 and we expect him to be in the mix.

HOLD THE NOTE finished runner-up at Warwick last time out. He is a lightly raced chaser that has run two cracking races from three attempts over fences so far. In the other contest he pulled up.

ESPOIR DE GUYE was lightly raced over hurdles but has quickly created a good impression as a chaser. He finished runner-up in a red-hot novice handicap chase at Chepstow before comfortably getting off the mark over fences at Exeter. He defied a 9 lb higher mark on his next outing at Ascot and looks a strong contender.

Although he is 0 from three over fences, BEAKSTOWN looks a decent option. He has only taken on decent opposition and has shown a consistent level of form. He failed to fire in the Ballymore last year but he is 3lbs lower than his highest mark over the smaller obstacles so he could be well in here.

TRAINWRECK is an useful winning hurdler whohas yet to win over fences in seven outings but he finished runner-up behind Glamorgan Duke at the Dublin Festival. His yard took this contest 12 months ago so he's highly respected.

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Dark horses?

EARLOFTHECOTSWOLDS is an improver that caught the eye in many occasions. He won three times over hurdles last term and is getting experience over fences. He scored on his latest outing in a chase when 7/4 favourite at Exeter over 2m 3f in December last year, beating Kateson by 2 lenghts.

TORPILLO got his chasing career off to perfect start in Warwick. Hefinished well beaten at 9-2 behind Rouge Vif when fifth of 6 on his latest outing in a Grade 2 chase in the a Novices' Chase at Warwick  last month.

CHAMPAGNE COURT won a futile three-runner race at Fakenham (1/25 on) in November and followed up with a pleasing effort at the Cheltenham racecourse (second in a class 2 novice chase) in December. 

PRECIOUS CARGO won over 2m at Haydock on his chasing bow, but he was outpaced in a Grade 2 at Warwick last time and gives the impression this test will bring about further improvement.

CHAMPAGNE MYSTERY impressively won on chasing debut at Aintree with wide-margin win but has twice failed to build on it when second in small fields at Haydock and Fakenham behind Greaneteen.

EARLOFTHECOTSWOLDS, WATMORE, HIGHEST SUN and KNIGHT IN DUBAI are other long-shot options that can't be ruled out.

The section below contains the most backed entries at the moment:

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  • Coral betting bonusEspoir De Guye  15/2Bet
  • Bet365 Betting BonusTrainwreck  12/1Bet
  • BetVictor Betting BonusBeakstown  16/1Bet
  • Betfair Sportsbook BonusPrecious Cargo  16/1Bet

All the bookmakers we recommend are offering No Runner No Bet on every Cheltenham Festival race.

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  • Only 2 of the last 12 winners were favorites
  • 7 of the last 12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting
  • 10 of the last 12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 2 had won at Cheltenham
  • 8 of the 11 winners either won or finished second in their last race before Cheltenham
  • 9 of the last 10 winners were officially rated at least 137
  • 9 of the last 10 winners had run in no more than five chases
  • 4 of the 11 winners had run in the previous season's Cheltenham Festival.

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The section below contains our betting tips on the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase 2020. Feel free to copy our Cheltenham Festival tips and get the best prices available on the market by clicking the 'Bet' button!

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What time is the Novices' Handicap Chase?

The Novices' Handicap Chase is the 6th race run on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. That falls on Tuesday March 10, 2020 and the official starting time is 4:50pm.

How many obstacles are jumped in the Novices' Handicap Chase?

There are 16 obstacles to jump for the Novices' Handicap Chase runners

What is the distance of the Novices' Handicap Chase?

The Novices' Handicap Chase is run on a distance of 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 78 yards

What is the prize money for the Novices' Handicap Chase?

The total prize money on offer for the Novices' Handicap Chase at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival will be £70,000.

Who won the Novices' Handicap Chase last year?

Last year's renewal was won by A Plus Tard at SP of 5/1, trained by Henry De Bromhead    and ridden by Rachael Blackmore.

What weights are carried for the Novices' Handicap Chase?

Weights range from 11 st 12 lb for the top weight, to 10 st for the bottom weight.

Who is the leading jockey in the Novices' Handicap Chase?

Graham Lee and Brian Hughes. The latter has ridden two winners of this race in the past four years, for different trainers

Who is the leading trainer in the Novices' Handicap Chase?

Ferdy Murphy is the only trainer to have won more than one running of this race in it's 15-year history.

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