2021 Brown Advisory Novices' Chase Guide

Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
4
Paul Townend

Monkfish

J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 164
Days: -41

His ascent through the novice hurdle ranks culminated in a gutsy win in the 2020 Albert Bartlett at last year’s festival.

The Mullins inmate dug deep to lunge between Latest Exhibition and Fury Road to land Grade One spoils over timber. 
Easily the best novice hurdle race of last season, Monkfish has continued his progression since switching to fences this campaign. 

A foot perfect debut at Fairyhouse got him off the mark as a chaser. 

His form has since hit new heights, notching up two Grade One victories. A three mile win at Leopardstown’s Christmas festival oozed class. His stamina shone through and he dispatched old rival Latest Exhibition by three lengths. 

A drop in trip when last seen held no fears and the seven year old showed his gears over 21.5 furlongs to route Latest Exhibition for the third time. 

The clear standard setter in the field, Monkfish stays, jumps well and has tactical speed. He’s already a short priced favourite for this, it’s highly likely he’ll be back in the Winners Enclosure at Prestbury Park this year. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/04/21PUN24.5Y11-122
17/03/21CHL24.5GS11-41
07/02/21LEO21.5Sft11-121
29/12/20LEO24Y11-121
28/11/20FAI21Sft12-01
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
2
Rachael Blackmore

Eklat De Rire

J:
 
Rachael Blackmore
T:
 
Henry De Bromhead
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 151

A representative for team De Bromhead, Ekalt De Rire has only had two starts over fences but still retains a perfect record as a chaser. 

Only winning a maiden as a hurdler, it would appear the plan was always to move to the bigger obstacles and the seven year old has adapted well. 

A winner at Punchestown in his beginners chase, he recently backed up in a Grade Three at Naas. 

Beating Escaria Ten, Pencilfulloflead and Forza Milan looks like some strong form and the seven year old is rapidly improving. 

His lack of racing and chasing experience could be a slight concern but he is a graded winner with the race working out well enough. 

He certainly looks like he can be involved in the finish if continuing his progression over fences. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/01/22GOW25Sft11-410
27/11/21NBY26GS11-8PU
25/10/21WEX23Hy11-91
17/03/21CHL24.5GS11-4UR
31/01/21NAA25Hy11-21
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
6
Harry Cobden

The Big Breakaway

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 148
Days: -23

A lovely big horse for Colin Tizzard, The Big Breakaway rounded off an impressive novice hurdle campaign by coming fourth in the Ballymore behind Envoi Allen. 

Tapped for speed, he stayed on well in the Ballymore and looked a three mile chaser in the making.

He made his reappearance over fences at Cheltenham in a three mile novice event and despite looking green and novice-like, he scampered home to an impressive 10 length victory. 

A run at Exeter next time out didn’t go to plan as he was over an inadequate trip, trying to make his own running. Tracked by Bold Plan, the eventual winner just beat him for pace close to home. 

We last saw the six year old in the Kauto Star Novices’ chase at Kempton. A credible performance, he still looked like a big baby. His jumping let him down and he couldn’t make up the ground on Shan Blue. 

He does however stay well and if the break since Christmas has seen him mature, he has the raw ability to get involved.

A previous course and distance winner shouldn’t be ignored at the Festival. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
27/12/22CHP30.5Sft11-132
19/11/22HAY25.5Sft11-132
26/02/22KEM24GS11-9PU
12/02/22NBY24GS11-123
07/11/21SAN24GS11-22
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
5
Richard Johnson

Sporting John

J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 6
Weight: 11-4
OR: 153
Days: -23

Trained by Phillip Hobbs, owned by J P McManus, the six year old had a good novice hurdling season which culminated in a less than stellar seventh in a strong Ballymore. 

His chasing career didn’t get off to the best of starts, debuting at Exeter he weakened rapidly and finished 33 lengths behind Fiddlerontheroof despite going off favourite. 

However, when last seen at Sandown in the Scilly Isles Novice chase, Sporting John fulfilled his potential and beat Kauto Star winner Shan Blue convincingly. 

The six year old has bounced back to form and despite a few mistakes his big engine and natural talent saw him to Grade One spoils.

Connections won the Scilly Isles with Defi Du Seuil a few years ago before he went on to win the Marsh.

Sporting John has shaped like going further up in trip will unlock more progression and he could relish the step up to three miles. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/12/22WET24GS11-6PU
29/10/22WET24GS11-64
15/01/22WAR25Sft11-51
10/12/21CHL24GS11-124
13/11/21CHL24Gd11-121
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
3
Robbie Power

Fiddlerontheroof

J:
 
Robbie Power
T:
 
Colin Tizzard
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 148
Days: -23

One for the Tizzards, Fiddlerontheroof burst onto the novice hurdle scene last season with an impressive win in the Grade One Tolworth at Sandown on deep ground. 

He looked severely outpaced in the Supreme and could only manage 11th. A long break saw him return to the track as a chaser in October. A tight three runner field, he ran well enough for his first outing with If The Cap Fits running out the winner. 

His next start yielded his only chase win to date as he has since come second in three Grade Two races over fences. 

Beaten by Caribean Boy at Newbury over 2.5 miles and then Allart over the same trip at Ascot, Fiddlerontheroof was sent off favourite both times and found one too good on each occasion. 

Moved up in trip for his latest outing, he again only contested in a small field. Coming second this time to Next Destination, he looked at home over three miles and can be excused as he burst a blood vessel in running. 

He has some classy form in the books this season but has found winning difficult. Second on four of his five outings he looks to have place credentials if his stable have come back to form. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
07/11/22KEM21GS12-03
09/04/22AIN34.5GS11-45
19/02/22ASC24Sft11-102
27/11/21NBY26GS11-42
31/10/21CRL20Sft11-21
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 13:55
1
Aidan Coleman

Dickie Diver

J:
 
Aidan Coleman
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 142

An eight year old hailing from Seven Barrows for Nicky Henderson, Dickie Diver was an exciting novice hurdler two seasons ago. 

Beaten a head by Lisnagar Oscar on hurdle debut, he made amends shedding his maiden tag on his next start. 
fourth in the 2019 Albert Bartlett, he shaped like a real gritty stayer. 

Complications kept him off the track for a long break and he returned late last year over fences in a novice handicap chase. 

Clearly needing the run he still acquitted himself well over fences for his first outing over the obstacles. 

He did hold an entry in the National Hunt Chase but hasn’t qualified due to the race conditions.

He lacks experience as a chaser and would be hard pressed to get competitive in a Grade One in only his second outing over fences. 

While talented, he’s certainly up against it facing rivals with more chasing experience than him. 

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
29/12/21NBY20.5Sft11-38
17/03/21CHL24.5GS11-44
29/12/20NBY22.5Sft11-12
15/03/19CHL24GS11-54
23/02/19CHP19.5GS11-31