Marsh Novices’ Chase Race Card

Marsh Novices' Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Golden Miller)

1st
Davy Russell

Samcro

Age: 8
Weight: 11.3
OR: 157
J:
 
Davy Russell
T:
 
Gordon Elliott
in touch, tracked leaders from 3rd, led turning in, not fluent and headed 2 out, soon ridden, rallied to regain narrow advantage after last, just held on, all out
2nd
Mr P W Mullins

Melon

Age: 8
Weight: 11.3
OR: 151
J:
 
Mr P W Mullins
T:
 
W P Mullins
close up, led 6th, jumped slightly right at times, ridden and headed turning in, regained narrow advantage 2 out, not fluent last, soon narrowly headed, kept on well nearing finish, just failed
3rd
Paul Townend

Faugheen

Age: 12
Weight: 11.3
OR: 158
J:
 
Paul Townend
T:
 
W P Mullins
led until 6th, prominent, switched left in close 3rd after 2 out, ridden after last, kept on well after switched right run-in but not quite pace to challenge
4th
Nico de Boinville

Mister Fisher

Age: 6
Weight: 11.3
OR: 153
J:
 
Nico de Boinville
T:
 
Nicky Henderson
in touch, switched right after 3 out, headway approaching 2 out, went 4th and ridden between last 2, kept on but not pace to get on terms with leaders

First race of St Patricks Day

The Marsh Novices’ Chase is the opening race on St Patricks Day, which is usually one of the busiest days of the festival and often this can make for a loud atmosphere.

The race is ran over 2 miles and 4 furlongs, and is the first race of the week to be ran on the new Cheltenham course.

There is a total of 17 fences for the runners, who must be aged five or older to compete in the race.

There is prize money of £88,000 to the winner, with the race being of Grade One status.

History of the Marsh Novices’ Chase

The race was only introduced in 2011, with much ask for a shorter novice chase from the RSA that takes place on the day before.

In 2011, the first sponsor of the race was Jewson, who transferred their sponsorship from another race in the festival to become Grade one sponsors.

The race however didn’t reach Grade one status until 2014, with the 2015 running the first to be ran as a Grade one.

Jewsons continued their sponsorship of the race until 2014 and when the race became a Grade One, they were taken over by insurance brokers JLT, who still sponsor the race to this day and many often refer to the race as simply the ‘JLT’.

Recent years

In an epic battle in 2019, Barry Geragthy rode Defi du Sceuil to victory for Phillip Hobbs and JP McManus to end four successive victories for Ireland.

It was Geraghty’s first win in the race, with Ruby Walsh having won the three in a row before Jack Kennedy’s success in 2018. Walsh’s three victories mean he’s the outright leader for race wins, he’s won the race with the following horses:

Ruby Walsh:

Vautour (2015)

Black Hercules (2016)

Yorkhill (2017)

Walsh’s three victories in the race all came in successive years for Willie Mullins’, who in the recent years has made the race is own and spearheaded the Irish domination. Whist he hasn’t had the winner in the last two years, he still has notched up four victors in race. That’s the most impressive record amongst the trainers, with no other trainer having won the race more than once. Mullins has won the race with the following:

Willie Mullins:

Sir Des Champs (2012)

Vautour (2015)

Black Hercules (2016)

Yorkhill (2017)

Obviously, this suggests it’s worth paying close attention to anything that Mullins does field this year. There might not be Ruby Walsh in 2020 but Paul Townend will most likely be riding Mullin’s main hope. Other Irish challengers could be from Gordon Elliot and he will also warrant respect, with Irish novice chasers perhaps being ahead of the British recently.

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