Champion Novice Chase Guide

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1. Articulum

Trainer - T O'Brien

Jockey - David Mullins

Three starts this season - most recently finishing third in an action-packed Racing Post Arkle Challenge Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.

Ornua and Kalashnikov - two horses who did not complete have both come out and won Grade One's at Aintree, so perhaps Articulum along with a couple of others took advantage of vacant positions in the places.

That said, this nine-year-old made a useful debut at this venue back in December, and he has grown and improved since then.

2. Chris's Dream

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey - Robbie Power

Disappointing last time out at Aintree, when last to finish in the Mildmay Novices Chase behind Lostintranslation - ridden by today's jockey Robbie Power.

Had switched into a fine chaser over three miles before then, but the test came tough - he previously won a Grade Two at Navan back in February in smart fashion having been denied by the ill-fated Ballyward at Naas the month before.

Back on home soil, and could be another go if three places are still on offer come post-time,

3. Delta Work

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Davy Russell

Impressive winning start over fences came to an end when finishing third in the RSA Novices Chase at the Cheltenham Festival.

Was far from disgraced as the front three [also Santini and Topofthegame] pulled sixteen lengths clear away of the rest, signifying the talent they all possess going forward.

Delta Work breezed into the race, and it was more so that the other two found a little bit more than him finding little off the bridle, but can get his head back in front here with another similar effort.

Twice a Grade One winner over fences.

4. Discorama

Trainer - Paul Nolan

Jockey - Bryan Cooper

Discorama represented just four of the eighteen finishers in the National Hunt Challenge Cup over four-miles at the Cheltenham Festival - a contest which acquired a lot of controversy post-race.

He and the Ben Pauling-trained Le Breuil fought out an almighty finish where the two demonstrated a real grade of guts, and Paul Nolan's charge was just denied after a troublesome route around two laps of Prestbury Park's bumpy circuit.

A return to three-miles does seem strange, but he did have every chance of winning a Grade Three over this distance at Naas during the turn of the year, and a repeat of that including clearing the last could see him have a part to play.

5. Drovers Lane

Trainer - Rebecca Curtis

Jockey - Paul Townend

Rebecca Curtis has acquired the services of Gold Cup winning rider Paul Townend, as Drovers Lane tries another Grade One over three miles.

The seven-year-old arrived at the big meeting in March in sparkling form - five wins from his last seven; three over fences, including when landing the spoils ahead of subsequent Festival winner Le Breuil.

He was sixth in the RSA at Cheltenham, and more will be needed to compete at this level again.

6. Getabird

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Ruby Walsh

Flopping in last season's Supreme Novice Hurdle, Getabird has made two starts over fences - winning on debut in a Beginners Chase at this track back in December ahead of Articulum.

However, Ruby Walsh's trip to Limerick on Boxing Day did not pay off when he failed to justify 8/15 favouritism in a Grade One over two-and-a-half miles.

Rested since, and tries three miles for the first time since winning a point race nearly three years ago to the day which shows he can compete over this stamina test.

Worth considering.

7. Winter Escape

Trainer - A A Howard

Jockey - Mark Walsh

Winter Escape - who won a Grade Three here back in January ahead of A Plus Tard, has failed to continue that hat-trick winning feeling in his two most recent starts.

He only managed to beat one home when well behind La Bague Au Roi in the Flogas Novice Chase at Leopardstown in February, before coming home thirty lengths off the pace in the Ryanair Gold Cup last week at Fairyhouse.

Definitely has something to prove as he steps up the three miles for the first time.

8. A Plus Tard

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey - Rachael Blackmore

At the foot of the weights, the five-year-old A Plus Tard completes the field having confirmed himself as the handicap-certainty from the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival, when he won the Listed Close Bros for Rachael Blackmore.

Sixteen lengths was the gap back to the second Tower Bridge, which continued this son of Kapgarde's excellent progression since signing for De Bromhead for a chasing campaign.

He raced as a four-year-old in France over hurdles, and has been a positive acquisition for Cheveley Park Stud.

Big player, and an exciting future beckons.

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