FlyingBolt Novice Chase Guide

1. Hardline

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

A Grade One winner Hardline may still have the potential to head for Cheltenham, but will need to recover from his recent disappointment at Leopardstown.

He finished third to La Bague Au Roi at the Dublin Racing Festival in the Flogas Novice Chase, which was a shame as he had made fine progression as a chaser since.

Arkle or JLT could be on the horizon, but will need to succeed well in this.

2. Cubomania

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

Tackling handicaps for the most part of the season, and now merits a shot in a Grade Three after his solid fifth in a Grade A Handicap at Leopardstown.

That race could pan out rather nice with the Festival looming, as the second Livelovelaugh could be one to watch at Cheltenham, let-alone the winner Whisperinthebreeze for Jessica Harrington.

Two good seconds prior to that, and worth a shot here.

3. Benruben

Trainer - John Nicholson

Jockey -

Connections of the Sunny Summer Syndicate will be hoping for another bright afternoon, after Benruben's so near, yet so far second in a Beginners Chase at Thurles three weeks ago.

This horse began life over hurdles not that long ago, before winning a bumper at Leopardstown over Christmas just gone.

Instead of going back to hurdles, he was immediately stepped up to fences, where he finished eighth on debut, with a race packed of solid individuals with great potential - Cilaos Emery, Impact Fact, Duc Des Genievres to name a few.

Can hopefully go one better here.

4. Duca De Thaix

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

Failed to land a hat-trick of wins last time out, but simply outclassed by Le Richebourg in the Grade One Irish Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown.

Was always going to be tough having recorded back-to-back wins at Handicap level at Fairyhouse, and still ran with much promise.

Steps down to a Grade Three, where he could really find his level, and receives plenty of weight from stable companions Hardline and Cubomania.

5. Ex Patriot

Trainer - Ellmarie Holden

Jockey -

Smart winner at Thurles three weeks ago - when getting the better of Benruben for John Nicholson.

Ex Patriot too has appeared rather late on the season, and has only raced three times in his career over fences.

Finally made the step-up to the larger obstacles after spending much of his career over hurdles, or earlier on the flat.

More required here to follow up his latest victory.

6. Game Of War

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey -

Another in the well-known colours of Gigginstown, this time trained by Henry De Bromhead.

Very unsatisfying effort on the track at Limerick on Boxing Day when well adrift of Hardline, having recorded a smart-looking win at Thurles in a Beginners Chase.

Couple of wins over hurdles, but a big step-up needed here to be considered a player.

7. Jetz

Trainer - Jessica Harrington

Jockey -

Always seems to run into a good one over fences, including last time when outclassed by Hardline, and most importantly La Bague Au Roi.

Finished eight lengths down on Le Richebourg and Delta Work in the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase over 2m4f which looks solid, but three furlong less than that contest is definitely what he prefers.

Ground to make up here.

8. Mengli Khan

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

Top novice hurdler, who despite getting off the mark at the first time of asking, has found life much more difficult as a novice chaser.

Third in last year's Supreme Novice at Cheltenham, his claims towards this campaign's Arkle were all but shattered after back-to-back disappointments at Leopardstown, having began life over fences in eye-catching fashion at Punchestown.

Chance to begin a new chapter.

9. Quamino

Trainer - Paul Nolan

Jockey -

Nice winner at Leopardstown in a Grade B Goffs Handicap Chase around a month ago, provides him with a decent chance to step-up here.

That success was off the back of a narrow defeat to Punches Cross at Naas, which certainly rectified his jumping errors shown at Leopardstown on Boxing Day.

Up another 5lb, and a chance to prove he is the real deal.

10. Veinard

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

Frustrating to follow or back with words or money until finally he got off the mark over fences at Ayr in Scotland last time out.

His form in Britain is surprisingly much better than that of his form in his native Ireland, where he was last seen unshipping Davy Russell behind Cilaos Emery at Gowran Park at massive odds.

Turned the tables last time as mentioned, but this may prove to be all too much once again.

11. Mrs Lovett

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey -

Right at the bottom is the mare Mrs Lovett, who easily got the better of her opposition at Thurles just two weeks ago.

A rare runner for Elliott in the colours of Munir and Souede, who could not land a hat-trick of wins earlier in the season in a Listed contest at Warwick, after prevailing at Fairyhouse and Thurles again.

Fine acquisition from France back in 2018, and looks to be all going to plan so far.

Big player here.

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