Grade One Mildmay Novices' Chase Guide 2022

James Mackie | @JMackieRacing

Aintree - April 07 2022
Aintree 13:55
Jack Kennedy

Fury Road

J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
Age: 8
Weight: 11-4
OR: 160
Days: 61

The only Irish horse in the field, will look to upset his three UK rivals by taking this prize back over the Irish sea. Like Ahoy Senor this horse has been a slight mixed bag this season, finishing second on his chase debut then a decent 3rd in a Grade 1 at Fairyhouse last November, before going on to win the Grade 1 Neville Hotels Novice Chase at Leopardstown, winning in fantastic fashion by 8 lengths.

He then lined up in the Ladbrokes Novices Chase behind odds on favourite Galopin Des Champs, where he finished 5th of 8 runners and did slightly disappointed when he was well beaten and looked a tired horse.

He is a winner over 3 miles, however, so can clearly stay, it might be best to put a line through his last run as that isn’t the usual horse we see running, but he would need to really step up his form to another level to land a blow in this against three of the UK’s top Novice Chasers this season.

Aintree - April 07 2022
Aintree 13:55
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 164
Days: 55

Arguably the race of the three days at Aintree this week, with only four going to post it looks an absolute cracker of a race. Bravemansgame was a late withdrawal from the Brown Advisory Chase at the festival last month due to the heavy rain making the ground get very soft, so it would most likely be that he is perfectly primed and ready to roll in this contest.

He is unbeaten since going over to the larger obstacles, winning 4 out of his 4 runs over fences, including the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices Chase at Kempton over Christmas.

Arguably his best career performance to date was at Newbury last time out where he carried top weight to victory by just under 4 lengths.

On paper that was only a Class 3 Handicap, which he won by just under 4 lengths, but he was carrying over a stone in weight more than the rest of the field.

His jumping has been electric over fences, and he has already got the beating of one of these rivals this season when he met Ahoy Senor at Kempton over the Christmas period, and with the ground conditions probably suiting him more than the other runner’s, he will be the one to beat for a yard who do so well at this meeting.

Aintree - April 07 2022
Aintree 13:55
Charlie Deutsch

L'Homme Presse

J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 164
Days: 23

Venetia Williams and Charlie Deutsch are having a fine season this term, and their superstar L’Homme Presse has also been in a rich vein of form this term also.

Contesting in 5 races over fences, he has been foot perfect in winning them all, including the Grade 2 Dipper Novices Chase at Cheltenham in January, and of course his fantastic display in the Grade 1 Brown Advisory at the Cheltenham festival last time out in the mud, where he finished 3 and a half lengths ahead of Ahoy Senor, who will need to brush up on his jumping.

He was taking the step up to 3 miles that day, and couldn’t have been any more impressive, virtually making it all to win running away up the hill.

Connections adore this horse and really think he is a potential Gold Cup horse for next season, and he showed that last time out with his staying abilities.

He like Bravemansgame already has the measure of Ahoy Senor this season, but the good conditions at Aintree might not play to his strengths, as his best performances have all come on softer conditions, but he did win on good ground over Hurdles at Chepstow back in April 2021.

If he can reproduce a performance like last time from the front, he will be incredibly hard to pass, as he is one of the standout performers of this National Hunt season.

Aintree - April 07 2022
Aintree 13:55
Derek Fox

Ahoy Senor

J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Age: 7
Weight: 11-4
OR: 157
Days: 23

Equally as talented as the main two in the market, Ahoy Senor was a Grade 1 winner over hurdles at this venue last season, when upsetting the short priced favourite Bravemansgame, Ahoy Senor winning that race in fine style by 7 lengths.

He has been a slight mixed bag over fences this season however, disappointing in one run but then in the next looking like a potential superstar.

He unseated on debut at Carlisle, before romping home in a Grade 2 at Newbury last November, he then was gotten the better of by Bravemansgame in a Grade 1 over Christmas, before going on to win in style again at Wetherby.

The one slight concern for this horse is his jumping, he jumped left on occasions at Wetherby, and did not jump with any fluency at all last time out in the Brown Advisory, looking well beaten at one stage but then ran on well when gathered up coming up the hill.

One thing is clear though, he stays and stays very well, so if he was to brush up on his jumping, he could really serve it up to the top two novice chasers in the country.

His trainer Lucinda Russell thinks the world of him and is insistent that he will improve with each run, and we shall see that next season when he might be aimed at a potential run in the Cheltenham Gold Cup.