Grade Two Dipper Novices' Chase Guide 2023

Louis Moir | @LouisMoir99

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20


T: Fergal O'Brien
Age: 8
Weight: 11-2
OR: 132
Days: 6

This 7 year old son of Yeats has had plenty of experience over fences compared to some of the others in this line-up, but has failed to win a race since he was victorious in a Class 4 Novices’ Hurdle at Kelso back in September.

He has ran in some graded contests in recent weeks and has always managed to come either second or third so he would be one to ignore here at a massive price.

Looks to be making up the numbers and is used to running in small fields, but has not exactly impressed when there has been less runners.

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
Jordan Nailor


J: Jordan Nailor
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Age: 7
Weight: 11-7
OR: 145
Days: 32

A consistent sort who has notched up plenty of placed efforts, but has just won the once over fences so far in only two career starts over the larger obstacles.

That victory came on chasing debut where he just got the better of Millers Bank in a listed event at Carlisle.Plenty more was expected next time out as he went off as the odds on favourite, but he could only manage finishing second in what was only a three runner race.

That was disappointing for connections, but he has shown that he can bounce back and may well do so again here if running to his best.Steps back down to 2m4f where he won before so that will suit Beauport here, not totally out of things.

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
A P Heskin

Thunder Rock

J: A P Heskin
T: Olly Murphy
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 150
Days: 44

Thunder Rock is 2-2 over fences and will be looking to make it a hat-trick here with what should be another big performance.

Those two wins have come in stylish fashion so a lot will be expected of him to continue in this fine form.Ground conditions look sure to suit him once more and I do not think the slight step up in trip will be a concern for him.

Form looks fairly strong from his penultimate run so he has to be of major interest for trainer Olly Murphy.

Confidence is flowing so there is no reason why he cannot go close again in what looks a more than winnable race. Very highly respected.

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
Harry Cobden


J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
Age: 6
Weight: 11-2
OR: 148
Days: 46

This 5 year old son of Saint Des Saints began life for trainer Paul Nicholls hurdling before being sent chasing for the first time in November.

He had a fairly successful career over the smaller obstacles winning five out of eight starts.He was also a Grade 1 winning hurdler as he romped home to victory at Aintree last year beating Adagio by 7 ½ lengths.

He made his chase debut at Warwick where he was beaten convincingly by the classy Jonbon, but that horse has gone on to win again so the form looks strong.

Will most likely go off as the short priced favourite here, but his jumping will have to improve from his chasing bow. Looks the class horse in the race and should fight it out with Thunder Rock as those two head the top of the market.

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
Luca Morgan

Harper's Brook

J: Luca Morgan
T: Ben Pauling
Age: 7
Weight: 11-2
OR: 134
Days: 36

In recent times, Harper’s Brook has been performing best on soft or heavier ground so with ground looking like it will be more on the ‘good’ side, that has to be a slight concern.

He only won a couple of races over hurdles prior to finishing second on chase debut.He did in fact come on from that run to win next time out over 2m4f at Bangor beating Ubetya by just 1 length.

Those two runs came in Class 3 company so this is a massive step up now and he looks set for a tough assignment here.

One to not be totally keen on due to what he has achieved compared to others.

Cheltenham - January 01 2023
Cheltenham 13:20
Sam Twiston-Davies

The Real Whacker

J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Patrick Neville
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 139
Days: 49

This horse has not been seen all too often, but he did impress on chase debut where he won over 3 miles in a Class 2 event at Cheltenham.

He beat some strong looking Irish raiders that day, but it remains an unknown whether or not he can still run a big race over 2m4f.

Change of plan may be needed in-running for this horse, but at least he has won at this course before which makes him a player nonetheless.

If adapting to the drop down in trip, he could be capable of running another decent race which would make it 2-2 over fences. Cannot be totally dismissed.