Grade Two John Francone Novices' Chase Guide 2022

Louis Moir | @LouisMoir99

Newbury - November 26 2022
Newbury 12:45
1
Tom O'Brien

Thyme Hill

J: Tom O'Brien
T: Philip Hobbs
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-8
OR: 161
Days: 22

This 8 year old son of Kayf Tara progressed nicely over smaller obstacles winning five races from eleven career starts over hurdles.

He made his debut over fences 22 days ago where he won in convincing style beating the fairly talented Flash Collonges by 17 lengths.It was only a three runner race so he will have to prove his worth again over fences this time round carrying top weight.

Steps down in trip which will be sure to suit especially in conditions that look most likely to be good ground which he will not mind at all.

He faces just three other rivals here, but smaller fields may be an advantage for this individual so he looks to have a great chance of making it 2-2 now jumping over fences.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/11/22NBY23.5Gd11-82
04/11/22EXE24.5Gd11-21
09/04/22AIN24.5GS11-75
17/03/22CHL24Sft11-102
18/12/21ASC24.5GS11-72
Newbury - November 26 2022
Newbury 12:45
3
Harry Cobden

McFabulous

J: Harry Cobden
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 8
Weight: 11-5
OR: 153
Days: 12

McFabulous’ debut over fences was much anticipated after impressing over hurdles last season.

He was an odds on favourite at Wincanton earlier on in the month yet he pulled up and something was cleary amiss that day.

There were high hopes for this horse especially when he was ready to make his first start over the larger obstacles, but when he was seen last time out he did not disappoint in what was a bit of a manic race to watch so I am unsure how the jockeys coped in-running.

The loose horse that fell at the first was causing all sorts of problems, but Harry Cobden showed his quality to make sure that McFabulous was not going to be harmed as the race developed.

After a pulsating beginning to the race, Paul Nicholls’ 8 year old managed to win cosily in the end beating Unexpected Party by 9 lengths. Steps up in trip, but may have more to show here, big player.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
26/11/22NBY23.5Gd11-51
14/11/22EXE19Gd11-21
05/11/22WCN20GF11-4PU
23/04/22SAN21.5Gd11-101
07/04/22AIN20GS11-73
Newbury - November 26 2022
Newbury 12:45
4
Paddy Brennan

Mortlach

J: Paddy Brennan
T: Fergal O'Brien
N/A
Age: 7
Weight: 11-5
OR: 132
Days: 21

The outsider of the small field, but not one to totally dismiss as he has had plenty of experience over fences compared to the rest of his rivals on this occasion.He has won four from eight over the bigger obstacles so his ability to jump well will count for a lot here.

Will want the ground to stay as it is at the moment, but the step up in trip has to be a slight concern as you are just unsure on how he will cope with the extra three furlongs.

Has notched up a hat-trick of seconds in recent runs so he will be looking to get back to winning ways, but will find it tough against horses rated higher than him.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
05/11/22WCN20GF11-42
20/10/22LUD16GF11-92
02/10/22KEL21Gd11-52
14/09/22KEL21Gd11-01
20/08/22NAB21Gd11-71
Newbury - November 26 2022
Newbury 12:45
2
NON-RUNNER

Gelino Bello

J: NON-RUNNER
T: Paul Nicholls
N/A
Age: 6
Weight: 11-5
OR: 148
Days: 29

One of two for trainer Paul Nicholls in this year’s renewal of the Grade Two John Francome Novices’ Chase.

With inform jockey Harry Cobden taking the ride you would imagine that Gelino Bello has a stronger chance than stablemate McFabulous in this contest due to the jockey bookings, but both cannot be ruled out.

This 6 year old looks an exciting prospect for connections as he has been victorious in five of his nine career starts so far which included a debut win over fences last time out. He went off as a 1/4 favourite that day, but just did enough to win by ½ a length.

In what is a very competitive contest, Gelino Bello could well come on more from that performance last time out so certainly rates a big danger to rivals here.

A very worthy contender.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
28/10/22WET24GS11-21
08/04/22AIN24.5GS11-71
04/03/22NBY20.5Sft11-51
15/01/22KEM21Sft11-64
11/12/21CHL24GS10-122

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