Henry VIII Novices Chase Runner by Runner Guide

1. Chesterfield

Trainer – Seamus Mullins

Jockey – Daniel Sansom

Former Scottish Champion Hurdler took his time to adapt to the larger obstacles, and finally scored at the fourth time of asking at Kempton, at the end of last month in a Beginners Chase.

Connections are hoping they have an Arkle prospect, but there are simply better horses in the division. Shouldn’t be ruled out as improvement is expected, and who knows, he could be a dark horse in the two-mile category.

Will need to deliver here.

2. Cool Mix

Trainer – Iain Jardine

Jockey –

Two good efforts in chase contests at Wetherby and Kelso latest, where he was beaten by a single rival in both.

Takes a massive leap into top company now, and without a win to his name, he is very much the underdog.

Outclassed here.

3. Defi Du Seuil

Trainer – Philip Hobbs

Jockey –

What ever happened to the Defi De Seuil who stormed away to win last year’s JCB Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival?

Whilst trainer Philip Hobbs has been in exceptional form of late, it is sad to see what was one of his best horses going the wrong way.

He looked such a promising star as a 4yo, and was unbeaten over hurdles in seven starts, before disappointing on return in the Coral Hurdle.

One start over fences, and that was last to Lalor at the Festival venue three weeks ago, and he looked lazy, laboured, and quite weak.

Massive step-up required.

4. Diakali

Trainer – Gary Moore

Jockey – Joshua Moore

One horse’s loss is another’s gain, and Diakali from the Gary Moore yard has been some revelation since finally making the step-up to the larger obstacles.

Three wins from three, although he was fortunate with the most recent of those at Cheltenham in October. The Dan Skelton-trained One For Billy was only length down on Diakali and lost every chance when running out through the false rail.

The result will always be an unknown, but holds every chance to continue his fine climb through the classes.

Doesn’t want rain.

5. Dynamite Dollars

Trainer – Paul Nicholls

Jockey – Harry Cobden

Seven lengths down on Lalor at Cheltenham in the Arkle trial, so much to find on that basis.

There was lots to like however, as he jumped fluently and quickened well, but just was not on terms with the winner.

Trainer poses an excellent record in this race, with six wins in total – four in the last ten years.

6. Highway One O One

Trainer – Chris Gordon

Jockey – Tom Cannon

Very likeable type who ended his hurdles campaign here on the last day of last season, when finishing second to Ballymoy in the bet365 Novices Championship Final.

Two out of three over fences, losing out to Dynamite Dollars in the defeat, but beat some top rivals last time out at Carlisle (Chesterfield 3rd).

Good chances.

7. Lalor

Trainer – Kayley Woollacott

Jockey – Richard Johnson

The empowering and imposing figure of Lalor, who delivered an outstanding debut for Kayley Wollaccott, over fences at Cheltenham in the Arkle trial.

Favourite for the Grade 1 two-mile novices chase at the Festival, after a superb round of jumping and an immaculate turn of foot. This is the one they all need to beat.

Kayley’s husband Richard thought the world of this horse, and is one of the great stories of the season.

8. Ornua

Trainer – Henry De Bromhead

Jockey –

Ireland are represented with Ornua - who after making his debut over fences back in May, has raced six times, collecting three wins in the process.

Coming back from a short break, he was last seen trailing the Willie Mullins-trained Cadmium when a beaten favourite.

Holds claims, but others with potential better profiles.

9. Pacific De Baune

Trainer – Nicky Henderson

Jockey –

Lightly raced 5yo made his debut over fences at Warwick, when scoring by a narrow-186 lengths in a three-runner race.

Hard to make out how solid that form is, but was a useful enough hurdler in the lower classes. Despite the big jump in grade now, he is well fancied for this, and deserves a market watch.

Trainer looking for back-to-back wins in this contest, and this horse could be anything.

10. Pingshou

Trainer – Colin Tizzard

Jockey –

Fourth to Lalor in the Arkle trial on his one and only start over fences.

Won a Grade One as a hurdler so cannot be totally discounted, having overcome his early-career injury problems.

Colours were led to victory in last weeks’ Ladbrokes Trophy, and a possibility of another big race success.