Total Event Rental Novice Chase Guide

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Guide

As many as nine hopefuls look to set to add Grade 3 glory to their profiles, as they battle out the Total Event Rental Novice Chase at Punchestown on Sunday.

Aidan Anthony Howard's Winter Escape heads them after his victory in a similar contest at Cork in November. The 8yo - set to be ridden by Mark Walsh, has a penalty to carry, having been the only one previously to win a top-banded race in the past.

That was a very strong performance however, and dealt with his opponents superbly - ushering them off one-by-one in the straight.

Hunting down the top one - who is very much the one to beat, is once again Gordon Elliot with a sea of challengers.

Elliott has five chances, including Cubomania, who raced predominately in England at the start the season. His three most recent starts have been in his native Ireland; most recently finishing second at Leopardstown in a handicap, having unfortunately fell at Fairyhouse at the start of December in a Grade One.

Last year's runner up in the Irish Trainers Championship also has Ben Dundee - who like Cubomania, fell in a Grade One behind stablemate Delta Work in December, this time in the Neville Hotels Novices Chase. If you see past that, he did win a promising looking Beginners Chase back in November, where the form looks solid.

Blow By Blow won on his chasing debut back in October, and will look to boost the form with Delta Work from that Christmas contest, having finished third. He was some way back so will need to find a few lengths on that evidence to be in with a real chance here.

Elliott also has Gun Digger and Poli Roi - both of those 7yo's.

Last year, Jetz spent most of the season chasing the likes of Samcro and Next Destination around, but both of their campaigns have been cut short this season. This 7yo has found a bit of new light over fences, winning on his second start over the larger obstacles in a Beginners Chase.

He finished fourth to Hardline and Getabird in a Grade One on Boxing Day at Limerick, but is another with ground to make up.

Henry De Bromhead has a rare runner over jumps in the colours of Cheveley Park Stud with A Plus Tard, who carries the lowest weight of 10st8. The 5yo can also count upon the services of Rachael Blackmore, who is in the middle of a scrap for the Irish Jockeys Title Race.

Malf Morris' Beyond The Law completes the field.

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