Bet365 December Novices' Chase Runner Guide

Bet365 December Novices' Chase Runner Guide

The Bet365 December Novices’ Chase is the featured race on the Doncaster card on Saturday. It is a class 1, grade 2 contest run over two-miles seven-furlongs. This is a horse by horse preview of all of the 11 runners in the race.

Number 1 – Coup De Pinceau – 5/1

Trainer – Paul Nicholls

Has won his last two races. Won over three-miles at Exeter in a small field in early November and won handily last time at Ludlow. That was in a class 3 race though, so this 6-year-old will need to continue to improve to take this. Ran a decent race on good ground at Cheltenham in April, so the ground shouldn’t be of concern at Doncaster for this Nicholls runner. Yard in good form, chances.

Number 2 – Ibis Du Rheu

Trainer – Paul Nicholls

Won last time at Cheltenham on good ground, in class 2 company over the three-mile trip. Looks to have an excellent chance on that form. This Nicholls runner will stay every yard of this trip and will relish the conditions. Form is in excellent shape, so very hard to rule out. Looks more likely to run in the Neville Lumb Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Friday though.

Number 3 – Lil Rockerfeller

Trainer – Neil King

Got the hattrick last time out, ably assisted by cheekpieces. Would have a very good chance of getting the four-timer, but this King runner looks more likely to head to Cheltenham to run in the Neville Lumb Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Friday.

Number 4 – Beat That – 8/1

Trainer – Nicky Henderson

Won a small field event last time at Warwick over three-miles. That was in a class 2 handicap, and it was a good performance. Stayed the full trip, staying on well to win handily at the finish. Turned the tables on Exitas, who beat him last time out at Aintree. That was on good ground, so everything points to a good run.

Number 5 – Gunfleet – 10/1

Trainer – Emma Lavelle

This 6-year-old is in good form. Stayed on well last time to finish second in a class 3 handicap last time at Exeter. Has won at Doncaster in the past. Won his penultimate start in a class 3 handicap on good to soft. Will enjoy the track, may prefer a bit of cut in the turf, but if more improvement is forthcoming, then this gelding shouldn’t be ruled out.

Number 6 – King Of Realms – 6/1

Trainer – Ian Williams

Won last time out at Ascot on good to soft in a class 3 handicap over this distance. Stayed on well that day to score. Has won at this track in the past. Won a maiden hurdle here in January. Tends to be effective on softer ground, so any rain that may fall is a positive for this 6-year-old. In good form, as is the yard, chances.

Number 7 – Ok Corral – 7/2

Trainer – Nicky Henderson

Has only ever run once on good ground, that was in May 2017, when he scored at short odds. Since then, he has been running consistently on softer ground. Ran an excellent race in his penultimate start in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival coming second. First time over fences, so question marks about the ground and the fences, but on peak hurdling form, this gelding looks to have leading chances.

Number 8 – Rocky’s Treasure – 3/1 F

Trainer – Kim Bailey

In excellent form. Second last time only to classy animal Santini, in a class 1, grade 2 race at Newbury over the same distance as what is ahead of him here. Stayed on gamely last time, but just found Santini too good. Had completed the hattrick before last time, winning on good ground on all three of those wins. Doesn’t look to be a stand out performer as Santini in this, so this looks like a great chance.

Number 9 - Theclockisticking – 6/1

Trainer – Stuart Edmonds

Won a class 3 event last time out at Fakenham in late November on good ground. He was a long odds-on shot that day in a two-runner contest but did win with ease. Ran very well in the Pertemps at Cheltenham before that run over the same trip as this. That was on good to soft though, so that would signal that if the rain stays away, a good run is expected from this 6-year-old.

Number 10 – The Worlds End

Trainer – Tom George

Runs well on good ground, winning at Chepstow in a class 3 event on his penultimate start. Unlikely to run in this, as he looks set to go in the Neville Lamb Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham on Friday.

Number 11 – Molly The Dolly – 7/1

Trainer – Dan Skelton

Won her last two starts at Aintree and Uttoxeter respectively. The only mare in the race and hence is bottom weight. Stayed every yard of the three-mile two-furlong trip at Uttoxeter last time on good to soft, so will be sure to stay this distance. Has never done anything in a class higher than class 3, but conditions will suit for a powerful stable, an interesting runner.