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Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05

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Unbeaten chasers don’t have great record

WEDNESDAY 1.55 BROWN ADVISORY NOVICES’ CHASE

JAMES HILL

Trends analysis The last 17 winners started their chasing careers at distances below 2m7f It’s amazing how some still drag out the tired old line that this is a race for the dour slogger when all recent evidence suggests otherwise. Last year’s winner Champ was runner-up in the 2019 Ballymore as a novice hurdler. He had his first chase start over 2m6½f and had yet to attempt three miles over fences before winning this. As we look to bumper form for the Ballymore, we should also pay attention to last season’s novice hurdlers for this event. As mentioned, Champ ran in the Ballymore, but the best guide is probably the previous season’s Albert Bartlett, with as many as five winners coming from that race since 2010. Verdict Hot favourite Monkfish of course won last year’s Albert Bartlett, but unbeaten chasers have a surprisingly poor record in this event, and Fiddlerontheroof is therefore preferred. He was a top novice hurdler last term, winning the Grade 1 Tolworth at Sandown, and has stepped up in trip this season.

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Cheltenham - The Ultimate Guide

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