Festival Novices Chase tips 2023
(formerly the RSA Chase)

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Festival Novices Chase tipsWhen is the Festival Novices Chase 2023?

Cheltenham Wednesday 15th March 2.10pm

Festival Novices Chase  formerly known as the RSA Chase (Grade 1) (5yo+)

Distance: 3 Miles ½ Furlong

Weights: 11st 2lb (5yo), 11st 4lb (6yo+), 7lb allowance for mares

Race two on day two is the Festival Novices Chase, it is a grade one race for novice chasers run on the old course over a distance of three miles and 110 yards. It is open to horses aged five years old and older.

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RSA Chase Records

Fastest Win: MONKFISH 2021 ridden by Paul Townend trained by Willie Mullins finished in 360.11.08 s – 6 minutes 11.08 seconds

Leading jockey since 1946 (5 wins):

Pat Taaffe – Coneyburrow (1953), Solfen (1960), Grallagh Cnoc (1961), Arkle (1963), Proud Tarquin (1970)

Leading trainer since 1946 (5 wins):

Willie Mullins – Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004), Cooldine (2009), Don Poli (2015), Monkfish (2021)

Festival Novices Chase Trends and Statistics

12 Year Trends and Statistics 

  • Age – 9 of the last 12 winners were aged 7.
  • Sex – All of the last 12 winners were geldings.
  • Trainer – Nicky Henderson and Willie Mullins have both saddled more than 1 winner in the last 12 years with 3 and 2 wins respectively .
  • Country – 10 of the last 12 winners were bred in Ireland and 2 in Great Britain.
  • Colour – 9 of the last 12 winners were bay, were chestnut.
  • Starting Price (SP) – 7 of the last 12 winners have returned a SP of 9/2 or less the other 5 were between 8/1 and 16/1.
  • Starting Price Rank – 4 of the last 12 winners started as favourite and 10 were in the first 5 in the betting.
  • Headgear – None of the last 12 winners wore any headgear
  • Days Since Last Run – 9 of the last 12 winners had run between 21 and 45 days ago. No horse has been off the track for more than 90 days.
  • Last Run Form – 6 of the last 12 winners had won last time out, 11 finished in the first 3.
  • Official Rating – All of the last 12 winners had an official rating between 144 and 158.

Who are the Festival Novices Chase Leading Contenders?

AHOY SENIOR could be the answer to a tricky puzzle and Lucinda Russell’s stable star can land a first Grade One victory.

A winner of two of his four chase starts, posting an impressive victory in a Newbury Grade Two contest and doubling up at that level at Wetherby in the Towton Novices’ Chase he wasn’t ideally suited by the sharp nature of Kempton when meeting with defeat behind Bravemansgame in the Kauto Star Chase but could turn the tables on a track that is likely to play to his strengths.

All his wins have come on left-handed tracks while he’s been beaten on both starts going right-handed; he’ll also likely be able to get into a better rhythm over the Cheltenham obstacles than at Kempton where he didn’t jump as well as he can and he proved his ability over fences when jumping impressive around a stiff Wetherby course last time.

He had beaten Bravemansgame over hurdles previously and he’s won both on good and soft ground; there’d be no surprise to see him in the mix once more and he can take this Grade One prize back to Scotland.


Here's what Keith wrote ahead of the race:

MONKFISH – Albert Bartlett winner last season. Has been awesome over fences so far.

ROYAL PAGAILLE – Progressive chaser notching up 3 from 3 since December including the Peter Marsh Chase.

LATEST EXHIBITION – Progressing well this term, has a bit to find with MONKFISH.

ENVOI ALLEN – Unbeaten in 12 races, a point to point and 11 under rules. Landed the Champion Bumper in 2019 and the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle last year.

What are Our Festival Novices Chase Tips?

We will update this box with our tips for the Festival Novices Chase when they are finalised

With ENVOI ALLEN more likely to line up in the Marsh Chase and LATEST EXHIBITION needing to find a bit more on what he has shown so far we are left with MONKFISH who has earned the right to be favourite and ROYAILLE PAGAILLE who has shown plenty so far and will love it if the going turns up hock deep on the day.

On the day, Keith told our members:

MONKFISH 13:55 Cheltenham 4/11 – A lot of peoples festival nap and the odds reflect it. Expected to win on the bridle.

How did he do?

MONKFISH – another race, another winner for our tips! Monkfish led, slow 2nd, not fluent and headed 8th, led 4 out, soon headed, led again 3 out, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of 2nd but had loose horse just in front when mistake last, stayed on well, comfortably winning by 6.5 lengths.

FRT Tipster Keith’s wrote this for the 2020 RSA Novices Chase:

BATTLEOVERDOYAN is tough and  has already won a Grade 1 Chase  over 3 miles but found the pace  too quick last time before falling.  However this extra yardage is a  positive, and he has place claims. 

ALAHO wasn’t quite at the level  of some of these over hurdles and  may be found wanting. MINELLA  INDO fits a lot of the stats and is  going the right way over fences. 

Finally we come to the favourite  CHAMP who is older than the ideal  profile for the winner of the RSA  Chase and needs to bounce back  from that fall last time which may  have dented his confidence. 

After weighing things up my  pick for the race is the Henry De  Bromhead trained MINELLA INDO.

Result: MINELLA INDO was leading going over the last in the RSA Chase but an awkward jump left the door open for CHAMP and he had to settle for the runners up spot.

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Festival Novices Chase Results

Brown Advisory Novices Chase (Grade 1) (Registered As The Broadway Novices Chase) (GBB Race)
Distance: 3m½f (5360 yards) Prize (winner): £98472 Dir: Left Handed
Runners: 9    Going: Soft    Class: Class 1 Grade 1    Age Restrictions: 5yo+
Winners Time: 6 mins 34.86s   Avg OR: 151     Median OR: 152     Fences: 19

NoPlaceDist BtHorseAgeWeightORTrainerJockey (Claim)Odds
91stLHomme Presse (FR)711-4159Williams, Miss VenetiaDeutsch, Charlie9/4 (Fav)
jumped well, tracked leader, led after 7th, 2 1/2 lengths ahead 2 out, stayed on well flat, comfortably BF IP MIN 1.01 BF IP MAX 3.8 Owner: Dfa Racing (pink & Edwards)
12nd3.5Ahoy Senor (IRE)711-4157Russell, Miss Lucinda VFox, Derek R4/1
led, jumped right at times, slow 7th, soon headed, mistake 14th, lost 2nd and mistake 3 out, rallied and left 2nd 2 out, no impression on winner flat, stayed on BF IP MIN 3 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Mrs C Wymer & Mr Pjs Russell
83rd1.75Gaillard Du Mesnil (FR)611-4148Mullins, W PTownend, P11/1
held up in rear on outside, headway after 3 out, hampered 2 out, went 3rd, stayed on and edged left flat, no impression on winner BF IP MIN 5.2 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Mrs J Donnelly
44th7Capodanno (FR)611-4152Mullins, W PWalsh, M P5/1
held up in rear, mistake 6th and 9th, headway after 3 out, went 4th last, no impression BF IP MIN 6.8 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Mr John P McManus
55th2Dusart (IRE)711-4147Henderson, N JBoinville, Nico20/1
raced in 4th in mid-division on inside, mistake 12th, struggling under pressure before 3 out, soon well held BF IP MIN 23 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Mr R A Bartlett
116th4.25Threeunderthrufive (IRE)711-4152Nicholls, P FHeskin, A P14/1
chased leaders, not fluent 7th, mistake next, went 2nd 3 out until final bend, soon beaten, weakened before last BF IP MIN 8 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: McNeill Family
27th9Beacon Edge (IRE)811-4156Meade, NoelFlanagan, S W8/1
not always fluent, held up in mid-division, pushed along after not fluent 4 out, well beaten next BF IP MIN 10 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
6FFarouk Dalene (FR)711-4151Elliott, GordonRussell, D N9/2
held up in mid-division, pecked 1st, closed from 5th, went 2nd final bend, 2 1/2 lengths down when fell 2 out BF IP MIN 2 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Gigginstown House Stud
10PUStreets Of Doyen (IRE)811-4140McConnell, John CTorrens, Simon150/1
not fluent in rear, mistake 7th, ridden 10th, behind 13th, pulled up after next BF IP MIN 230 BF IP MAX 1000 Owner: Ms Caroline Ahearn

Brown Advisory Novices Chase (Registered As The Broadway Novices Chase) (Grade 1) (GBB Race)
Distance: 3m½f (5360 yards) Prize (winner): £73854 Dir: Left Handed
Runners: 6    Going: Good To Soft    Class: Class 1 Grade 1    Age Restrictions: 5yo+
Winners Time: 6 mins 11.08s   Avg OR: 151     Median OR: 149.5 

NoPlaceDist BtHorseAgeWeightORTrainerJockey (Claim)OddsBFBFP
41stMonkfish (IRE)711-4164Mullins, W PTownend, P1/4 (Fav)
led, slow 2nd, not fluent and headed 8th, led 4 out, soon headed, led again 3 out, 3 1/2 lengths ahead of 2nd but had loose horse just in front when mistake last, stayed on well, comfortably
32nd6.5Fiddlerontheroof (IRE)711-4148Tizzard, C LPower, R M40/1
held up behind leaders, left 3rd 12th, not fluent 15th, ridden to chase winner before 2 out, 3 1/2 lengths down last, no impression, stayed on
63rd11The Big Breakaway (IRE)611-4148Tizzard, C LCobden, Harry12/1
tracked winner, led 8th, headed 4 out, soon led again, mistake and headed 3 out, lost 2nd before 2 out, no extra last
14th41Dickie Diver (IRE)811-4142Henderson, N JColeman, A33/1
did not jump with fluency, held up in last, ridden and behind 15th, left 4th 2 out
5FSporting John (IRE)611-4153Hobbs, P JJohnson, Richard16/1
held up behind leaders, bad mistake and lost ground on rivals 11th, left 4th next, weakened before 3 out, fell 2 out
2UREklat De Rire (FR)711-4151Bromhead, Henry DeBlackmore, Rachael10/1
chased front pair, not much room 8th, mistake and unseated rider 12th

RSA Insurance Novices Chase (Grade 1)
Distance: 3m½f (5360 yards) Prize (winner): £98472 Dir: Left Handed
Runners: 10    Going: Soft    Class: Class 1 Grade 1    Age Restrictions: 5yo+
Winners Time: 6 mins 28.67s   Avg OR: 152     Median OR: 152.5

NoPlaceDist BtHorseAgeORTrainerJockey (Claim)OddsBFBFP
51stChamp (IRE)8153Henderson, N JGeraghty, B J4/16.002.24
not always fluent, held up towards rear, closed 12th, slow next (water), effort before 3 out, 3rd and outpaced home turn, pecked 2 out, 10 lengths off front pair last, stayed on well final 150 yards, led towards finish BF IP MIN 1.01 BF IP MAX 600
82nd1Minella Indo (IRE)7147Bromhead, Henry DeBlackmore, Rachael3/14.981.78
raced keenly, led until after 1st, led next, headed 5th, stayed pressing leader, led after 2 out, mistake last, hung right and pressed flat, headed towards finish BF IP MIN 1.06 BF IP MAX 1000
13rd1Allaho (FR)6152Mullins, W PTownend, P5/2 (Fav)4.101.89
led after 1st, headed next, led 5th, not fluent and pecked 12th, headed after 2 out, every chance from last, 3rd and no extra close home BF IP MIN 2 BF IP MAX 1000
34th22Battleoverdoyen (IRE)7153Elliott, GordonRussell, D N7/17.922.90
mid-division on outside, headway from 10th, every chance 3 out, 4th and outpaced before 2 out, weakened before last BF IP MIN 3.5 BF IP MAX 1000
25th13Aye Right (IRE)7146Graham, Mrs H OBewley, Callum100/1221.3818.39
chased leaders, mistake 5th, pecked 12th, mistake and lost place 4 out, soon closed back up, weakened after 3 out BF IP MIN 50 BF IP MAX 1000
106th33Slate House (IRE)8155Tizzard, C LPower, R M20/138.137.65
held up towards rear on inside, not always fluent, headway 15th, lost place 3 out, soon weakened, hampered last, tailed off BF IP MIN 23 BF IP MAX 1000
6FCopperhead6155Tizzard, C LCobden, Harry6/19.302.49
chased leaders, pushed along after 4 out, outpaced after next, soon weakened, fell last BF IP MIN 7 BF IP MAX 1000
7FEasy Game (FR)6154Mullins, W PMullins, D E10/111.403.31
held up towards rear, headway 12th, outpaced after 4 out, weakened next, fell last BF IP MIN 11 BF IP MAX 1000
9PUPym (IRE)7152Henderson, N JBoinville, Nico33/155.008.20
chased leaders, dropped into mid-division from 2nd, lost place before 8th, mistake 11th, pulled up before 14th BF IP MIN 50 BF IP MAX 1000
4URCastlebawn West (IRE)7150Mullins, W PWalsh, M P50/160.2310.05
held up in rear, not fluent 12th, mistake and rider lost iron briefly 14th, headway approaching 3 out, ridden and beaten before home turn, 5th and well held when blundered and unseated rider 2 out BF IP MIN 12 BF IP MAX 1000

RSA Chase Previous Winners

DateGoingRunnersWinnerStallionAgeJockey (Clm)TrainerOddsWeightORDays
Good To Soft671/411-416438d
Good To Soft1287/211-415434d
Good To Soft1178/111-414532d
Good To Soft1579/411-415524d
Good To Soft1174/111-414926d
Good To Soft1776/511-4032d
Good To Soft19733/111-412934d
Good To Soft14716/111-411527d
Good To Firm14813/211-4020d

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Cheltenham Festival Wednesday

Race Schedule

13:30The Ballymore Novices' Hurdle Race2m abt 5fHurdle
14:10The Festival Novices’ Chase (RSA Chase) (Grade 1)3m abt ½ fChase
14:50The Coral Cup Hurdle (A Handicap Hurdle Race) (Grade 3)2m abt 5fHurdle
15:30The Betway Queen Mother Champion Chase (Grade 1)
(feature race)
Abt 2mChase
16:10The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase3m 6fChase
16:50The Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Handicap Steeple Chase Challenge Cup (Grade 3)2m abt ½fChase
17.30The Weatherbys Champion Bumper (A Standard Open NH Flat Race) (Grade 1)2m abt ½fBumper

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