The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup is a Grade 2 contest. The race is for amateur riders and novice chasers. Horses must be aged five years or older, and it is run on the Old Course. This year the distance has been reduced from four-miles to three-miles and six-furlongs, and runners have to jump 22 fences, two fewer now that the race is run over a shorter distance. From 2918, it became closing race on the first day.
The race is for the real stayers among the novice chasers. This means horses younger than seven years of age tend not to do well as they still don’t have the traits to stay as well as the older horses. However, there has been a recent exception with Minella Rocco winning the National Hunt Chase in 2016.
When looking to select the winner, it’s advisable to consider older horses in the race. Jonjo O’Neill has won the race six times, but only once in the past 10 year.
Tiger Roll won the race in 2017.
Type: Grade 2 Steeple Chase Race
Age: 5 year olds +
Weight: 11st 4lb (5yo) 11st 6lb (6yo+)
Allowances: 7lb for mares
Prize Fund: £125,000
2010-2019 Quick Read Stats
Tuesday 10 March
Cheltenham (Old Course) 5.30: National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (5yo+) 3m6f
- Gordon Elliott (three winners) and Willie Mullins (two winners) have won the race five times for Ireland
- 7yo winners: 4
- 8yo: 3
- 6yo: 1
- 9yo: 1
- 10yo: 1
- Seven winners have been rated 145 or higher
- Three favourites have won in the last 10 years
- The prices of non-favourite winners range from 9/2 to 14/1
- All winners had won over hurdles
- Eight winners had already won a race in the same season, four of them last time out
- Eight winners had previously raced at Cheltenham
- Six horses had won two or more races over fences