JLT Novices’ Chase: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 1.30 at Cheltenham, 14th March 2019, Cheltenham Festival Day Three
A 2011 addition to Cheltenham’s big show was the JLT Novices’ Chase. Here we look at some of the best odds and offers available for this top class novice chase, and provide our betting tips for the race.
Held as the opening contest on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival, this Grade 1, 2m4f contest for novice chasers is restricted to runners aged five and older. 17 fences around the New Course lie between the contenders and £130,000 in total prize money.
JLT Novices’ Chase 2019 Betting Tips
JLT Novices’ Chase Betting Offers and Free Bets
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JLT Novices’ Chase Tips and 2019 Race Preview
It didn’t take long for JLT Novices’ Chase to earn Grade 1 status after its introduction to the Cheltenham Festival in 2011. It is not always the biggest field as the horses who take part tend to have a couple of options but it is usually a fiercely contested race between those who do take part and the betting suggests more of the same for the 2019 edition. If the odds are to be believed this will come down to the top two in betting – Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation.
How do You Split the Top Two?
The market could well be right to suggest that the winner will come from between Defi Du Seuil and Lostintranslation. If that is the case it will be a fitting finale in a trilogy between the two.
Lostintranslation got the win when in the first meeting on New Year’s Day. It took him a few attempts to claim what was a first win over fences but his performance at Cheltenham was good enough for the seven-year-old to move into ante post favouritism for the JLT Novices’ Chase.
The market was shaken up a little next time out when Defi Du Seuil reversed the form with victory in the Grade 1, Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown. They were racing on level weights that day compared to the 3 lb advantage that Lostintranslation got at Cheltenham and whilst the return to Prestbury Park is a real positive for Colin Tizzard’s charge, it’s the ground that could provide the biggest clue.
Defi Du Seuil’s victory came on soft ground over the same 2 mile 4 furlong trip of the JLT. It is going to be tight between these two once again but preference just about goes to Defi Du Seuil at 11/4 with Ladbrokes.
Tough Cookie, Meticulous, Looks a Big Price
Willie Mullins had an incredible start to the season. He made a mockery of the talk in the build up that suggested he was heading to Cheltenham with one of the weakest strings for many years with multiple successes on the first day. Whenever Mullins heads to Cheltenham with his horses in good form it’s worth paying attention and the money has really started to come in for his options.
Voix Du Reve is one of those options. He did some very good work in the earlier part of the season with back to back wins in Galway and Punchestown inside a month. He performed well when finishing third at Grade 1 level in the Racing Post Novice Chase at Leopardstown but fell when leading in the Leopardstown Arkle Novice Chase at the start of February.
It looked for all the world Voix Du Reve was about to be caught before falling last time out but stepping back up to two and a half miles should allow for a more patient approach which may well see Voix Du Reve claim a place at a generous looking 14/1 with bet365.
- 2018 – Shattered Love – jockey Jack Kennedy, trainer Gordon Elliott
- 2017 – Yorkhill – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2016 – Black Hercules – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2015 – Vautour – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2014 – Taquin du Seuil – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
- 2013 – Benefficient – jockey Bryan Cooper, trainer Tony Martin
- 2012 – Sir Des Champs – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2011 – Noble Prince – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Paul Nolan
JLT Novices’ Chase Trends
It hasn’t taken the bookies long to get to grips with the JLT Novices’ Chase. The race was only introduced to the Cheltenham Festival in 2011 but already winners from outside of the top three in the betting are something of a rarity. Moreover, three favourites obliged punters in the first eight editions of this Grade 1 chase so punters should certainly start their search for a winner at the top of the market.
There are many reasons why the market is such a good guide for the JLT Novices’ Chase. The first is that previous winning form over fences is an important indicator of success. Seven of those first eight winners had won at least two times since switching from hurdles to the bigger obstacles whilst it’s rare for horse to win having not made a minimum of seven starts over fences.
Take Heed of Official Ratings
The official ratings are also a good guide. Shattered Love became the lowest rated winner of the JLT’s young history in 2018 when winning off a mark of 144. She had already shown an aptitude for chasing though and was well supported when sent off as the second favourite.
It’s not just the bookies who got a strong early grip on the JLT. Irish trainers wasted no time in asserting their dominance with seven wins from the first eight races. Willie Mullins accounted for four of those successes and partnered up with Ruby Walsh on three of them.
It takes a fair amount of stamina for these up and coming chasers to win over the 2m4f trip of the JLT Novices’ Chase. Therefore, it is important to only back horses who have already scored over two and a half miles preferably over fences but hurdling form should not be discounted when examining stamina.
JLT Novices’ Chase History
This race is one of the newest races to be added to the Cheltenham Festival offering, having first been added to proceedings in 2011. The race provides a festival option for the specialist 2m4f Novice Chasers in training.
This event is officially registered as The Golden Miller Novices’ Chase in honour of one of the most successful horses to ever appear at the festival. Up until the sixth consecutive win posted by Quevega in the 2014 edition of the Mares’ Hurdle, no horse had won the same festival race more than Golden Miller. That the race he won on five occasions was the Cheltenham Gold Cup itself, makes his achievement all the more remarkable. The Basil Briscoe trained bay further cemented his legendary status in 1934 when becoming the only horse to win both the Cheltenham Gold Cup and the Grand National in the same season.
Initially introduced as a Grade 2 contest, the race proved sufficiently high in quality that it was raised to Grade 1 level from its 2014 edition. 2014 also marked the year the race was first sponsored by insurance company JLT having previously been backed by Jewson. The status of the race was further enhanced in 2016 when it featured amongst the contests receiving a prize money boost from Cheltenham racecourse. An extra £10,000 was added to the coffers boosting the total on offer to £130,000.
The jockey to have ridden more jumps winners than any other in history was quick out of the blocks in this contest. Tony McCoy, now Sir A P McCoy, took the inaugural edition with Noble Prince before winning again in 2014 with Taquin du Seuil.
Trainer Willie Mullins wasn’t far behind McCoy, saddling Sir Des Champs to victory in 2012 and Vautour as part of his record breaking haul of winners in 2015. Mullins and jockey Ruby Walsh teamed up for success in 2016 again in this race with Black Hercules.
Sir Des Champs went on to prove his quality when finishing second in the 2013 Cheltenham Gold Cup as well as winning the Hennessy Gold Cup and Punchestown Gold Cup.
It is Vautour though who was perhaps the most impressive of the early winners here. His 2015 performance was for many the standout display in a week filled with breath-taking performances. Jumping flawlessly throughout, he routed a good field by 15 lengths.
Not many five-year-olds were deemed ready to tackle this contest in its early days. Only three such horses went to post in the first five editions and all failed to place.
Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh combined successfully in 2016 and 2017 with Black Hercules and Yorkhill taking the respective wins. Mullins now has four victories with Walsh having ridden three. Gordon Elliott trained his first winner of this one with Shattered Love in 2018 with Jack Kennedy in the saddle.