The Future Champion Novices’ Chase (Saturday 13 April) is a Grade 2 Chase run over 2 miles 4 furlongs and 110 yards at Ayr Racecourse on the same card as the Scottish Grand National and the Scottish Champion Hurdle.
It was first run in 1971 and notable winners have included Monet’s Garden, whilst Grey Abbey also went on to win the Scottish Grand National later in his career.
Future Champion Novices’ Chase 10-Year-Trends
- 9 of the last 10 winners carried a penalty to victory
- 9 of the last 10 winners were returned at 4/1 or less
- 8 of the last 10 winners were rated at least 144
- 8 of the last 10 winners were aged six or seven
- Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls have both trained two of the last 10 winners
Future Champion Novices’ Chase 2019 Main Contenders
Kim Bailey’s six-year-old can easily be forgiven his run at the Cheltenham Festival, as he had endured an interrupted preparation. He’s much better judged on his close-up third behind Cheltenham and Aintree winners Defi De Seuil and Lostintranslation at Sandown on his penultimate run, where he was highly-regarded enough to have been sent-off as favourite.
Has every chance on ratings after winning three of his last four races at up to 18-furlongs. He could also find further improvement for this further step up in trip, and his wins have all come on flat tracks.
Trained by Paul Nicholls but this seven-year-old has had plenty of chances and doesn’t have the potential of Vinndication or Ballywood. His form this season has also taken a few knocks lately so, though he’ll probably run his race, it would be disappointing if he was good enough to win.
The Russian Doyen
Unexposed six-year-old who ran a cracking race at the Cheltenham Festival when fourth in a decent handicap, just tiring on the run to the line. Should find Ayr suits him better but he still has quite a bit to find with the principals.
Lough Derg Spirit
Trained by Nicky Henderson and officially rated higher than The Russia Doyen, despite pulling up in the race they both contested at the Cheltenham Festival. That’s not the first time he’s struggled in a big field and connections will be hoping the race cuts up. However, he still needs to improve unless the market leaders underperform.
Future Champions Novices’ Chase 2019 Summary
The representatives of dual-winning trainers Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls don’t look as good as their previous winners so, with 9 of the last 10 winners returned at less than 4/1, this could turn into a straight match between market leaders Vinndication and Ballywood.
The latter is respected in receipt of five pounds, especially as he may be suited by stepping up in trip, whilst his trainer Alan King seems to have an especially strong raiding party at Ayr this year. However, it’s hard to get away from Vinndication’s big reputation and the fact he ran Defi De Seuil and Lostintranslation close two starts ago. His stable has already banged in a few winners during April and this, hopefully, will be another.
Future Champions Novices’ Hurdle 2019 Tip