Horse Racing

The Festival Novices Chase 2022 Betting Odds, Runners & Preview

Over three miles the Festival Novices’ Chase is a gruelling test for a novice chaser. With 20 fences jumping accuracy is a must and those involved at the finish are likely to have a say in 2022’s major chase races.

Previously known as the RSA Chase, the Festival Novices’ is essentially the Gold Cup for novice chasers and plenty of future stars have cut their teeth in this before achieving greater things.

2012 winner Bobs Worth and 2013 victor Lord Windermere both went onto win the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following season. Other winners include Denman and King George winner Might Bite.

Race Details
When:Wednesday 16th March, 1.55pm
Distance:Three-miles & half a furlong
Race TypeGrade 1 Novice Chase
CourseOld Course
Weights:11st 2lb (5yo), 11st 4lb (6yo+), 7lb allowance for mares
Where to watch?ITV, Racing UK, Bookmaker Streams

What Happened in 2021?

In 2021, despite a scare at the final fence, Paul Townend guided the heavy 1/4 favourite Monkfish to victory.

Current Favourites

The leading fancies, according to the latest odds, are:

Galopin Des Champs – 7/4 with bet365*

Trainer – Willie Mullins | Jockey – Tbc | Age 4

Was turned into a completely different horse for a step up in trip when taking the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at last year’s Festival in impressive style, before then destroying his opposition in the 3m novice hurdle at the Punchestown Festival when he had graded performers trailing in his wake. If he carries that form across to fences, then he will take a huge amount of beating.

Bravemansgame – 4/1 with Betfred*

Trainer – Paul Nicholls | Jockey – Harry Cobden | Age 6

Arguably the best British novice hurdler of last season, Bravemansgame has started his career over fences in perfectly style, with smooth wins from the front at Newton Abbot and Haydock in graduation chases. On both occasions he beat 150+ rated rivals into second and jumped with aplomb, and it looks like he’s a better chaser than a hurdler already.

Ahoy Senor – 10/1 with bet365*

Trainer – Lucinda Russell | Jockey – Tbc | Age 6

Provided a 66/1 shock when smashing Bravemansgame by seven lengths in the Sefton last season, looking like a transformed horse for a big step up in trip, and since then he’s confirmed that was not a fluke with a promising debut in the Colin Parker Chase.

The Festival Novices Chase – Key Race Stats

  • The finishing positions of the last eleven favourites reads as follows: 5,4,4,(2,4),1,3,1,1,3,3,1
  • As you can see the Festival Novices Chase betting odds market normally gets this race right and the favourite is generally on the scene most years.
  • Seven-year-olds have the best records in this race – 8 of the last 11 winners were aged 7
  • Recent winners to break that mould are few and far between, including Star De Mohaison (2006), six-year-old Don Poli (2015) and eight-year-olds Might Bite (2017) and Champ (2020).
  • Ireland has a strong recent record as expected but it’s fairly even between them and Britain, with Nicky Henderson having won this three times in recent years. 

Festival Novices Chase Betting: A race for horses at the top of the market, if not a favourites benefit – Don Poli, Might Bite, Presenting Percy and Monkfish have all landed the odds but there have been two 8/1 winners and also a 14/1 success.

Two of the last three winners (of competitive renewals, given that Monkfish was a 1/4 shot) were 4/1.

Previous Winners of the Festival Novices Chase

2021 – Monkfish

2020 – Champ

2019 – Topofthegame

2018 – Presenting Percy

2017 – Might Bite

2016 – Blacklion

2015 – Don Poli

2014 – O’Faolain’s Boy

2013 – Lord Windermere

2012 – Bob’s Worth

* Cheltenham betting odds correct at the time of writing