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Turners Novices’ Chase Trends – Key Stats for Thursday’s Opening Race at the Cheltenham Festival

Thursday’s Turners Novices’ Chase has seen some of the most dramatic races at the Cheltenham Festival in the last decade. Vautour’s incredible round of jumping in 2015 and Galopin Des Champs’ last fence fall in 2022 both arrived in this contest, and we have looked at the key stats to find the winner of this year’s renewal regardless of the excitement that unfolds.

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Age

Only inaugurated in 2011, the Turners Novices’ Chase does not have as deep a history as other races. However, the 13 runnings do give rise to a significant trend regarding age: nine of the race’s winners have been aged seven, including the last three in Chantry House, Bob Olinger and Stage Star.

Taking this further, only one horse has been able to win the race not aged either six or seven. That horse was Samcro in 2020 aged eight in a total anomaly of a renewal, as runner-up Melon was also aged eight, with 12-year-old Faugheen back in third. Despite gaining a 2lb weight allowance, no five-year-old has ever triumphed, although only seven have tried.

Age of All Turners Novices’ Chase Winners

  • <5 – 0 winners
  • 6 – 3 winners
  • 7 – 9 winners
  • 8 – 1 winner
  • 9+ – 0 winners
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Starting Price

Favourite backers would have found four of the 13 winners of the race, although the shortest-priced winner in the history of the contest did not even start as the market leader. That winner was Bob Olinger, who went off at just 6/5 when winning in 2022 after odds-on favourite Galopin Des Champs fell at the last in a four-runner field. With Mighty Potter losing last year at 4/6, three odds-on favourites in a row have now been beaten in the race.

Aside from those winning favourites and Bob, another four winners have gone off at 4/1 or shorter. Even when the favourite fails to oblige, a fancied runner tends to take their place on the podium. Only one horse, Benefficient in 2013, has gone off at double-figure odds, with his 20/1 SP comfortably the biggest of any Turners winner.

Starting Price of All Turners Novices’ Chase Winners

  • <Evs – 0 winners
  • 6/5-2/1 – 3 winners
  • 9/4-4/1 – 6 winners
  • 9/2-9/1 – 3 winners
  • 10/1+ – 1 winner
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Official Rating

Averaging out the 13 winners’ official ratings gives us a midpoint mark of 151 for a winner to require ahead of the race. The first three renewals were run as Grade 2s though, so were won by three horses among the five lowest-rated to have won the contest. The average within the ten Grade 1 renewals goes up slightly to 152.

Nevertheless, the Turners is still improving as a top-level race, as seen in the fact that its two highest-rated winners have come in the last four years. Ironically, Bob Olinger’s winning rating of 161 is the highest, though had Galopin Des Champs stayed on his feet at the last, this would have been 164 instead. Shattered Love’s 144 official rating is the lowest, although she was receiving the 7lb mares’ allowance.

Official Rating of All Turners Novices’ Chase Winners

  • 140-144 – 1 winner
  • 145-149 – 4 winners
  • 150-154 – 5 winners
  • 155-159 – 2 winners
  • 160+ – 1 winner
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