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17:30 Cheltenham

Soft

Maureen Mullins National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)

  • Prize money: £60387.5
  • 3m 5f 201y
  • Class 1
  • 7 runners
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Maureen Mullins National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Jockeys’ Novices’ Chase (Grade 2) (GBB Race)

Runners: 7 runners

Type: Chase Turf

Surface: Turf

Weather: Cloudy

2/1 (Won)

  • Win: £2.88
  • Place: £1.60

Form: O-312F BF

Last run: 34 days

W: 11st 7lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 150

Form & Verdict

Favourite for Grade 1 Albert Bartlett novice hurdle here (3m, soft) one year ago and about 1l down at the last, only to duck out through the wing; got up close home in good 2m5f beginners chase at Fairyhouse (2m5f, soft) in December, before good second in Grade 1 event at Leopardstown (3m, soft); jump to his left led to a costly collision when 1-4 on latest outing; a hood is enlisted; not crying out for this longer trip but he's firmly in calculations.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

3

11th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:55 Aintree

Corbetts Cross

11st 10lb

J: Mark Walsh

T: Emmet Mullins

6l runner-up in Grade 1 novice chase at Leopardstown (3m, soft) in December and showed improved form in a first-time hood (retained) when bolting up in Grade 2 NH Chase at last month's Cheltenham Festival (3m6f, heavy); faces much tougher opposition now out of novice company but he was certainly impressive last time and it remains to be seen where his limitations lie.

7/2

1st

1

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Corbetts Cross

11st 7lb

J: Mr Derek O’Connor

T: Emmet Mullins

held up in rear, in touch with leaders on outer 10th, pressed leaders going easily after 3 out, good jump to lead 2 out, soon went clear, readily

2/1

1

7th Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 42y

14:30 Fairyhouse

Corbetts Cross

11st 12lb

J: Mr Derek O’Connor

T: Emmet Mullins

Won Grade 2 novice hurdle at Navan last February; every chance when running out at the last in the Albert Bartlett at Cheltenham; made a low-key chasing debut at Naas when only third behind Grangeclare West; more professional when scoring at this venue, before again finding Grangeclare West too good in Grade 1 Leopardstown event; ideal opportunity here.

1/2

9/4

  • Place: £1.60

Form: 1P6-11

Last run: 44 days

W: 11st 7lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 150

Form & Verdict

The way he blew out at the Cheltenham and Punchestown festivals last spring as a novice hurdler is a nagging worry, but he justified odds-on favouritism without any bother when switched to fences this season in the mud at Punchestown (3m) and Naas (3m1f Grade 3); more settled in the latter, which probably brings this trip within range (he's also now hooded for the first time) and he's narrowly the best on form.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

2nd

2

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Embassy Gardens

11st 7lb

J: Mr P W Mullins

T: W P Mullins

held up in rear, mistake 3rd, mistake 15th, headway when not fluent 3 out, went second and 1 length down when bad mistake 2 out, soon no chance with winner, kept on run-in

9/4

1st

4

28th Jan 2024

Heavy

3m 0f 174y

14:45 Naas

Embassy Gardens

11st 0lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

raced wide, raced in second, smooth headway towards near side after 2 out, led last, shaken up and went clear run-in, easily

15/8

1st

2

12th Dec 2023

Heavy

2m 7f 150y

12:30 Punchestown

Embassy Gardens

11st 12lb

J: Paul Townend

T: W P Mullins

prominent, pressed leader after 2nd, led before 12th, disputed lead after 5 out, briefly headed after 3 out, went clear when nudged along approaching last, ran on, comfortably

5/4

Form: 2P4-31 D

Last run: 18 days

W: 11st 7lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 132

Form & Verdict

Won his only point and 1-4 over hurdles; it's as a chaser and long-distance chaser that he's coming seriously into his own, upped to nearly 3m7f for the Devon National at Exeter (heavy) 18 days ago and making all to win by 60l; that's not the easiest form to pinpoint but he's in the mix and the only one who has already ventured beyond 3m1f, which suited him so well; wears cheekpieces first time.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3rd

5

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Mr Vango

11st 7lb

J: Miss Gina Andrews

T: Mrs Sara V Bradstock

led, mistake 8th, headed after 3 out

20/1

1st

4

23rd Feb 2024

Heavy

3m 6f 153y

Class 3

15:40 Exeter

Mr Vango

11st 7lb

J: Ben Jones

T: Mark Bradstock

Won sole point in February 2022 and scored on hurdle debut at Haydock (3m, soft) that November; reappeared this season with fair third on his chase and handicap debut at Wincanton (3m1f, good to soft) on Boxing Day and his trainer is a dab hand with marathon chasers; firmly in calculations.

9/2

3rd

4

26th Dec 2023

Good To Soft

3m 1f 30y

Class 3

13:28 Wincanton

Mr Vango

11st 10lb

J: Richard Patrick

T: Mark Bradstock

Wide-margin point winner who made a very promising start to rules career over hurdles towards end of last year; ended last season with two lesser efforts but still looks very interesting on today's chase/handicap debut.

5/2

OUR TIP

Form: 1-3332

Last run: 24 days

W: 11st 7lb

9 yo Gelding

OR: 142

Form & Verdict

Won well in 3m handicap hurdle at Punchestown (good to yielding) last April; minor honours this season in all four chases, wearing tongue-tie and cheekpieces over 3m on last two; rallied when beaten a head by Henry's Friend in Ascot Grade 2 (3m, good to soft) on latest outing, but best form came when a near-15l third in Grade 1 at Kempton (3m, good) on Boxing Day and that run gives him one of the better form chances; good chance also that he will be suited by further than 3m.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6th

6

13th Apr 2024

Soft

3m 0f 210y

Class 1

14:30 Aintree

Kilbeg King

11st 0lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Anthony Honeyball

Creditable efforts in defeat in Graded novice chases this winter (3m, good/good to soft) and ran well for long way in 3m6f NH Chase at Cheltenham last month (heavy; beaten 32l); could be in the mix now back down in trip and back in a handicap, provided the removal of cheekpieces isn't an issue.

12/1

4th

4

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Kilbeg King

11st 7lb

J: Mr William Biddick

T: Anthony Honeyball

prominent, mistake 9th, mistake 4 out

10/1

2nd

3

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 180y

Class 1

13:50 Ascot

Kilbeg King

11st 2lb

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

T: Anthony Honeyball

Improved upon first two chase starts when back up in trip in first-time tongue-tie/cheekpieces (retained) in Grade 1 Kauto Star at Kempton (3m, good) on Boxing Day, finishing a near-15l third in what looked a red-hot race; also effective on soft ground; leading claims on that latest evidence.

5/2

Form: 1-3123 BF

Last run: 24 days

W: 11st 0lb

7 yo Mare

OR: 137

Form & Verdict

Often front-runner, including for her win in Grade 1 novice hurdle at Aintree (3m1f, soft) last April; yet to improve on that form as a chaser this term, but she has had Grade 2 assignments on last two outings (respectable third to Henry's Friend and Kilbeg King at Ascot last time) and there's plenty of the thorough stayer about her 3m performances.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

5th

7

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Apple Away

11st 0lb

J: Mr B O’Neill

T: Lucinda Russell

prominent on outer, went second 8th, pecked on landing 14th, mistake 18th, pressed leader 3 out, soon briefly led

9/1

3rd

5

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 180y

Class 1

13:50 Ascot

Apple Away

10st 9lb

J: Derek Fox

T: Lucinda Russell

Won Grade 1 Sefton Novices' Hurdle at Aintree (3m, soft) last April and has also shown considerable promise over fences, winning at Leicester (2m6f, heavy) in December before 14l second in Grade 2 novice at Warwick (3m, soft), behind the classy Grey Dawning; this mare is a strong contender today.

6/4

2nd

5

13th Jan 2024

Soft

3m 0f 0y

Class 1

14:24 Warwick

Apple Away

10st 11lb

J: Patrick Wadge

T: Lucinda Russell

Rapid progress over hurdles after turn of the year last season, climaxing with front-running success in Grade 1 novice at Aintree festival (3m, soft); switched to chasing this term, no match for Grey Dawning on first occasion but winning by a street in a three-runner race at Leicester (2m6f, heavy) one month ago; lots to like and may well hold her own in this company too.

2/1

Form: 0-5111

Last run: 24 days

W: 11st 7lb

7 yo Gelding

OR: 142

Form & Verdict

Won novice handicaps at Newbury (2m6f, soft) and Hereford (2m5f, good to soft) before getting the better of Kilbeg King (by a head) and Apple Away to win five-runner Grade 2 novice at Ascot (3m, good to soft) last month; the last contest was in first-time cheekpieces; more improvement is needed but it looks as if he will stay beyond 3m.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

3

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Henrys Friend

11st 7lb

J: Mr Jack Andrews

T: Ben Pauling

raced in second, lost second and prominent 8th, pecked on landing 16th, mistake and lost ground 18th, pulled up before 4 out

14/1

1st

2

17th Feb 2024

Good To Soft

2m 7f 180y

Class 1

13:50 Ascot

Henrys Friend

11st 2lb

J: Ben Jones

T: Ben Pauling

Won at Newbury (2m6f, soft) in December on second chase start and followed up in another novice handicap at Hereford (2m5f, good to soft) last month; others have more substance to their form but he could continue to progress and is not ruled out; wears first-time cheekpieces.

13/2

Form: -11127 BF

Last run: 143 days

W: 11st 7lb

8 yo Gelding

OR: 154

Form & Verdict

Second here one year ago in the 3m Pertemps Final (soft) as hurdler; took well to chasing, winning on first three attempts before second of 17 in the Kerry National (3m, yielding to soft) in September; weakening late on in foray to the USA in October "may have been a case of one race too many," according to his trainer; put away for this race since and trainer has a good record in it; plausible for stamina and form, so one to consider seriously.

Place /
No / Draw
Date / Going /
Distance / Class
Time + Course Horse + Weight
Jockey / Trainer
Verdict Starting price

6

12th Mar 2024

Soft

3m 5f 201y

Class 1

17:30 Cheltenham

Salvador Ziggy

11st 7lb

J: Mr R James

T: Gordon Elliott

towards rear, pecked on landing 10th, not fluent 11th, not fluent 18th, dropped to last 4 out

11/2

2nd

3

20th Sep 2023

Good

3m 0f 0y

16:25 Listowel

Salvador Ziggy

11st 7lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

145-rated hurdler has made a seamless transition to fences, landed the odds in a 3m Punchestown beginners' event, and when the smooth winner of 2m6f Tramore winners' contest despite reportedly not really handling track; travelled powerfully and in complete command from two out when trouncing today's rival Toss Again in a match at Killarney; strong contender.

11/2

1st

1

26th Aug 2023

Good

2m 7f 0y

16:50 Killarney

Salvador Ziggy

11st 10lb

J: Jack Kennedy

T: Gordon Elliott

travelled strongly, raced in second, challenging 3 out, led 2 out, soon clear, eased towards finish, easily

9/4

Terms and conditions

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+o+e Accumulators

Payout
Exacta £54.00
Straight Forecast £55.20
Trifecta £426.00

Selections

RP RATINGS:

Embassy Gardens

SPOTLIGHT:

Salvador Ziggy

TOPSPEED:

Mr Vango

Telegraph:

Corbetts Cross

WEST COUNTRY:

Kilbeg King

LAMBOURN:

Mr Vango

The Star:

Corbetts Cross

POSTDATA:

Embassy Gardens

The Times:

Embassy Gardens

D Express:

Embassy Gardens

Daily Mirror:

Embassy Gardens

Daily Record:

Embassy Gardens

The Guardian:

Salvador Ziggy

Daily Mail:

Salvador Ziggy

The Sun:

Kilbeg King