A Grade 1 Novices’ Chase contested at Kempton on Boxing Day, the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase (also known as the Feltham Novices’ Chase) is open to novice chasers and has previously been won by horses such as Long Run, Coneygree and most recently Tea For Two. The race will most likely show us a few horses who are on the Road to the Cheltenham Festival and will head to Prestbury Park in March for various novice races. Click to read our Kauto Star Novices’ Chase tips & preview for what is an exciting renewal of the race and as always follow us on Twitter for the latest news and opinions leading up to the action on Boxing Day.
- FORM MATTERS – 11 out of the last 15 winners had won on their previous run before the race
- CLASS PREVAILS – 7 of the last 10 winners had previously won a graded race
- GO THE DISTANCE – The last 10 winners had won at distances of 2m 5f or further before the race
- AGE ISN’T AN ISSUE – Since 2000 horses of the age 4,5,6,7 and 8 have won the race. Although it is good to note that horses aged 6 do best, winning two thirds of the races since 2000
- KEMPTON FORM DOESN’T MATTER – Only two of the previous 10 winners had previously won at Kempton
- THE PRICE IS RIGHT – 8 out the last 10 winners went off at 10/3 or shorter, with 5 of the last 10 winners also going off as favourite
In terms of the trends, the pick would have to be FRODON. Although a 4 year old, he has previously won at 2m 5f, winning last time out in a graded contest and is currently the favourite in the market at 3/1. He’s also won 4 of his 5 chase starts and with that experience likely to stand him in good stead, it is no surprise to see him heading the market.
The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase bears great importance in many ways, not least that it was the race where Lizzie Kelly became the first woman to win a Grade 1. It also bares great importance as many of these will be heading to the Festival in March for various novice races, so it could shake up the markets to quite a degree. The fact that most of the previous winners had won last time out is no surprise considering the previous roll of honour, with American, Amore Alato, Churchtown Champ, Might Bite, Present Man and Frodon all winning their warm up runs for the race.
It is interesting to note that a few of these haven’t won at a distance of 2m 5f or further, with those horses being Anibale Fly, Caracci Apache, Might Bite and Virgilio (who has won at the extended 2m 4f however). The most notable name is Might Bite, who looked highly promising on his second chase start, coasting home by 14 lengths to win at Doncaster earlier this month over the 2m 3f trip.
There is no doubt that this is a very promising field, but only two of these horses have previously won a graded race over fences, with those being A Toi Phil and Frodon. Frodon has also won 4 of his 5 starts over fences so the experience should stand him in good stead in the race.
Our Channel 4 racing tips will be live shortly but some of our Channel 4 racing previews are now available to read. Kempton Park Racecourse will host some top class action on Boxing Day and everyone is looking forward to getting stuck in.