This Week’s Novice Chase Eye-Catchers

As attentions are divided between the start of the Jumps’ season proper and the end of the flat season with Ascot’s Champions Day, it’s easy to miss some of the action.

Here are five novice chasers who’ve caught the eye over the past couple of days and might be worth putting in your trackers. Don’t forget to take advantage of all our tips and analysis, as well as our free bets.


Twice a winner over hurdles last season, gaining a rating of 139, the Skeltons’ Ardlethen wasn’t particularly well fancied on chase debut on Friday 11th. That was as a result of facing Grade Two winning Lisnagar Oscar who was sent off Evens favourite.

There was just two pounds separating the two on ratings though, with the former evidently well schooled for his task. A superior round of jumping saw him overcome Rebecca Curtis’s six-year-old, the front two pulling clear of the field. Connections nominated the Towton at Wetherby in the new year as a possible target. The second should be capable of landing a novice next time out.

Jarveys Plate

Another who overcame a better fancied and higher rated rival on his respective chase debut was Fergal O’Brien’s Jarveys Plate. Colin Tizzard frequently targets the Listed race at Chepstow with his best jumpers, so it was no surprise that dual Grade One winner Reserve Tank was sent off the short priced favourite.

The former was certainly no slouch over hurdles however, winning a Listed race, and he improved significantly for a switch to the bigger obstacles. He landed the odds with the minimum of fuss, earning him a rating of 149. Next month’s Cheltenham meeting looks the obvious next target.


Henry De Bromhead’s Notebook placed in a Grade Three as a novice hurdler. He always looked the type to improve for a switch to chasing, duly obliging when sent off favourite for a Beginners’ Chase at Punchestown on the 15th.

Rachael Blackmore rode him to a bloodless success from owners’ mate Eclair De Beaufeu. He may follow in the footsteps of Sizing John and Sizing Europe in going for the Grade Two Craddockstown Novice Chase at the same venue next month.

Rebel Royal

Alan King’s six-year-old possibly isn’t in the same class as the four others mentioned here, but he ran out a very impressive winner on chase debut from a mark of 116. His victory at Huntingdon on the 15th under Tom Cannon was never in no doubt, travelling powerfully before hitting the front just before the final fence.

The handicapper is likely to take exception to the victory, having scored by eight-lengths. He’s open to any amount of further progression over the larger obstacles though, and it’ll be interesting to see where he’s sent next.

Sam Spinner

Jedd O’Keffe’s stable star was hardly the most fluent of jumpers over hurdles, twice unseating last season. 2018-19 failed to match the heights of the previous year where he landed a Grade One at Ascot. As a result, there were obvious reservations ahead of his chase debut on Wednesday.

Sam Spinner defied a trip short of his best to score from the 140 rated Beakstown. Outpaced down the back straight, he made use of his stamina reserves to score at Wetherby over two-miles-four. His jumping wasn’t faultless, but he should have learnt plenty from the experience and the return to three-miles will see him in far better light.

Please Gamble Responsibly