Monday 16 January 2017

Cheltenham Festival - Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase

This chase race is a listed competition that marks the close of the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival. It is often referred to by its official name- the Centenary Novices’ handicap Chase. It has been held here on every occasion since 2005.

Horses of five years and over line up to compete over a distance of two miles and four-and-a-half furlongs (4124 m) and 16 fences dotting the path. The handicap balancing makes the competition even for horses taking part on the Old Course of the venue. A £60,000 purse is available for division among participants, more than half of which goes to the first-place finisher.

Six and seven year olds tend to have great runs in this race. The reigning champion is Tully East, who was even years old when he took first position in 2017. No single horse has been able to win the race twice, and the record for both jockeys and winners (two for both) is just as scanty.

Deplotting Shed is tipped favourite to finish in first position in the 2018 event.