National Hunt Chase Tips 2021 – Race Trends, Odds & Preview (Cheltenham Festival Day 1 5.30pm)

The Grade Two National Hunt Chase, now run over the recently revised distance of 3 miles, 5 furlongs and 201 yards on the Old Course at Cheltenham, is restricted to novice chasers and amateur riders and, as such, is always likely to be eventful.


National Hunt Chase Odds

Royale Pagaille9/2bet365
Next Destination10/1bet365
Dickie Diver12/1bet365
Latest Exhibition12/1William Hill
Secret Reprieve14/1William Hill
If the Cap Fits18/1William Hill
Asterion Forlonge20/1bet365


National Hunt Chase Main Contenders

  • Royale Pagaille
  • Galvin
  • Secret Reprieve
  • Hayygolucky
  • Lithic


Royale Pagaille

The complexion of the 2021 renewal depends, in large part, on the participation of Royale Pagaille (5/1), who was promoted to joint-favouritism after carrying the welter burden of 11st 10lb to an easy, 16-length victory in the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock in late January. Prior to that success, Venetia Williams’ 7-year-old had already risen 21lb in the weights after winning a novices’ chase at Haydock and a handicap chase at Kempton in equally bloodless fashion and, with another ratings hike in the offing, is being mooted as a bona fide contender for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.



The other joint-favourite, Galvin (5/1), has already run at the Cheltenham Festival twice before, finishing sixth in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle in 2019 and second in the Northern Trust Company Novices’ Chase last year. Trained by Gordon Elliott, who has won the National Hunt Chase four times before, Galvin is 4-4 over fences so far this season and may well prove the pick of the opposition to Royal Pagaille.


Secret Reprieve

Beyond the front pair in the ante-post market, another 7-year-old, Secret Reprieve (16/1) overcame his inexperience over fences when travelling and jumping well to land a gamble in the Coral Welsh Grand National, over 3 miles 6½ furlongs, at Chepstow in January. Trainer Evan Williams reportedly favours a crack at the Grand National proper for the Flemensfirth gelding but, as one of the few in the field with proven stamina, Secret Reprieve would need to be taken seriously if running here instead.



Happygolucky (33/1), trained by Kim Bailey, was no slouch over hurdles, despite having a lowly maiden win to his name, and has won two of his first three starts over fences. He jumped well when winning a novices’ chase at Cheltenham in December and, while he has something to find with the likes of Royale Pagaille and Galvin at level weights, he looks capable of further improvement over the larger obstacles.



Jonjo O’Neill is the leading trainer in the history of the National Hunt Chase, with six wins between 1995 and 2016, including three in a row between 2002 and 2004. His sole entry this year, Lithic (100/1), has been completely dismissed by the bookmakers, but is worthy of a second look, if only because of his trainer’s previous record. Now a 10-year-old, Lithic is still a maiden after 22 starts over fences and, with an official rating of 123, has two-and-a-half stone or more to find with the principals. He appears an unlikely winner, but has shown improved for since stepped up to marathon distances, so if there is to be a massive shock he could be the one to provide it.


National Hunt Chase Betting Tips

Royale Pagaille has his stamina to prove, as do many of his rivals, but is otherwise hard to fault. Indeed, he looks a Grade One performer in the making and it will be disappointing if he doesn’t continue his meteoric rise through the chasing ranks.

WIN BET: Royale Pagaille (5/1 with Bet365).

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National Hunt Chase Trends

Age – 9 of the last 12 winners were aged between 6 and 8.

Price – 3 of the last 12 winners were favorites/joint favorites, 5/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.

Last Run – 4/12 winners won on their last run before Cheltenham, 8/12 winners had their last run within the last 52 days.

Previous Course Form – 9/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, only 2 had a previous win at Cheltenham.

Previous Distance Form – 9/12 winners had at least 3 previous runs over at least 3 miles, 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous win over at least 3 miles.

Previous Chase Form – 12/12 winners had at least 3 previous chase runs, 10/12 winners had at least 4 previous chase runs, 10/12 winners had at least 1 previous chase win
Rating – 10/12 winners had a rating of 139 or higher.

Season Form – 10/12 winners had at least 4 runs that season, 10/12 winners had at least 1 win that season.


National Hunt Chase Recent Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Tricky Trickster Sam Waley-Cohen Nigel Twiston-Davies
2010 Poker De Sivola K Walsh Ferdy Murphy
2011 Chicago Grey Derek O’Connor Gordon Elliott
2012 Teaforthree J T McNamara Rebecca Curtis
2013 Back In Focus P W Mullins Willie Mullins
2014 Midnight Prayer Joshua Newman Alan King
2015 Cause of Causes J J Codd Gordon Elliott
2016 Minella Rocco Derek O’Connor Jonjo O’Neill
2017 Tiger Roll Ms L O’Neill Gordon Elliott
2018 Rathvinden P W Mullins Willie Mullins
2019 Le Breuil J J Codd Ben Pauling
2020 Ravenhill J J Codd Gordon Elliott


National Hunt Chase 2020 Result

1st – Ravenhill (12/1)

2nd – Lord Du Mesnil (11/2)

3rd – Lamanver Pippin (33/1)

4th – Forza Milan (12/1)


Cheltenham Festival Tips