Marsh Novices’ Chase Tips 2021 – Trends, Odds, Preview and Ante-post Betting Tip (Day 3 1.30pm)

The Grade One Marsh Novices’ Chase was only added to the Cheltenham Festival programme as recently as 2011 but, in ten runnings, has been won by Irish-trained horses on eight occasions.

Run over the intermediate distance of 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 168 yards on the New Course, the Marsh Novices’ Chase is seen, by many observers, as an ideal stepping stone for Envoi Allen, who was, according to trainer Gordon Elliott, ‘bought to be a Gold Cup horse’.


Marsh Novices’ Chase Odds

Envoi Allen10/11bet365
Shan Blue14/1bet365
Royale Pagaille20/1William Hill
Fusil Raffles20/1William Hill
Hitman16/1William Hill
Andy Dufresne20/1bet365


Marsh Novices Chase Main Contenders

  • Envoi Allen
  • Energumene
  • Shan Blue
  • Sky Pirate


Envoi Allen

Envoi Allen (10/11) remains unbeaten after a dozen starts, including a point-to-point and three races over regulation fences, and is already a five-time Grade One winner. At the Cheltenham Festival, he justified favouritism in the Weatherbys Champion Bumper in 2019 and, again, at odds-on, in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last year. He has travelled strongly and jumped accurately on all three starts over fences, including the Grade One Drinmore Novice Chase at Fairyhouse in November, and is, frankly, hard to oppose.



Nevertheless, Willie Mullins, who has already saddled four winners of this race, has several likely contenders, the pick of which may be Energumene (12/1). The son of useful jumps sire Denham Red won his sole point-to-point start and took his record over regulation fences to 2-2 when comfortably winning a novice chase at Naas in January, jumping well in the process. He lacks the obvious superstar status of Envoi Allen, but he has yet to be tested over fences and remains open to any amount of improvement after just five starts under Rules.


Shan Blue

Shan Blue (14/1) heads the home challenge after winning the Grade One Ladbrokes Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day. Dan Skelton’s 7-year-old proved no match for Envoi Allen when only sixth, beaten 27 lengths, in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle last year, but he, too, is unbeaten in three starts over fences and fully deserves his place in this line-up. Despite winning twice over 3 miles, according to his trainer he has ‘too much pace’ for the RSA, so dropping back in distance could prove ideal, especially as he is a fast, accurate jumper.


Sky Pirate

It is worth noting that all bar one of the Marsh Novices’ Chase winners so far were returned at starting prices of 7/1 or shorter, suggesting that it may be unwise to stray too far from the head of the market in search of a likely winner. However, at longer odds, Sky Pirate (25/1) remains a novice in his third season over fences, but appears to have improved for a wind operation in December 2019, and has won his last two starts. He has yet to win beyond 2 miles over fences, but won over 2 miles 7 furlongs over hurdles, so stamina is not an issue and he is clearly on an upward curve.

Marsh Novices’ Chase Betting Tips

Envoi Allen faces what is, far and away, his toughest test over fences so far, but there appears no reason to believe that he cannot pass with flying colours. At the time of writing, he is already quoted as 10/1 favourite for the 2022 Cheltenham Gold Cup by William Hill, which really says all that needs to be said about his potential.

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Marsh Novices’ Chase Trends

Age – 9 of the last 10 winners were aged 6 or 7.

Price – 4 of the last 10 winners were favourites/joint-favourites, 8/10 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.

Last Run – 7 of the last 10 winners won on their last run before the Marsh Novices Chase, 8/10 winners ran in the last 54 days.

Previous Course Form – 10/10 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 6/10 had at least 1 previous win at Cheltenham.

Previous Distance Form – 9/10 winners had at least 2 previous runs over 19-21 furlongs, 8/10 had at least 1 previous win over 19-21 furlongs.

Previous Hurdle Form – 10/10 winners had at least 3 runs over hurdles, 8/10 winners had at least 3 wins over hurdles.

Previous Chase Form – 9/10 winners had at least 3 previous chase runs, 8/10 winners had at least 2 previous chase wins.

Rating – 9/10 winners were rated 146 or higher.

Graded Wins – 8/10 winners had at least 1 win in a grade 1 or 2 race.

Season Form – 10/10 winners had at least 2 runs that season, 8/10 winners had at least 2 wins that season.


Marsh Novices Chase Recent Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2011 Noble Prince A P McCoy Paul Nolan
2012 Sir Des Champs Davy Russell Willie Mullins
2013 Benefficient Bryan Cooper A J Martin
2014 Taquin Du Seuil A P McCoy Jonjo O’Neill
2015 Vautour Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2016 Black Hercules Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2017 Yorkhill Ruby Walsh Willie Mullins
2018 Shattered Love Jack Kennedy Gordon Elliott
2019 Defi Du Seuil Barry Geraghty Philip Hobbs
2020 Samcro Davy Russell Gordon Elliott


Marsh Novices’ Chase 2020 Result

1st – Samcro (4/1)

2nd – Melon (14/1)

3rd – Faugheen (3/1)

4th – Mister Fisher (7/1)


Cheltenham Festival 2021 Tips