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Marsh Novices Chase Tips - 1:20pm Cheltenham

The Marsh Novice’s Chase (formerly the JLT Novice chase) is the youngest of the three novice chases at the Festival in only it’s eleventh year. Ireland have won eight of the ten renewals with Willie Mullins securing four victories and Gordon Elliott two. They start on the new course here and race over 2m 3f 168 yards.

This year’s renewal features a very warm favourite in Henry De Bomhead's superstar Envoi Allen. Unbeaten in all eleven starts (twelve if you include his point to point win), he’s racked up four bumper wins (including the Cheltenham Champion bumper), four novice hurdles (including the Ballymore at the Festival last year) and all three of his novice chases. He’s won on good to heavy ground and doesn’t appear to have any flaws.He looks the best all round horse to come out of Ireland for many a year. His jumping seems effortless and it all comes so natural to him. It will be a major shock if Cheveley Park’s Muhtathir gelding is turned over here.The only negative factor maybe the change of stable from the disgraced Elliott to Henry De Bromhead only a fortnight before this race. The change of scenery/feed/routine may not be ideal but such is the talent of this beast he should be able to overcome those.

Dan Skelton’s Shan Blue was runner up to Sporting John but his jumping is a joy to watch as he attacks all his fences with zest. Hes officially rated 12lb inferior to Envoi Allen and its hard to believe he can beat him today.

Nicky Henderson has two entered with Chantry House who put himself back in the frame for this race when winning at Wetheby from Cocunut Splash. Henderson’s second string is Fusil Raffles** who’s won 3 of his 4 novice chases.

Chatham Street Lad was a wide margin winner of handicap here in December but has been beaten in handicap company since in Ireland and this looks a big ask though he could make the frame.

This is a race that is likely to cut up and it is impossible to look beyond the favourite Envoi Allen who has the potential to become one of the all time greats.

Punters Lounge Tip: Envoi Allen @ 5/6 at bet365 - Click Here To Bet
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