National Hunt Chase Cup Tips - 4:50pm Cheltenham

The National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup has been run for amateur riders now for 161 years and has been run more times than any other Cheltenham event. It’s distance was cut to about three miles and six furlongs last year after the controversy in 2019 when only four horses finished. At present this year’s renewal will be the first open to professionals only due to the ban on amateurs because of co-vid though that is very much on going. There are currently 59 entries with the maximum allowed to run 16 over the stamina sapping distance of 3m 5f 201 yards of the old course.

Ante-post favourite since the start of the season is the Gordon Elliott/Iain Ferguson trained, Ronnie Bartlett owned Galvin. He’s won four of his eight starts over fences including a novice chase back in October at the track. Elliott said afterwards that he was going to put him away and train him specifically for this contest so his absence since then is in no way an issue. He also has Festival form as he placed 2nd in last season’s now defunct 2m 4f Novice’s Handicap Chase finishing 3 1/4 lengths behind the smart Imperial Aura receiving just 1lb. He does have to prove his stamina for this test mind as he’s never raced beyond 3 miles.

Gordon Elliott/Denise Foster is also responsible for three other runners Coko Beach, Escaria Ten and Run Wild Fred. Thyestes Handicap Chase winner Coko Beach is maybe the best of that sextet. He improved massively for the application of blinkers winning that prestigious handicap off of 10-6 and is now rated 150, that’s only 1lb behind Galvin. Escaria Ten is also a progressive novice chaser who should be suited by this extreme trip. He ran 2nd in a grade 3 event at Naas in January.

Willie Mullin’s relies upon Lord Royal who will need to improve on the three starts he's had over fences to take a hand in the finish here. He's trying beyond 3m for the first time.

David Pipe has Remastered entered (also entered in the Ultima Handicap earlier on the card) If he starts here thiswill be his first run beyond 3 miles, although he does shape like a true stayer.

Next Destination joined Paul Nicholls from Willie Mullins at the start of the season and has won both his novice chase’s for the Ditcheat based trainer. He was under the pump for a while until his stamina kicked in to take care of Fiddlerontheroof at Warwick in January. He was giving the runner up 5lb that day and it was a decent performance. He has some serious back form when with Mullins including when 3rd to Samcro in the Ballymore and winning the 3m grade 1 novice hurdle at the Punchestown Festival. The talk from assistant trainer Harry Derham after Warwick was that the Festival Novice’s Chase was the most likely next destination (no pun intended!) although that was prior to Monkfish’s demolition job at Leopardstown so maybe connections will have a re-think.

Galvin who’s been trained for this by master trainer Gordon Elliott looks the one to be with here with Next Destination a big danger.

Punters Lounge Tip: Galvin @ 9/2 at William Hill - Click Here To Bet

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