Cheltenham - At The Races

17:30 Cheltenham 12 Mar 2019

National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders' Novices' Chase (Grade 2) (Class 1) (5YO plus)

Winner £74,125 - 44 entered to run


Gary Nutting
by Gary Nutting

Published 8th February

There would be a neat symmetry if DANDY DAN were to fulfil his potential in the National Hunt Challenge Cup Amateur Riders’ Novices’ Chase and there can be little doubt he’s bred for the job.

The progressive 6yo’s granddam Loving Around won the 1996 renewal for Edward O’Grady with second place going to Fellow Countryman, trained by none other than Kim Bailey whose only entry this year is the selection.

Dandy Dan is already a 3m2f winner over fences (at Kelso when last seen late October) and Bailey hasn’t bothered making an RSA entry, so the signs are pointing towards ‘the four-miler’ at this stage.

It’s possible his trainer might also consider the Ultima Handicap Chase for a horse currently rated 140, but that would mean dropping back a shade in trip whereas his pedigree suggests a stiffer stamina test is likely to suit.

Unproven on ground any easier than good to soft, he’d have a decent chance of favourable conditions at a ‘normal’ Festival and his bold-jumping, attacking style could prove an advantage in a big field of novices where trouble in running is concerned.

His bold-jumping, attacking style could prove an advantage in a big field of novices where trouble in running is concerned.

We’ll never know if useful, fellow trailblazer I Just Know would have beaten him at Kelso had he not fallen two out when still in front, but winning jockey David Bass wasn’t in much doubt, saying afterwards: “Dandy Dan still had plenty left.”

Either way it was an encouraging display from a novice having only his fourth start over fences up against a seasoned, classy handicapper (rated 145 and probably still on the upgrade, went off at just 14-1 for last year’s Grand National).

He will need to jump better than he did there but it’s a good sign he was still able to win a Class 2 handicap despite two or three mistakes and he had impressed in that department at Bangor previously.

It remains to be seen whether Bailey gets another run into him for experience but going straight to Cheltenham wouldn’t be a concern from a fitness point of view as the gelding has a good record fresh.

ATR Exclusive Smart Boost: Get Dandy Dan at 40/1 to win the National Hunt Chase with Coral (was 33/1).

18+. Max bet varies. Win Only. Price subject to fluctuation. Singles only. Restrictions may apply. Limited time only.

Gary's Recommended Bet (scale 1-5 points):

NATIONAL HUNT CHASE (Tuesday 12th March)

1 pt win DANDY DAN (33-1 bet365, Coral, Ladbrokes, William Hill)

Gary provides regular ante-post updates on Twitter. His username is @horsetraderinfo

Previous Winners

Year Winner Trainer Jockey Age/Wt SP
2018RathvindenW P MullinsMr P W Mullins10 11-69/2
2017Tiger RollG ElliottMs Lisa O'Neill7 11-616/1
2016Minella RoccoJonjo O'NeillMr Derek O'Connor6 11-68/1
2015Cause Of CausesG ElliottMr J J Codd7 11-68/1
2014Midnight PrayerA KingMr Joshua Newman9 11-68/1
2013Back In FocusW P MullinsMr P W Mullins8 11-69/4f
2012TeaforthreeMiss R CurtisMr J T McNamara8 11-65/1f
2011Chicago GreyG ElliottMr Derek O'Connor8 11-65/1f
2010 Poker De Sivola Ferdy Murphy Ms K Walsh 7 11-6 14/1
2009 Tricky Trickster N A Twiston-Davies Mr S Waley-Cohen 6 11-11 11/1
2008 Old Benny A King Mr C Huxley 7 11-7 9/1
2007 Butler's Cabin J O'Neill Mr A Berry 7 12-0 33-1
2006 Hot Weld Ferdy Murphy Mr R O Harding 7 11-11 33-1
2005 Another Rum I A Duncan Mr M J O'Hare 7 11-7 40-1
2004 Native Emperor J O'Neill Mr R Widger 8 11-11 5-1jf
2003 Sudden Shock J O'Neill Mr D W Cullen 8 11-7 25-1
2002 Rith Dubh J O'Neill Mr J T McNamara 10 11-11 10-1
2001 No Race
2000 Relaxation H D Daly Mr M Bradburne 8 12-0 8-1
1999 Deejaydee M Hourigan Mr A J Martin 7 12-0 13-2
1998 Wandering Light Capt T Forster Mr R Wakly 9 12-7 10-1
1997 Flimsy Truth M H Weston Mr M Harris 7 12-0 16-1