2020 Novices Handicap Chase Betting Odds at Cheltenham racecourse

Tuesday, 10 March 2020

The Centenary Novices' Handicap Chase is sponsored by the Close Brothers Group and this race has been in operation at the Cheltenham Festival since 2005, with this steeplechase spanning two miles and four furlongs.

The Close Brothers Handicap Chase takes place on Day One of the Cheltenham Festival, with A Plus Tard the most recent winner in 2019 and we’ve also seen Ballyalton, Tully East and Mister Whitaker oblige in recent years.

Until we get closer to the build-up for the Festival, it’s hard to pin down exactly which horses will be lining up in a race like this, although Hold The Note looks a likely runner and the Mick Channon-trained charge has shown some impressive runs so far this season.

The six-year-old recently finished second in a three-mile Group 2 encounter over soft ground and that looks to be a perfect schooling for a race at the Cheltenham Festival.

Hold The Note has only run at Cheltenham once and he outran his odds on that occasion when finishing fourth at 25/1 in November 2018, with the horse potentially about to be chalked up as favourite for the encounter.

Off You Go is also among the early favourites but there aren’t strong signs that we could be looking at a potential Handicap Chase winner at the Festival considering that the horse has yet to score a success this season.

There was an eighth-placed finish in a competitive race at Navan, with the horse then falling at Fairyhouse in late November before a Boxing Day appearance in the Grade 1 Novice Chase where the runner finished a creditable fourth in a race which included Faugheen and Samcro.

Beakstown is another horse likely to be sent down this route and the runner did make an appearance at last year’s Cheltenham Festival where he was pulled up in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle although he could produce an improved showing this time around.

The seven-year-old has been pretty good this year, with a second-placed finish at Wetherby behind Sam Spinner before finishing fourth behind Champ at Newbury and third behind Mister Fisher at Cheltenham.