2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase
Date of Tips: 10/10/2020
Disclaimer The odds for these selections were correct at the time of publishing (09:30 10/10/2020) but may have changed since. Please check the latest price before placing your bet.
The jumps juices are flowing again after a day of fascinating action at Chepstow yesterday, and in particular, those juices seem particularly potent in the Paul Nicholls’ camp as they had a brilliant day with four winners and a number of other horses running notably well.
Conversely, the day didn’t go as well for his main west country training rival Colin Tizzard, and he has seen fit to withdraw his lovely young chaser Fiddlerontheroof from today’s novice chase on the card, on account of the ground drying up.
It would’ve been great to see the physical progress that Fiddlerontheroof had made over the summer, but it seems he will remain under wraps for now, but that shouldn’t and won’t hinder me from suggesting the Cheltenham festival ante-post recommendation that was in the offing anyhow…
That is to suggest backing Fiddlerontheroof each-way for the 2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase (the opening race on the New Course on day three) at 33/1 with Bet365, Paddy Power or Boylesports. But what about Envoi Allen I hear you cry! Well, he was recommended as a bet at 5/1 for this race as early as April, in combination with Shishkin for the Arkle as an each-way double. Gordon Elliott’s flagbearer had the Marsh Novices’ Chase confirmed as the likely target earlier this week, so all is good there.
With that in mind, a quick scan down the list of those chasing Envoi Allen in the market, and it is very hard to find anything that has the race as a likely target. Shishkin will surely stick to 2m and the Arkle, The Big Getaway has already chased home Envoi Allen at Cheltenham and will presumably be upped in trip this season, Honeysuckle has much more likely options in trying to retain her Mares’ Hurdle crown or the new Mares’ Chase, Thyme Hill will stay over hurdles and bid for a Stayers’ Hurdle win, and Monkfish will stay at 3m surely too. Beyond that there is little else.
So, in taking the 33/1 each-way now, we could be sitting on a very appealing alternative option to Envoi Allen come March time. Joe Tizzard was quoted as saying that the race would be his likely target, and for a horse who reminds me quite markedly of Lostintranslation (second to Defi Du Seuil in the 2019 Marsh (then JLT) Novices’ Chase), I am excited to see how much he can improve and flourish for fences.
Sent off a well fancied 6/1 shot for last season’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle, the relative test of speed and a busy season combined to produce an under-par performance. Knockers will point to the fact that the form of his novice hurdling campaign will need improving upon, and of that I agree. However, if you look back to his point-to-point and bumper form, then it stacks up pretty nicely with some of the best young horses around.
Without a doubt, Fiddlerontheroof will come into his own over fences, and whenever we do see him out this season, it could become patently clear that he is no 33/1 shot for the opening race on the Thursday of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
5 weeks to go until the big show gets underway at Prestbury Park, and many punters will be getting itchy feet and wishing these 42 days to fly by. In a bid to calm the mind, avail yourselves of the 8/1 about Olly Murphy’s Itchy Feet for the race known as the Golden Miller – the Marsh Novices’ Chase – the curtain raiser as racing switches to the stiffer New Course on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.
It is only a matter of time before the former assistant to the genius that is Gordon Elliott, gets his Cheltenham Festival tally up and running. He claimed his first Grade 1 victory when Itchy Feet won the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase at Sandown Park on Saturday in impressive fashion, and the much sought after festival winner surely won’t be long in coming.
The performance was visually impressive, and the way he sprinted up the hill at the Esher venue in the closing stages was notable. Sometimes when that is the case, it can mask some lesser elements of substance to the performance. But in this case, it highlighted the fact that Itchy Feet ran the final section of the race, from the Pond Fence, just under 2 seconds quicker than Dolos, the 157-rated winner of the 2m handicap chase earlier on the card.
Not only that, but he ran the final circuit of the race in a quicker time than those quality 2m handicap chasers also. Style and substance mixed together in equal measure. The market for the Marsh Novices’ Chase is very much up in the air at the moment, and while Faugheen is the current favourite, and would be a huge danger, you feel it was all about getting him to peak for his tear-jerking effort at the Dublin racing Festival last weekend.
Whereas, in the case of Itchy Feet, it would be a shock if he were to not improve again for his Cheltenham Festival assignment, for a trainer who will be itching to have a memorable four days in March.
A brilliant third in last year’s Supreme Novice Hurdle, Itchy Feet has the look of a real chaser, and is a great bet at 8/1 generally.