The 2022 Turners Novices’ Chase: Statistics, trends, history and video replays

Sat 1 Feb 2020

All you need to know about the Turners Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham racecourse on Thursday 17 March.

Where and when can I watch it? 1.20pm on Thursday 17 March, live in stunning HD on Racing TV.

What Grade? Grade One. What Course? New Course. What Distance? 2m4f (16 fences).

Prize-money? £130,000 Ages: For 5yo + Weights and Allowances: 11st 3lb (5yo). 11st 4lb (6yo +). Allowances - Mares 7lb.

Sponsor: Turners

Key statistics and trends:

No need to be at sixes and sevens:

All previous winners were aged either six or seven, with the only notable exception being Samcro back in 2020. He beat fellow eight-year-old Melon by a nose, with the 12-year-old Faugheen a further length behind in third in what was a vintage renewal in more ways than one.

A race with little surprises:

Nine of the past 11 winners were priced 7-1 or shorter and three favourites have won in the last six years.

Envoi Allen (4-9F) lost his unbeaten record in last year's race when an early faller. Chantry House won at 9-1, but that horse was the next best in the market despite the superficially big starting price.

Eight of the past ten winners had previously won a Graded chase; Chantry House is an exception.

Nine of the past 11 winners had won at least two races over fences. Samcro is one of the exceptions - he had only previously won over fences on chase debut.

Jumping experience counts:

Nine of the past 10 winners had previously raced over fences between three and five times. The only exception is Yorkhill, who landed this contest on his third chase start in 2018.

Nine of the past 11 winners had won on their latest completed start over fences.

Irish dominance:

Eight of the past 11 winners were trained in Ireland. Taquin Du Seuil (2014), Defi Du Seuil (2019) and Chantry House (2021) are the only British-trained winners.

Race history:

First run in 2011 and formerly known as the Jewson, JLT and recently the Marsh, the Turners Novices’ Chase runs under its new sponsorship for the first time this year yet remains of the newest races at the Cheltenham Festival.

Jewson were the original sponsors before insurance company JLT took over the sponsorship in 2014. Insurance broker Marsh takes over the sponsorship for 2020.

The quality has improved each year and the race has produced some future superstars, with the 2017 renewal working out particularly well. Defi Du Seuil beat Lostintranslation in 2019, both going on to Grade One success in senior company early the following season.

Willie Mullins has won the race four times with three of those victories coming in the past five renewals.

Andrea & Graham Wylie recorded back-to-back wins in the race in 2017 when Yorkhill fended off the late challenge of Top Notch and are the leading owners.

Recent renewals of the Marsh Novices' Chase:

2021 - Chantry House

Chantry House (9-1) brought his record over fences to three wins from four starts with Cheltenham Festival glory at the second attempt for jockey Nico de Boinville, trainer Nicky Henderson and owners Joe and Marie Donnelly.

Last year’s Supreme third hit the front on the run to the final fence and never looked like being caught thereafter, leading home stablemate Fusil Raffles (14-1) by three lengths with Asterion Forlonge (14-1) two lengths further back in his best run over fences.

Hot favourite Envoi Allen – the unbeaten two-time Festival winner beforehand – remarkably came down at the fourth fence.

Henderson told Racing TV: “It just shows that you’ve just got to be there. If you’re given the opportunity, you’ve got to be able to grab it.

“It was sad to see Envoi Allen go but it did leave the door wide open. It would have been a pity if we couldn’t grab it, I must admit.

“Luckily both Chantry House and Fusil Raffles have run fantastic races. I’m proud of them both.”

2020 - Samcro

Samcro earned success at the Cheltenham Festival for the second time in one of the races of last year's meeting, crowning an unlikely equine renaissance for trainer Gordon Elliott, jockey Davy Russell and owners Gigginstown House Stud.

A Grade One-winning novice two seaons previously, Samcro suffered a curtailed and ultimately disappointing campaign over hurdles after that and, while his belated career over fences started with victory, he fell in Grade One company next time and was no match for the 11-year-old Faugheen at Limerick afterwards.

Nursed back to full health by Gordon Elliott - and given a new bespoke stable as well as treatment on a nebuliser - Samcro maintained his unbeaten Festival record in a thrilling finish to defeat Melon by a nose, with Faugheen a length further back in third.

"It was a great race to watch with Melon, Faugheen and Samcro - that's what this place is all about," said Elliott.

"Samcro is one of the favourites in the yard. Obviously he was in the doldrums for a while, so to get him back and win a Grade One in Cheltenham is something else.

"You can see how much it means to everyone in the yard. A lot of people have done a lot of work with this horse - they've spent day and night trying to get him right.

"He hasn't been scoping clean and it's been hard to get him to scope right. We've done a lot of different things, like building him a new stable, and he's pulled it off today.

"Everyone was knocking him, saying this and saying that. I probably even lost a bit of faith in him myself, but the horses are flying and I just can't believe it."

2019 – Defi Du Seuil

Defi Du Seuil overpowered old rival Lostintranslation in a thrilling duel up the Cheltenham hill in a contest that was ultimately decided by six-year-old’s superior pace.

A sparkling winner of the Triumph Hurdle in 2017, Defi Du Seuil remained unbeaten at the Cheltenham Festival as favourite backers basked in a 3-1 success.

“He’s amazing,” said trainer Philip Hobbs. “He’s very brave, very sound and very genuine. Today he jumped beautifully and had a great run all the way round - it just couldn’t have gone better.”

2018 - Shattered Love

Shattered Love showed the boys how it's done when she defeated her rivals by seven lengths under Jack Kennedy.

Gordon Elliott's mare cruised through the race before powering away from her rivals and continued Elliott's good run of form at the Festival.

Speaking after the race, Elliott said: "She's a good, big, tough mare - she looks like she's a gelding."

"Gigginstown buy these big, staying chasers and all credit to Jack Kennedy, he has come here and nothing is fazing him. She is a big girl and we are lucky to have her."

2017 – Yorkhill

Yorkhill justified favouritism to gain his third win over fences and maintain his unbeaten record over the larger obstacles.

The 2015 Neptune winner was the first leg of a remarkable four-timer for Willie Mullins and Ruby Walsh, who had drawn a blank on the first two days of the Festival.

The form of the 2017 JLT has worked out extremely well as runner-up Top Notch won two Grade Twos earlier this season, and third-placed Disko won a Grade One and Grade Two chase on his next two starts.

Politologue, who finished fourth, has also won two Grade Twos since, as well as a Grade One, and is now one of the market leaders for this year’s Queen Mother Champion Chase.

2016 – Black Hercules:

It was the perfect start for the Irish on St Patrick’s Day when Black Hercules battled bravely under Ruby Walsh to beat Bristol De Mai by three lengths, with L’Ami Serge a length further behind in third.

It was a 50th Cheltenham Festival success for Walsh, who said after the race: “He jumped super, travelled really well and dug really deep when I needed him to. He was tough.”

Black Hercules has not won a race since, and has not run since he finished third in a Grade Two Chase at Thurles in January 2017.

However, last year’s Betfair Chase winner Bristol De Mai and L’Ami Serge, who won the Grade One French Champion Hurdle in June 2017, have certainly boosted the form since.

2015 – Vautour

![(full) Watch Replay] (

Vautour produced one of the most impressive performances we have ever seen at the Festival when he jumped exquisitely and bolted up by 15 lengths.

It was Vautour’s second win at the Festival, having taken the Supreme Novices’ Hurdle in 2014, and he went on to complete a Festival hat-trick when he produced another great round of jumping to win the Ryanair Chase in 2016.

Vautour sadly died when he was put down after a freak accident at Willie Mullins’ yard in November 2016. His owner Rich Ricci, who held the gelding in high regard, paid tribute afterwards and said: “Looking back, he was extraordinary at Cheltenham, he was a sight to see. I’ll never forget that JLT run, it was something to behold.”

2014 – Taquin Du Seuil

A P McCoy fought through the pain barrier to record his second win in the JLT when he guided Taquin Du Seuil to a narrow victory in 2014.

The pair got the better of Uxizandre, who went on to win the Ryanair Chase 12 months later.

McCoy, who had taken a heavy fall in the Juvenile Handicap Hurdle the day before, said afterwards: “I was very sore last night when I was getting out of here. I’m very pleased for Jonjo O’Neill, he just gets them to perform this week. The horse is a survivor.”

2013 – Benefficient

Benefficient caused a 20-1 upset when he powered home to beat hot favourite Dynaste and provided Bryan Cooper with his first Festival winner.

Cooper, who went on to complete a Festival hat-trick the next day when he guided the ill-fated Our Conor to victory in the Triumph Hurdle and Ted Veale in the County Hurdle, said afterwards: “This horse has done so much for me, he has given me my first Grade One and now my first Cheltenham win.

“I never missed a fence. He was wearing a hood for the first time and it made him settle down as he is a bit of a worrier.”

2012 – Sir Des Champs

Sir Des Champs ran out an impressive winner of the JLT in 2012 and followed up his victory with a superb performance when he won the Grade One Champion Novice Chase at Punchestown by 36 lengths.

After his victory in the JLT, winning rider Davy Russell said: “Once he hit the tapes all I had to was keep him on his feet. He was brilliant - wing, wing, wing all the way. He never missed a beat at every fence.”

The Gigginstown House Stud-owned gelding had won the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys' Handicap the year before, and was denied a Festival hat-trick when he finished second in the 2013 Gold Cup behind Bobs Worth under A P McCoy.

Sir Des Champs won 11 of his 25 races under Rules and now races regularly in point-to-points.

2011 – Noble Prince

A P McCoy recorded his 200th winner of the season when he rode former French racer Noble Prince to victory in 2011. The Philip Hobbs-trained Wishful Thinking was sent off the well-backed 7-2 favourite but was unable to go with Noble Prince after the last and eventually finished four lengths adrift. Noble Prince was strongly fancied to follow up his JLT success in the Ryanair Chase 12 months later but failed to complete.

He ran the final race of his career when he was pulled up in a Hunter Chase at Leopardstown in February 2016 and was successful 10 times in his 52 starts under rules.

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