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2013 Jewson Novices' Chase race guide & tips – Dynaste can be imperious

The Jewson Novices' Chase offers an opportunity for leading novice chasers at the intermediate trip of 2m41/2f and is run on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival (due off 1.30pm).

What are the key trends?
Just two renewals of this Grade 2 contest so no real conclusions to be drawn, although both were classy and trainers seem intent on running their best horses, as Willie Mullins showed last term when winning with his Gold Cup prospect Sir Des Champs.

Who's favourite?
At last the market has taken shape with David Pipe confirming Dynaste for the race, and not the RSA Chase for which he's been favourite for most of the season. Connections are clearly not concerned about the fact this is a class down from the RSA and must think he has a better chance in this shorter race. The seven-year-old has oozed class in winning his three chase starts this season, including at the track in November, and he was particularly impressive when winning the Feltham Novices' last time. That does mean he has a relatively long absence to overcome (78 days to be exact), but fitness is rarely an issue for runners from the stable, and he's understandably a short priced favourite to oblige.

Which horses provide the stiffest challenge?
Captain Conan has just about been favourite for this race since betting opened, so connections must be a bit miffed he now has to take on Dynaste. Nicky Henderson's chaser made hard work of beating the re-opposing Third Attention in a 2m41/2f Grade 1 at Sandown last time, but he may not have been at his best that day, and he'd previously won a Grade 2 at this course and a further Grade 1 at Sandown in convincing fashion. He's clearly a class act. Aupcharlie is another who has been rerouted here from the RSA and that looks a wise move as he looked a non-stayer when suffering narrow defeats in 3m Graded contest in Ireland. The betting suggest he's well fancied. 

Any outsiders worth considering?
The ex-French Module is improving at a rate of knots and there wasn't much between him and Captain Conan on their hurdles form in France. He's won both his starts this side of the Channel, albeit against low grade opponents, and has looked in need of the step up to this trip. Several of those just behind him in the betting list are more likely to go elsewhere (and especially now Dynaste is running), but Nicky Henderson's Molotof has the form to contend for a place at least and would be an interesting contender if turning up. 

What's the verdict?
I was of the opinion that DYNASTE was a good thing for the RSA Chase so it would be folly to oppose him now, with connections clearly believing this race represents the 'easier' option, possibly because the shorter trip will place less demands on his stamina. Of course, no festival race can be seen as a soft option and the horses mentioned above are all capable of making a race of it, but this looks at the mercy of the Pipe runner. The only worry would be if the ground dried out to 'good' – he flopped on such a surface in last season's World Hurdle – and for that reason alone I would advise waiting until the day of the race before going in. If it does dry out (unlikely), I'll reluctantly jump ship to Module.

Recommendation: Back Dynaste for the 2013 Jewson Chase at best morning-line odds.


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2013 Jewson Novices' Chase race guide & tips – Dynaste can be imperious

The Jewson Novices' Chase offers an opportunity for leading novice chasers at the intermediate trip of 2m41/2f and is run on the Thursday of the Cheltenham Festival (due off 1.30pm).

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