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2022 National Hunt Chase Tips - Elliott's star to Run Wild at Cheltenham

jon-vine
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Last updated: 01 Mar 2022
Jon Vine 01 Mar 2022
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  • Ante-post tips and odds for the 2022 National Hunt Chase
  • This Grade Two takes place on day one of the Cheltenham Festival on Tuesday 15th March 2022
  • Stattler, Run Wild Fred, Vanillier and Fury Road feature prominently in the betting
  • We're backing Run Wild Fred at 3/1
Expired
national hunt chase cheltenham
Galvin (right) Escaria Ten (left) and Next Destination (centre) fight out the finish in the 2021 National Hunt Chase. (Getty)

The curtain comes down on day one of the Cheltenham Festival with the second-oldest race of the entire meeting, the National Hunt Chase.

This Grade Two for novice chasers was first staged in 1860 and only amateur jockeys are permitted to take part. The National Hunt Chase was formerly run over a grueling trip of four miles, but the distance was reduced by two furlongs two years ago, in a bid to make the race safer.

I’ve cast my eye through the possible entries for this year’s National Hunt Chase and picked out my best Cheltenham Festival tips.

2022 National Hunt Chase Odds


Name
Odds
Stattler11/4
Run Wild Fred3/1
Vanillier5/1
Fury Road7/1
Farouk D'alene8/1
Bar10/1

*Odds taken on 1/3/22*

2022 National Hunt Chase Runners

Britain has only managed to win four of the last 12 renewals of the National Hunt Chase. I’d be surprised if that record didn’t stretch to four from 13, as several high-quality Irish raiders – most of whom would hold their own in Grade One company - dominate the ante-post betting.

Willie Mullins has already confirmed that his son, Patrick will partner the talented Stattler, who edged out Farouk D’alene to win a Grade Three last time out. Mullins can also call upon Ontheropes, who has finished fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy and fifth in the Thyestes Handicap Chase since winning the Munster National.

Gordon Elliott’s leading light is second-season novice Run Wild Fred, who will most certainly be ridden by leading amateur Jamie Codd. Neville Hotels winner, Fury Road and recent Grade Two winner, Farouk D’alene could also represent Elliott, but it’s likely one, or both could be sent to the Brown Advisory Chase instead. Elliott has also entered the improving Braeside, who he confirmed would run in this Grade Two in his Cheltenham Festival stable tour.

Gavin Cromwell will likely throw last year’s Albert Bartlett winner, Vanillier into the mix, and it’s been rumoured that Derek O’Connor, another top Irish amateur jockey, will ride this exceptionally strong stayer. Noel Meade could run Diol Ker, who’s yet to win over fences but did prove his stamina when finishing a good fourth in the Thyestes last time out.

British hopes could lie at the feet of Rebecca Curtis’ Pats Fancy, who’s been running well in staying novice handicap chases all season. Threeunderthrufive will likely take up his Brown Advisory Chase entry, allowing the McNeill’s retained jockey, Adrian Heskin to keep the ride. Does He Know could also run in the National Hunt Chase, but if he was to run on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, I suspect Kim Bailey would rather go for the Ultima Handicap Chase.

2022 National Hunt Chase Tips

I can’t see an upset happening in this year’s National Hunt Chase. The likes of Pats Fancy and Braeside may appeal from an each way standpoint, but the top four in the market are rated somewhere between 154 and 160, so it’s a huge ask for 145-rated horses to try and beat them off level weights. 

Gordon Elliott has said on a couple of occasions that the National Hunt Chase was made for RUN WILD FRED, and I can’t help but agree. As a first-season novice, Elliott’s charge finished second in both the Thyestes and the Irish Grand National, and Run Wild Fred has taken his game to a new level this term.

Following a good performance over a shorter trip on his reappearance, Davy Russell’s mount thrashed Farclas and some other dangerous rivals to win the lucrative Troytown Handicap. Run Wild Fred then made a horrendous error down the back-straight in the Neville Hotels, but somehow managed to recover and finish a strong second behind Fury Road.

Run Wild Fred has missed a couple of assignments since that run, once due to a temperature and the other on account of heavy ground. Yet, he goes well fresh, so I’m not worried by a 77-day absence going into the Cheltenham Festival and, if Jamie Codd is indeed confirmed in Run Wild Fred’s saddle, I think he’ll take plenty of beating in a high-quality renewal of the National Hunt Chase. 

Verdict

Stattler is too classy to be ruled out and I’m expecting Vanillier to relish this challenge. Yet, I fancied that Run Wild Fred would be pointed at this race at the start of the season and, after what he's produced in recent starts, I don't want to side against Gordon Elliott's experienced novice.
2022 National Hunt Chase Best Bet: Run Wild Fred Straight Win @3/1 at Betfred - 20 Units
Run Wild Fred
Straight Win
@3/1 - 20 Units
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15 Mar 2022

2022 National Hunt Chase