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2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Tips - Murphy's star to Rock rivals at Sandown

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  • Odds and betting predictions for the 2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase
  • This Grade One takes place at Sandown on Saturday 4th February
  • Gordon Elliott's Gerri Colombe tops Monmiral in the betting
  •  Thunder Rock is our best betting tip at 4/1
thunder rock
Adrian Heskin riding Thunder Rock clear the last to win The Racing Welfare Novices' Limited Handicap Chase at Ascot Racecourse. (Getty)

While Irish eyes are focused on day one of the Dublin Racing Festival, Sandown will host the Grade One Scilly Isles Novices' Chase. This two-and-a-half-mile contest was won by future Cheltenham Festival winner L'Homme Presse 12 months ago and this year's contest looks set to be a thriller.

We've taken a look through the confirmed field for the 2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase and picked out our best betting tips.

2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Odds

Gerri Colombe4/5
Balco Coastal4/1
Thunder Rock4/1

*Odds taken on 2/2/23*

2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Entries

Irish raiders don't often travel over for the Scilly Isles, but there's a good chance Gerri Colombe could skip Leopardstown in favour of a run at Sandown. Elliott's six-year-old won the Grade One at Limerick over Christmas, and any extra softening in the ground would increase Gerri Colombe's chances of participation.

Paul Nicholls and Harry Cobden will team up with Monmiral, who finished second behind The Real Whacker in the Dipper Novices' Chase. Thunder Rock stayed on up the hill to finish third that day and Olly Murphy's charge will renew rivalries with Monmiral on Saturday.

Nicky Henderson will run impressive Kempton handicap winner, Balco Coastal. The fifth and final entrant is Ben Pauling's Bowtogreatness, who's yet to win in two starts over fences.

2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Tips

Jordan Gainford misses the opening day of the Dublin Racing Festival to ride Gerri Colombe at Sandown. Gordon Elliott confirmed his star on Thursday, despite a dry forecast in the build-up to Saturday's card, which should ensure that the ground remains good-to-soft.

Gerri Colombe is the best horse in this race, but there's no doubt that softer ground would greatly enhance his chances and this strong stayer could get outpaced, especially over those fearsome railway fences. Monmiral and Balco Coastal have the ability to contend, but with Olly Murphy's stable in such red-hot form, I'll side with THUNDER ROCK.

A four-time winner over hurdles last year, Thunder Rock began life over fences with two impressive victories, including an eight-length thrashing of Solo around Ascot. Adrian Heskin's mount jumped poorly on his first start around Cheltenham in the Dipper last time out, but made up plenty of ground in the closing stages to finish a close third, crossing the line just a head behind Monmiral, having given his rival a ten-length headstart coming into the straight.

Murphy's runners have been striking at close to 30% over the past two weeks and the Scilly Isles will bring back great memories after Itchy Feet handed the team their first Grade One triumph at Sandown back in 2020.


Gerri Colombe will be a tough nut to crack, but good ground will certainly be to Thunder Rock's advantage and he could hand Olly Murphy a second victory in this Grade One.

2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase Tips: Thunder Rock Straight Win @4/1 at BetUK - 15 Units
Thunder Rock
Straight Win
@4/1 - 15 Units
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04 Feb 2023

2023 Scilly Isles Novices' Chase