Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Date is Saturday, 26 December 2021

Racecourse: Kempton Park

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Type: Grade 1 National Hunt Novices’ Steeplechase

Age Of The Horses: Four Years Old And Up

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Distance: 3 Miles

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Page Contents

General Race Info

Runners & Tips

Stats & Trends

Past Winners

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase General Info

Originally known as the Feltham Novices’ Chase, the Kauto Star was renamed in honour of one of the greatest Gold Cup winners we’ve ever seen.

Although arguably not as good as the great Kauto Star, a top winner of this race to have gone on to Cheltenham glory was Coneygree, who managed to win the Gold Cup itself as a novice chaser back in 2015.

The Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2019 was run as usual at Kempton Park during their King George meeting on Boxing Day, Thursday December 26th, over three miles with 18 fences to be jumped. That year’s renewal was worth £100,000. Lots of bets for much higher cost were made too. If you

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Runners & Tips

The Kauto Star Novices Chase is a Grade 1 event over three miles and is regarded as a key trial for the Festival Chase at Cheltenham (formerly the RSA Chase). The race is named after the five-times King George VI Chase winner having previously been run as the Feltham Novices’ Chase. Notable past winners include Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Long Run (2009) and Coneygree (2014).

Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 entries are headed by the highly rated Bravemansgame, trained by Paul Nicholls. He has been compared favourably to Denman at a similar stage of his career by Nicholls. The other entry to note in the Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 runners is Ahoy Senor, trained by Lucinda Russell, an impressive hurdles Aintree winner last season when defeating Bravemansgame by 7 lengths.

Kauto Star Novices Chase 1.55 Kempton Park – Sunday 26th December

  1. Ahoy Senor (Lucinda Russell)
  2. Bravemansgame (Paul Nicholls)
  3. Kiltealy Briggs (Jamie Snowden)
  4. Tea Clipper (Tom Lacey)

Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 Tips

Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 tips have centred around Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor, both leading contenders for the Festival Novices Chase at Cheltenham. The race has been billed as a duel between the two exciting young chasers so it is no surprise to see only two other Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 entries in Kiltealy Briggs and Tea Clipper.

This race will certainly have an impact on the Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting. Bravemansgame is currently 11-2 joint-favourite for the Festival Novices Chase with Galopin Des Champs who is due to make his chasing debut at Leopardstown on Tuesday. Ahoy Senor is only half a point longer at 6-1 so this race should see a clear favourite established for Cheltenham.

Bravemansgame

The obvious choice for Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 tips is Bravemansgame. Trainer Paul Nicholls has made no secret of how highly he rates this horse, a six-year-old son of Brave Mansonnien. Although successful three times over hurdles, his future always lay over the bigger obstacles and he has looked a natural in recording easy victories at Newton Abbot and Haydock.

Bravemansgame finished a respectable third to Bob Olinger in the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He was made favourite at Aintree next time but was beaten by Ahoy Senor over an extended three miles. Nicholls pitched the gelding straight into an Intermediate Chase for his debut over jumps where he defeated Fusil Raffles impressively.

He then won a Graduation Chase at Haydock in similar fashion, jumping boldly to beat Itchy Feet by two and three-quarter lengths. He was a little low over the first couple of fences but looked very agile and jockey Harry Cobden was able to take things very easy all the way up the home straight.

Ahoy Senor

Ahoy Senor is the apple of Linda Russell’s eye and has to be considered the main danger to the favourite for your Kauto Star Novices Chase tips. He is a six-year-old by Dylan Thomas and has won three of his five races under rules.

After winning a maiden hurdle at Ayr in March, he produced a stunning performance to beat odds-on Bravemansgame decisively at Aintree. He started at odds of 66-1 that day but made all the running before pulling clear on the run-in. Russell immediately turned her attentions to novice chases for the stable star. Like his main market rival, Ahoy Senor tackled more experienced jumpers on his chasing bow, in the Colin Parker Memorial Chase at Carlisle.

He led until the tenth fence where he was challenged by Fiddlerontheroof. He was a length down when unseating his rider at the second last, although he was a little unfortunate to sprawl on landing. None the worse for that mishap, he then romped to a 31 lengths win at Newbury in a Grade 2 novices’ chase. He showed his inexperience with some very novicey jumps, landing on all fours on a couple of occasions, but he clearly has a very big engine. Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor are clear Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 favourites at around 4-6 and 6-4 respectively.

Tea Clipper

Tom Lacey saddles Tea Clipper, a son of Stowaway with five wins from eleven starts under rules. He was rated 142 over hurdles and finished a fine third in the Coral Cup at the Cheltenham Festival. He then filled the same spot in a competitive handicap at Aintree when ridden by Rachael Blackmore.

Lacey put him over fences at Chepstow in October where he jumped well and ran on strongly to beat Fidelio Vallis by three lengths. The next stop was the Grade 2 Berkshire Chase at Newbury. Although there were only four runners, it turned into an incident-packed affair with only two completing. Pic D’Orhy fell four out when going strongly in front. That left Millers Bank in the lead but he unseated his rider two out.

That left Nassalam to come home 30 lengths ahead of Tea Clipper who had never looked like winning at any stage. Although Pic D’Orhy has won easily since, that form does not look good enough to trouble the two market leaders on Sunday.

Kauto Star Novices Chase Offers

Despite only attracting four runners, this race is certainly going to influence the Cheltenham Festival ante-post betting. There are plenty of Kauto Star Novices Chase tips for both Bravemansgame and Ahoy Senor and it is likely to come down to the jumping. Kauto Star Novices Chase 2021 offers will feature the front two in the market on King George VI Chase day at Kempton.

Special bookmaker offers include free bets for new customers while existing customers can take advantage of price boosts. Sponsors Ladbrokes will provide new customers placing a £5 bet with 4 x £5 free bets (valid for seven days). Other Kauto Star Novices Chase offers include £30 in free bets from Sky Bet when you open a new account and place any bet from as little as five pence! The race is due off at 1.55 pm at Kempton Park on Sunday 26th December and will be televised live on ITV. 

Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Stats & Trends

Having been shared out fairly evenly and with no trainer(s) having dominated, the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase 2019 could be taken by just about any yard with a good, young staying chaser on their hands.

With the exception of Long Run (4) and Joe Lively (8), all of our post-millennium winners have been aged 5-7 so that’s the area to concentrate on, but it’s important to note that given the last 18 winners’ subsequent performances at Cheltenham, it may be wise not to concentrate on the horses supposedly leading the way in this division.

That fact is also backed up by the prices of the last 18 winners. 7 favourites have won in that time, but that’s not a great percentage for a Grade 1 race and in fact the average starting price of winners here is more than 5/1 in this time period with winners right up to 12/1, 14/1 and 33/1, so don’t by any means concentrate only on the market leaders when handicapping Kauto Star Novices’ Chase runners.

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Past Kauto Star Novices’ Chase Winners

With such names as Santini and Topofthegame in the 2018 Kauto Star for such top trainers as Nicky Henderson and Paul Nicholls respectively, it was expected by many that they would be fighting out the finish.

Instead though, Warren Greatrex’s 8/1 shot La Bague Au Roi was the one that, having passed 11/10 favourite Santini, who put it up to Topofthegame (5/1) at the last fence, jumping better than his rival before very gamely edging ahead towards the line for a famous win.

He didn’t go on to the Cheltenham Festival, instead heading to Ireland and then Aintree, but plenty of others have as we see here in the list of all Kauto Star Novices’ Chase winners since the turn of the millennium.

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer Festival Performance
2020 Shan Blue 6 Harry Skelton Dan Skelton Did not race
2019 Slate House 7 Robbie Power Colin Tizzard 6th in RSA Chase
2018 La Bague Au Roi 7 Richard Johnson Warren Greatrex Did not race
2017 Black Corton 6 Bryony Frost Paul Nicholls 5th in RSA Chase
2016 Royal Vacation 6 Paddy Brennan Colin Tizzard Pulled-up in RSA Chase
2015 Tea For Two 6 Lizzie Kelly Nick Williams Did not race
2014 Coneygree 7 Nico de Boinville Mark Bradstock 1st in Gold Cup
2013 Annacotty 5 Ian Popham Martin Keighley 8th in RSA Chase
2012 Dynaste 6 Tom Scudamore David Pipe 2nd in Jewson Novices’
2011 Grands Crus 6 Tom Scudamore David Pipe 4th in RSA Chase
2010 No Race - - - -

What Happened in 2020?

Trainer-jockey brothers Dan and Harry Skelton pulled off a Kempton Boxing Day double thanks to Third Time Lucki in a novice hurdle and then Shan Blue completing his hat-trick over fences in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase. This was another fluent performance from the dual Wetherby winner stepping up markedly in class. Shan Blue raced prominently throughout and jumped best of all. Sent off the 7/4 favourite, his supporters never had an anxious moment despite pressure in the home straight from main market rival The Big Breakaway. A mistake by Colin Tizzard’s 16/5 chance under Robbie Power at the last ensured victory for Shan Blue, who scored by 3¾ lengths in convincing fashion.

The front two pulled almost four lengths further clear of the rallying If The Cap Fits, who raced in rear for much of the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase and then picked off tiring pacier horses. Harry Fry’s useful staying hurdler just took third on the run to the line at 4/1 from 40/1 rank outsider Golan Fortune from the Phil Middleton stable. If The Cap Fits was never going the pace to challenge Shan Blue, however, with Nick Williams inmate One For The Team (18/1) the last of five to complete. Both Paul Nicholls runner Enrilo (6/1) and Phillip Hobbs’ Kalooki (12/1) got pulled before the third last.