Every year, the Turners Novices’ Chase picture is a murky one – and this time is no different.
Our 10/3 favourite Mighty Potter is about the only horse prominent in the betting that you’d be confident of lining up in this race come March.
That, plus the fact he currently boasts the best piece of novice chase form this term courtesy of his impressive Drinmore win in early December, makes Gordon Elliott’s seven-year-old a fairly solid proposition at this stage.
However, one look through the betting and you’ll quickly discover there’s no shortage of potential rivals. The question is: who will go here, and who will go elsewhere?
Willie Mullins’ Sir Gerhard is next in the market at 5/1, but he’s currently sidelined and extremely unlikely to make the Cheltenham Festival, so that cannot be advised.
Stablemate James Du Berlais (8/1) is a horse I like a lot. I mentioned him in a recent piece looking at the Brown Advisory, but all the chatter after his fantastic debut over the bigger obstacles is that he could be a horse for intermediate trips.
I’d imagine his target will depend heavily on where El Fabiolo, another Closutton inmate who also sports the double green silks of Simon Munir & Isaac Suede, ends up. He’s 9/1 for the Turners right now, which would be a fantastic bet if he were to go this route – but the Arkle looks more likely at present.
The one I haven’t yet mentioned yet is Appreciate It at 8s. He’s won two novice chases so far, and is another who could step up in trip. Mullins surely won’t them all in the two-miler. Or will he? Like I said… murky.
Thyme Hill and Allegorie De Vassy are both 10/1 at Betfred for the Turners but are surely bound for the Brown Advisory and Mares’ Chase respectively.
Similarly for the pair at 12s – Gerri Colombe and Dysart Dynamo – other targets (Brown Advisory & Arkle) are currently the priority.
After that, you’re looking at a whole host of horses who are either way off the mark on form or also likely to target elsewhere.
So, the bottom line is that right now, Mighty Potter is a warm favourite. However, that could very easily change in the coming weeks – especially after the Dublin Racing Festival, where we’ll surely learn more about which of the Willie Mullins battalion will be stepping up in trip.