Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Stats and Trends: Age, Trainer, Finishing Position, Previous Starts & Highest Grade Odds

Day 2 at the Cheltenham Festival sees one of the year’s most prestigious novice chase contests, as a quality field goes to post in this 3m½f affair. Going under the official title of the Broadway Novices’ Chase, the event made its debut at the 1946 meeting and has undergone numerous sponsorship-based name changes over the years – most notably being held as the RSA Chase between 1974 and 2024, thanks to the backing of the RSA Insurance Group.

Twenty fences stand between the field and glory in a race which places a premium upon jumping ability and staying power – much like the flagship contest of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Therefore, it isn’t too surprising to learn that several winners of this have claimed the big one in subsequent seasons, including Arkle, Garrison Savanah, Lord Windermere, and the mighty Denman.

Offering £175,000 (2023) in total prize money and considerable prestige, this is the number one target for the most talented staying novice chasers and can be relied upon to provide a titanic clash between the best of the British contenders and those making the trip across the Irish Sea. Stamina and jumping excellence should feature high on your shortlist when attempting to identify the winner, but are there any other factors which may point us in the right direction?

Here, we look back at the 23 editions of the race between 2000 and 2023 (2001 being a festival-free year due to the foot and mouth outbreak) and pick out a selection of stats and trends which may assist in narrowing the field to the most likely contenders.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Age Trends

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Age of Winner

We have a solid start for trends fans with this event overwhelmingly dominated by seven-year-olds. The five-year-old Star de Mohaison (2006) was the biggest outlier at the bottom end of the scale, whilst eight-year-olds Rule Supreme (2004) and Might Bite (2017) were the relative old-timers of our sample, but between 2000 and 2023, 18 of 23 winners (78.26%) were seven years of age.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Trainer Stats

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Top Trainers

Fifteen trainers claimed Brown Advisory gold between 2000 and 2023, representing a decent overall spread of winners. Nevertheless, the most familiar names in the training game have muscled their way to the top of the table. British juggernauts Paul Nicholls and Nicky Henderson have fared best of the home team, but leading the way is that man Willie Mullins. Having also landed the prize with Florida Pearl in 1998, Mullins’ overall tally of five victories makes him the most successful trainer in the history of the race.

Despite the best efforts of Willie Mullins, the British-based trainers have more than held their own in this race, with 14 wins to the nine of the Irish.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Finishing Position Last Time Out

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Finishing Position Last Time Out

In order to be entered for a race such as this, it makes sense that most contenders would have shown solid form at the track – particularly those who go on to win the race. When looking at the results of the race, that theory holds true. 13 of the 23 winners (56.52%) also scored on their previous outing, whilst 21 of 23 (91.30%) finished in the first two. The only horse to finish outside the first three was Champ, who fell in the race before this in 2020 but he got the triumph at Cheltenham.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Previous Starts over Fences

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Previous Starts Over Fences

Heading into any novice event at the Cheltenham Festival, trainers aim to provide their contenders with enough experience to cope with the challenge ahead without running them so many times that they hit their peak before the big day. But how many runs is optimal when priming a runner to be at their best when it really matters? The results between 2000 and 2023 suggest that the answer is between three and five, with 20 of 23 winners (86.96%) falling into that category.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Class to the Fore

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase Highest Grade Previously Won

It is not impossible for a contender to put in a breakout Grade 1 winning performance in this event, but most winners have already proven they are up to this class or at least hinted that they might be. Between 2000 and 2023, 15 of 23 winners (65.22%) had previously won in Grade 1 or Grade 2 company.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Fate of the Favourite

The favourite began the century poorly with six successive defeats between 2000 and 2006 but bounced back to register eight wins from 23 editions overall. A £1 level stakes punt on the market leader over this period would have returned a profit of £2.58.

17 of the 23 winners returned a single-figure SP, including 13 at 5/1 or shorter. The biggest shocks came via 25/1 shot Rule Supreme in 2004 and 33/1 chance Hussard Collonges in 2002.

Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase: Other Stats

  • 18 of 23 winners had previously won over 2m7½f or further.
  • 19 of 23 winners had run within the last 53 days. None arrived following a break of more than 78 days.
  • 17 jockeys rode the winner between 2000 and 2023. Barry Geraghty (4), Davy Russell (3), and Ruby Walsh (2) were the only riders with more than one win, but all three have now retired.
  • 11 of 23 winners had previously won at the course.
  • The 2m5½f Grade 1 Novice event at the Leopardstown February meeting was the most informative stepping stone to the race, with five winners emerging from that event. The Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot provided three winners, and the Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham two victors.
  • Oscar (Lord Windermere 2013, O’Faolain’s Boy 2014) and Presenting (Denman 2007, Weapon’s Amnesty 2010) were the only stallions who sired more than one winner.