Turners Novices’ Chase Stats and Trends: Age, Trainer, Finishing Position and Previous Start Odds

2011 saw an expansion to the Cheltenham Festival menu, with a selection of quality contests added to the programme in an effort to fill perceived gaps. One such event was this excellent Novice Chase, which now kicks off the Day 3 action. Held over a trip of 2m4f, the Turners Novices’ Chase provides a Festival target for the up-and-coming chasers who are not quite quick enough for the Arkle Chase but who lack the stamina for the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase.

Officially titled the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase – in honour of the five-time Cheltenham Gold Cup winner – the race benefited from the sponsorship of Jewson, JLT, and Marsh before transport firm Turners took over in 2022. Initially a Grade 2 affair, the race attained Grade 1 status ahead of the 2014 edition and has remained a top-tier event ever since.

Despite its relative youth, this £175,000 (2024) event has compiled an impressive roll of honour, headlined by the brilliant Vautour, who landed the prize in 2015. In common with the other novice events at the festival, this race attracts a highly touted field of contenders from both sides of the Irish Sea. Many bubbles have burst here, whilst others have gone on to deliver on their previous promise in spectacular style. So, what type of horse does it take to prevail? Here, we look at the 13 results between 2011 and 2023 and pick out the trends and stats which may assist in identifying the most likely winner.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Age Trends

Turners Novices’ Chase: Age Trends

Whilst open to chasers aged five and older, none so young have ever come home in front (as of 2023). Given its novice status, the race is unlikely to attract many old-timers, with most horses commencing their chasing career at between five and seven years of age. 2020 champ Samcro was the oldest winner across the first 13 editions, but overall, the seven-year-olds boast much the best record, with nine of 13 winners (69.23%) falling into that category.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Trainer Stats

Turners Novices’ Chase: Trainer Stats

The powerhouse quartet of Willie Mullins, Gordon Elliott, Nicky Henderson, and Paul Nicholls all managed to get on the scoresheet across the first 13 editions, with the genuinely small yards struggling to make their mark. There are no surprises at the top of the table, with Willie Mullins setting about confirming his strength in this division in double quick time.

Paul Nolan landed the inaugural edition for Ireland, and the home team have struggled to keep pace ever since. The score stood at 3-0 to Ireland before the first British win in 2014 and sits at 9-4 in favour of the Irish ahead of the 2024 edition.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Finishing Position Last Time Out

Turners Novices’ Chase: Finishing Position Last Time Out

Runners who posted a solid performance on their previous appearance have dominated this event. 10 of 13 editions fell to a last-time out winner, whilst 12 of 13 (92.31%) winners had finished in the first two on their most recent outing. The odd horse out was 2016 winner Black Hercules, who bounced back from a fall at Navan to hand Willie Mullins his third win in this race.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Previous Starts Over Fences

Turners Novices’ Chase: Previous Starts Over Fences

Of course, as a novice event, this race is tailored for chasers with only limited experience over fences – but given just how competitive it is, a proven ability to jump the larger obstacles is necessary. So, how many runs does it take to prepare a challenger for the heat of battle? Not too many, as it turns out. Yorkhill (2017) and Bob Ollinger (2022) both managed to win this on only their third career start, whilst no winners had more than five previous chase outings. Three runs led the way between 2011 and 2023, with six of 13 winners (46.15%) falling into that category.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Class to the Fore

Turners Novices' Chase Highest Grade Previously Won

Many of the top-class events at the meeting favour those runners with a proven ability at the highest level – and that is certainly the case here. Nine of the 13 winners (69.23%) had previously won in Grade 1 company. All bar one had scored at Listed level or above, with 2021 hero Chantry House the sole exception.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Fate of the Favourite

A strike rate of four wins from 13 editions (30.77%) roughly equates with the average win rate across all races. However, with all four of those winning jollies priced between 6/4 and 9/2, a £1 level stakes bet on the market leader secured a profit of £3.17.

Overall, the market rarely got this too far wrong, with 12 of the 13 winners returning a single-figure SP – including nine at 9/2 or shorter. The biggest shock came courtesy of 20/1 shot Benefficient, who claimed top spot for Tony Martin in 2013.

Turners Novices’ Chase: Other Stats

  • All 13 winners had previously won over 2m4f or further.
  • All 13 winners had run within the last 77 days. None arrived following a break of less than 29 days.
  • The now-retired Ruby Walsh (3), Tony McCoy (2), and Davy Russell (2) were the only jockeys with more than one win to their name. Harry Cobden and Nico de Boinville were the only English riders to win.
  • Nine of 13 winners had previously won at Cheltenham.
  • Stallions Robin Des Champs, Voix Du Nord, and Yeats enjoyed a strong start in this race – each picking up two wins between 2011 and 2023.