Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips: Unbeaten Vinndication impossible to oppose at Ascot

The 2018 Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips from Horsebetting.com say Kim Bailey’s unbeaten Vinndication is a worthy favourite to land the spoils in this 2m 5f Grade 2 event at Ascot on Friday, 21 December. Count Meribel is feared most despite carrying a penalty for trainer Nigel Twiston-Davies. If proving no worse for unseating at Cheltenham last weekend, however, then Lil Rockerfeller is not without claims either in a small but select field. Read all about this important festive race in our detailed 2018 Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips preview.

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Odds
11/10
Selection
Vinndication
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Odds
3/1
Danger
Count Meribel
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Odds
7/2
E/W
Lil Rockerfeller
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Vinndication the Noel bet to maintain undefeated streak

Trainer Kim Bailey has his team in great order at present, so his unbeaten Vinndication is impossible to oppose in the 2m 5f Grade 2 Noel Novices’ Chase at Ascot on Friday (14:30). This five-year-old son of Vinnie Roe is a course and distance hurdles winner who is five from five under rules and getting weight from his two main rivals here.

The back form of his hurdling career last season is very strong and Vinndication still has huge scope for improvement as he’s so lightly-raced. After landing a Ludlow bumper on debut last November, he stepped up to an extended 2m 4f at Leicester and ran out a 4 1/2 lengths winner over Coolanly.

The runner-up has come out this season and won the Grade 2 Hyde Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham. Vinndication then came strongly from the last to lead close home and just touch off Champ by a neck this venue in January. Again, the form has a strong look to it as the runner-up has since landed his next three starts in comfortable fashion.

Although then dropping back in trip for a Listed contest at Huntingdon, Vinndication stayed on gamely for a 3 1/4 lengths success over Western Ryder. The runner-up has finished a four-length fifth and third in the Greatwood Handicap and International Hurdle at Cheltenham this season, and the front two pulled a further 23 lengths clear of the third.

Race terms favoured unexposed chaser

Connections then decided to go chasing with Vinndication and it was a tough examination on reappearance at Carlisle. Regular jockey David Bass found himself hard pressed from three out, but he fended off a sustained challenge by staying on really gamely in the last 100 yards to assert and score by a couple of lengths.

These exploits have earned the undefeated Vinndication an official mark of 149 which, on adjusted ratings due to the race terms, puts him well-in on Count Meribel and with only 1lb to find on Lil Rockerfeller. Given the further progress he is open to compared to those rivals, he is definitely the one to be on here.

As his stable is bang in-form, each of the last four renewals were won by five-year-olds and the terms are entirely in his favour, there’s simply nothing not to like about his profile for this. Vinndication is therefore readily put up as our main selection in these 2018 Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips.

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Count Meribel feared most

Only four line-up for this renewal, but of the remainder Cheltenham winner Count Meribel may give Vinndication the most to think about for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The six-year-old is unbeaten in two starts over fences, but must give 3lb away to the favourite as a result.

Count Meribel has also won here at Ascot over this trip on the hurdles course, making all for a facile eight-length success in a class 2 novice race last November. That brought up a hat-trick after landing back-to-back contests at Carlisle at the start of last season and he went on chase home subsequent victor Kilbricken Storm in the official trial for that Cheltenham Festival event, the Grade 2 Bristol Novices’ Hurdle.

That was as good as it got over the smaller obstacles for Count Meribel, as he was last to finish in the similar grade Leamington Novices’ Hurdle at Warwick, and then when back here and dropped in class, before pulling up at Aintree. He resumed winning ways on reappearance and his chase bow at Carlisle where he kept on strongly to beat Jammin Masters by 2 1/2 lengths.

Already evidence he’s better over fences

After landing that handicap, Count Meribel returned to novice company when stepped up in class at Cheltenham and reversed Warwick hurdles form with Mr Whipped. He was a really game winner here when driven out in the hands of regular jockey Mark Grant and holding Le Breuil by a neck.

Only a length separated the first four home, however, and the tailed off fifth Jerrysback, who re-opposes in this, came out and won his next start at Bangor quite cleverly. Mr Whipped has also landed a race since, while Le Breuil finished a far from disgraced third to leading RSA Chase contender Santini in a Grade 2 at Newbury where the runner-up Rocky’s Treasure in turn came out and cruised to victory in a similar grade affair at Doncaster.

With strong form lines of his own, Count Meribel is not without claims of taking another step forward here. However, the reason we advise punters to side with Vinndication in our 2018 Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips is he gets weight from this one and is already rated superior.

Lil Rockerfeller can’t be entirely discounted

Aforementioned duo Jerrysback and Lil Rockferller complete the field, and the latter tops the official figures. The Neil King trained seven-year-old is a plucky underdog who won the Coral Hurdle at this venue last season and plundered a valuable staying handicap on the Flat at Glorious Goodwood over the summer.

Lil Rockerfeller has been chasing since and won his first three starts before unseating regular rider Wayne Hutchinson at the second around Cheltenham just seven days ago. The sum of his career over fences so far is he jumps slowly – perhaps too slowly to be any use over a trip shorter than this.

Mistakes are also cause for concern with Lil Rockerfeller, but he is rated 9lb better than Jerrysback which, even though he gives Philip Hobbs and JP McManus’ runner weight, puts him well clear. While it’s hard to see either winning this, the former has at worst placed in 26 of his 37 career outings under rules.

While Lil Rockerfeller needs to be slicker over his fences, if he is to justify his lofty rating then he really must make the frame again here. With only four going to post, however, there is no each-way betting, so our 2018 Noel Novices’ Chase betting tips conclude a straight forecast featuring Vinndication and Count Meribel looks the best value.

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