Dipper Novices’ Chase betting tips: On The Blind Side the one to be on at Cheltenham

Horsebetting.com experts give their 2019 Dipper Novices’ Chase betting tips for the 2m 4f Grade 2 contest at Cheltenham on Tuesday, 1 January. On The Blind Side makes his eagerly awaited chasing debut for in-form trainer Nicky Henderson and looks value to land the spoils. Black Op shaped nicely on chasing debut and is feared most now stepped up in trip. Defi Du Seuil scored in good style last time out, so is another with claims despite having to give weight all round. Our in-depth 2019 Dipper Novices’ Chase betting tips preview below has full details on these horses’ chances on a cracking seven-race New Year’s Day card at Prestbury Park.

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Odds
100/30
Selection
On The Blind Side
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William Hill logo
Odds
11/4
Danger
Black Op
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Unibet logo
Odds
11/4
E/W
Defi Du Seuil
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On The Blind Side the answer to Dipper Novices’ Chase

In-form trainer Nicky Henderson has a good recent record in the Dipper Novices’ Chase, so On The Blind Side looks decent value to further enhance it with victory in this year’s renewal of the Grade 2 contest over 2m 4f at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day (13:25). The Seven Barrows handler has won two of the last five renewals courtesy of Oscar Whisky (2014) and Whisper (2017).

In On The Blind Side, he has a seven-year-old who looked a top notch prospect last season when winning his first three starts over hurdles. In the last of those, the imposing gelding –  who won his sole start in an Irish point – could not have been more impressive when landing the 2m 4f Grade 2 Winter Novices’ Hurdle at Sandown.

After tracking the leaders going well, On The Blind side loomed up to the leaders and took up the running at the second last. When jockey Nico de Boinville asked him to then go about his business, the response was immediate and the son of Stowaway quickened up smartly to put daylight between himself and his toiling rivals, before surging up the hill to easily beat Springtown Lake by nine lengths.

Course and distance hurdles winner

It was a sensational performance, especially as he was giving 5lb all-round to a field which  contained five previous winners from top stables as a result of his success in a similar grade and competitive affair over course and distance. He looked something special, but injury then ruled On The Blind Side out of the Cheltenham Festival.

Henderson had to take a softly, softly approach with him. He was clearly not at his best when sent off the 11/8 favourite following a lengthy break and finishing a nine-length sixth of 12 to Black op in a Grade 1 at Aintree’s Grand National meeting when last seen in action.

On The Blind Side has since undergone wind surgery and has the size and scope to make up into an even better chaser. He has reportedly been schooling in scintillating style at home and is currently a top-price 20/1 in the ante post betting for the JLT Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

This is no easy introduction for him over the larger obstacles, however, as he faces some classy rivals. However, On The Blind Side receives a handy 3lb from Defi Du Seuil and is strongly fancied to land the spoils en route to better things. Hence he features as the main selection in our 2019 Dipper Novices’ Chase betting tips.

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Black Op feared most now stepped up in trip

The aforementioned Black Op shaped with plenty of promise on chasing debut, so looks the main danger to On The Blind Side. Prior to scoring at Aintree, this Tom George trained eight-year-old ran a screamer to finish a 2 3/4 lengths second of 14 to Samcro in the Grade 1 Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival. He ended the season on a rating of 151, 1lb higher than the selection.

Connections always maintained that the son of Sandmason, who also won his sole start in an Irish point, would really come into his own when going chasing and there was certainly lots to like about his debut over the larger obstacles when a 4 1/4 lengths third of seven to Defi Du Seuil over 2m 3f at Exeter last month.

Sure to come on reappearance run

Black Op raced prominently throughout and travelled like the best horse for much of the contest. He got tapped for toe when the pace quickened, but then stuck to the task well without being unduly knocked about once headed.

He looks sure to come on a bundle for that outing and experience over a trip which was on the sharp side. The extra furlong or so in this is sure to suit and see him in a far better light. Black Op also now meets the winner, who had the benefit of a previous outing, on 3lb better terms.

Granted normal improvement, that should be enough to see Black Op turn the tables on that rival. That’s why he is feared most and expected to give On The Blind Side plenty to think about in a classy and fascinating renewal of the Dipper.

Defi Du Seuil another with leading claims

Defi Du Seuil faces no easy task under a 3lb penalty, but cannot be ruled out given that he scored at Exeter in terrific style and appeals as the type that has plenty more to offer for top trainer Philip Hobbs. The six-year-old was a top class juvenile hurdler in 2017 when unbeaten in seven starts.

Those successes included victory in the Grade 1 Triumph Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival and Defi Du Seuil has won four of his five starts at the venue. His sole defeat at the track came on chasing debut in November when trailing in a bitterly disappointing 25 lengths last of five to Lalor in the official Arkle Trial.

However, he left that below par bow over fences well behind when running on strongly to beat Topofthegame by 3 1/2 lengths at Exeter. That was a massive step forward by the JP McManus owned gelding, and he jumped and travelled far better than on his previous outing.

Judged on that display, Defi Du Seuil has a big future over fences, but it remains to be seen if he can back it up. If he can, he looks sure to make his presence felt, but giving weight all-round makes things difficult and for that reason he is opposed on this occasion.

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