2021 Marsh Novices’ Chase Betting Tips – Envoi Allen a Cheltenham Festival Banker

Cheltenham Festival Betting Tips · Thursday, 18th Mar 2021 - 13:20

Not even change of stable can stop hotpot

Envoi Allen is everyone’s idea of a Cheltenham Festival banker in the 2m 4f Grade 1 Marsh Novices’ Chase on Thursday (13:20). Despite a recent change of stables, it is brave betting against him. Unbeaten in a dozen career starts, including an Irish point, this Muhtathir gelding has the world at his feet.

Already a dual winner at this meeting following victories in the Champion Bumper two years ago, then the Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle 12 months ago, Envoi Allen has a formidable reputation. He has five Grade 1s under his belt, so bring class to the table.

Major opposition keeps away from him. Envoi Allen hasn’t put a foot wrong over fences in three starts this season. Rather than go to the Dublin Racing Festival following a facile success in the Drinmore at Fairyhouse, he put in a fine weight-carrying performance at Punchestown when eased in grade.

Now stepping back up to the highest level, on all known form, Envoi Allen just cannot be opposed. The others in the Marsh Novices’ Chases are playing for places. Envoi Allen’s odds of 4/6 with Betfred reflect that, so he’ll take some stopping.

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Chantry House looks main danger

Dan Skelton’s Grade 1 winner Shan Blue is next in the betting, but found himself outstayed at this trip when dropping back from 3m in the Scilly Isles at Sandown last time out. That is a concern, so Chantry House makes more appeal as a danger.

Trained by Nicky Henderson for JP McManus, last year’s Supreme third has won twice over fences since. After jumping carefully on his chasing bow at Ascot, Chantry House warmed to the task and left Up The Straight for dead. The runner-up has since filled the same spot in a Listed contest at Sandown.

Chantry House was then out of sorts when third to the re-opposing Fusil Raffles over a trip slightly further than the Marsh Novices’ Chase here in December. There is a sense that he didn’t give his running that day, however, as the Yeats gelding resumed winning ways at Wetherby.

As Chantry House is stilled lightly-raced over obstacles, there could be more to come from him. Stable companion Fusil Raffles has been very in and out since his precocious juvenile hurdle campaign, so that leaves him the most solid option at 7/1 with Unibet for chasing Enovi Allen home.

Chatham Street Lad and Blackbow the Marsh Novices’ Chase each-way value

Maverick Irish trainer Mick Winters saddled Chatham Street Lad to a 15-length romp in the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup over course and distance here in December. He remains a novice, however, and eligible for running in this. Winters isn’t afraid of the hot favourite, so these likeable connections have an each-way shout.

This demands a lot more than a Grade 3 handicap against one of the faces of National Hunt horse racing, but course form commands respect. Chatham Street Lad has won three of his five starts this season, so certainly qualifies as late bloomer. The nine-year-old Beneficial gelding didn’t take to chasing at all earlier in his career.

Now that Chatham Street Lad has matured, however, he is streetwise enough to be worth a crack at this level. Even his back hurdles form, including chasing home Agusta Gold in a graded Navan handicap, looks decent. Chatham Street Lad is one of two worth considering each-way at 12/1 with Betfair here.

Another who could go well at a big price is Blackbow. His excellent bumper form suggests that Willie Mullins’ charge should relish going up in trip for the Marsh Novices’ Chase here. Running him over 2m when he was no match for Energumene should bring him on, and he did win an Irish point over 2m 4f, so could outrun his odds of 28/1 with William Hill in this.

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