John Francome Novices’ Chase Betting Tips: Kilbricken Storm value at Newbury to confirm Festival form

John Francome Novices’ Chase betting tips at Horsebetting.com say Kilbricken Storm is the value bet for the 2m 7f Grade 2 contest at Newbury on Saturday, 1 December. He is preferred to Santini having beaten Nicky Henderson’s rising star in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the Cheltenham Festival back in March. That rival is still much respected, however, despite the excellent recent Colin Tizzard has in the race. Rocky’s Treasure, meanwhile, is an each-way alternative in a cracking renewal of this main supporting race on Ladbrokes Trophy day at the Winter Carnival. Read all about it in this 2018 John Francome Novices’ Chase betting tips preview.

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Odds
11/4
Selection
Kilbricken Storm
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Odds
11/8
Danger
Santini
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Betfair logo
Odds
8/1
E/W
Rocky's Treasure
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Kilbricken Storm value for John Francome four-timer for Tizzard

Venn Farm handler Colin Tizzard has won each of the last three renewals of the John Francome Novices’ Chase at Newbury. In Kilbricken Storm, he has a Cheltenham Festival hero over hurdles that looks a leading contender to make it four consecutive triumphs in the 2m 7f Grade 2 contest on Saturday (12:45).

This seven-year-old son of Oscar won the third of his three Irish points and is bidding to follow in the illustrious hoofprints of Native River, Thistlecrack and Elegant Escape. The form of his hurdles debut at Exeter last October has a very strong look to it, as it’s thrown up all sorts of subsequent winners.

Although only a two-length third over 2m to Onefortheroadtom after being headed at the last, the short-head runner-up Lalor went on to be a Grade 1 winning hurdler and recently landed his chase debut at this level in the official Arkle Trial at Cheltenham.

Both Kilbricken Storm and the fourth horse home Harefield came out and won their next outings. It’s also worth remembering leading Ladbrokes Trophy contender Thomas Patrick was further down the field in 11th place.

Finest hour in Albert Bartlett

After bolting up by 26 lengths at Wincanton, Tizzard stepped Kilbricken Storm back up to 3m for the Grade 2 Bristol Novices’ Hurdle at Cheltenham last December and he relished that stamina test. Having tracked the leaders, he went second approaching two out and was just a couple of lengths down at the last.

Kilbricken Storm then came with a strong run under regular rider Harry Cobden and hit the front inside the final 100 yards, drawing clear close home for a 2 3/4 lengths success over Count Meribel. The runner-up has come out and landed both of his starts this season, so that again bodes well for Team Tizzard.

While dropping down in distance to contest the Grade 1 Challow Novices’ Hurdle at this venue then was clearly too sharp for him despite heavy going, Kilbricken Storm then arguably pulled off the shock of the Cheltenham Festival next time up. He outran massive odds of 33/1 and replicated his proven course form in the Albert Bartlett.

Again tracking then chasing the leader approaching the penultimate flight, Kilbricken Storm stayed on, took things up at the last and drew clear up the run-in. He ran out a game three-length winner over Ok Corral and had the re-opposing Santini a further 1 1/2 lengths behind in third.

No reason to doubt form

As the pair meet again off level weights here, there is absolutely no reason why Kilbricken Storm cannot confirm that Grade 1 hurdles form. Although then beaten half-a-length at the Punchestown Festival, a trip back to Ireland was always going to be a tough ask.

Kilbricken Storm has the benefit of chasing experience having timed his run to perfection on appearance and just touch off Cobolobo by a short-head at Ffos Las. There was a lot to like about the way he rallied under pressure when headed after the last, and he clearly won’t shirk the issue if there’s a scrap to the line.

With Kilbricken Storm sure to come on a bundle for that outing, at the odds on offer he is the value bet to confirm that Cheltenham Festival form. He thus gets the vote as the main selection in these 2018 John Francome Novices’ Chase betting tips.

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Strapping sort Santini respected and feared most

In contrast to Tizzard, champion trainer Nicky Henderson has never saddled a winner of this race. If any horse is capable of changing that, however, then it’s surely the aforementioned Santini, who looks tailor-made for staying chases. He is therefore the obvious danger and a hugely respected rival.

This six-year-old son of Milan bolted up by 15 lengths in an English point and has been very lightly raced since. Santini was a comfortable 4 1/2 lengths winner in an extended 2m 4f novice hurdle at this meeting 12 months ago and then made the step up into Grade 2 company when running out a three-quarters of a length victor over Black Op in the Classic Novices’ Hurdle on Festival Trials Day at Cheltenham.

The front two pulled a further 29 lengths clear of the third Aye Aye Charlie, and both landed Grade 1s at the Aintree Grand National meeting. Santini gained some compensation for his Albert Bartlett defeat on Merseyside when scooping success in the Sefton Novices’ Hurdle.

Grade 1 winning hurdler

He led three out and stayed on well, asserting close home when giving 7lb and a 1 1/2 lengths beating to Roksana. This was an emphatic reversal of the Albert Bartlett form with stablemate Ok Corral, who was over 18 lengths down on Santini in fifth.

On their hurdles ratings, there is nothing to choose between him and Kilbricken Storm as both earned marks of 152. As he’s never jumped a fence under rules in public and has to prove he can beat his main market rival, Santini is plenty short enough at the odds on offer.

It is for this reason alone we are taking him on in these 2018 John Francome Novices’ Chase betting tips. A bold bid is assured, however, and Santini looks sure to give Kilbricken Storm plenty to think about in the hands of Nico de Boinville.

Rocky’s Treasure an each-way alternative

Only seven line up here and, while one of the market principals will have to massively underperform, Rocky’s Treasure looks the one most likely to capitalise. The Kim Bailey trained seven-year-old is three from three over fences and that experience makes him the each-way alternative.

This son of Westerner was no great shakes over hurdles compared to his lauded rivals, but has taken to chases like a duck to water. Like Kilbricken Storm and Santini, Rocky’s Treasure is a point winner and has jumped really well in landing a hat-trick at Kelso, Fakenham and Wetherby.

He made all at the Scottish Borders venue, beating sole rival Judge Earle by 15 lengths in the process. Rocky’s Treasure then went again from the front to follow-up in a three-runner race at Fakenham and win easing down by 18 lengths when clearly value for more than the winning margin.

The hat-trick came when he turned over Poetic Rhythm and bolted up by 24 lengths at Wetherby. Rocky’s Treasure jumped really well in the hands of David Bass and his jockey could again afford to ease him down. These exploits have earned him a chasing mark of 144.

While this demands more, Rocky’s Treasure has experience on his side and that may be crucial, for all there are unexposed sorts in this sphere like Santini and Mr Big Shot in the field. He therefore an each-way alternative for punters to consider in our 2018 John Francome Novices’ Chase betting tips.

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