It’s not easy to pick winners but one way to improve your method of finding winners is by focusing in on certain races. One class of race where it’s easier to track the progression of horses are novice chases.
It takes patience and discipline to follow a horse without backing it every time. The aim is to try and follow the progress of the horse in their novice chase year and knowing when to back them.
Obviously one of the main factors to focus in on in a novice chase is how a horse jumps. It’s important to track the progress of the horse’s jumping from race to race and hopefully, you will start to notice some improvement. It’s all about going on a journey with the horse and then trying to strike when you believe that the horse has the best chance of winning.
Every novice chase that you watch should be a learning experience with a view to having a bet in the future. The more novice chases that you watch, the better your knowledge of the division will become. You will also be able to identify the better jumpers and the ones that have the potential to improve.
Once you get used to watching novice chases, you will begin to notice physical progression in certain horses. This is another angle that you can use to your advantage as horses can still be developing and growing at the ages of six, seven and eight.
It’s easy to pick out mistakes
Novice chases are one of the best type of races that you can learn and improve your race reading skills. It’s easy to pick out mistakes when horses jump and you can also spot those horses that are noticeably good jumpers. As well as that, most horses that go novice chasing will have run over hurdles so you will have some gauge of their ability. Never take their hurdles form at face value though, when they go novice chasing, as they are two very different disciplines.
The final two factors to remember when betting in this division are firstly, the distance a horse is running over. If a horse has been running in two mile novice chases and suddenly appears in a two and a half mile contest, take note.
Trainers can be creatures of habit too so have a look to see if they have won a certain novice race in the past and check who they are running in this season's edition. An example is a novice chase at the Troytown meeting at Navan at the end of November that Willie Mullins clearly targets with his best novices. It’s a two mile one furlong race and Mullins has won it in recent years with the likes of Cash Back, Min, Douvan, Vautour and Ballycasey.