National Hunt Chase Tips: Henry’s your Friend in Tuesday’s finale

 | March 11 | 

3 mins read

National Hunt chase tips

The first of the Cheltenham Festival races dedicated to amateur jockeys, this Grade 2 contest over 3m 6f is being run as the Maureen Mullins National Hunt Challenge Cup this year, in memory of Willie Mullins' mother who sadly passed away last month.

Here's a look at all seven runners set to go to post for Tuesday's finale plus some National Hunt Chase tips to mull over.

National Hunt Chase Tips

  • Henry's Friend @ 12/1

Corbetts Cross (Emmet Mullins/Derek O'Connor)

A smart novice hurdler who blotted his copybook when running out late on in the Albert Bartlett here last March. Beat Three Card Brag in a beginners chase at Fairyhouse (2m5½f, soft) in December and was then second in Grade 1 over an extended three miles at Leopardstown behind Grangeclare West. Brought down on most recent start and hooded now.

Embassy Gardens (Willie Mullins/Patrick Mullins)

Stopped quickly in the Albert Bartlett here last March, but now 2-2 over fences, including smooth 3m1f Grade 3 success at Naas in January. Must prove he handles this place, also hooded now.

Henry's Friend (Ben Pauling/Jack Andrews)

Progressive chaser already bettering anything he did over hurdles after trio of wins at Newbury, Hereford and Ascot in successive months from December. Jumping really aided him when beating Kilbeg King and Apple Away in the Reynoldstown last time out.

Kilbeg King (Anthony Honeyball/Will Biddick)

0-4 over fences, but there is plenty of substance to that form, just held off by Henry's Friend at Ascot (3m, good to soft) last month, with winner's superior leap at the last proving a major factor. Was gaining again at the line, however.

Mr Vango (Sara Bradstock/Gina Andrews)

Very lightly-raced eight-year-old who romped home in the Devon National at Exeter last month over this sort of trip on testing ground. Stamina clearly no concern, but mixing it with classier rivals now as cheekpieces are added.

Salvador Ziggy (Gordon Elliott/Rob James)

Progressive chaser with 3-4 record over fences, sole defeat when second in Kerry National at Listowel (3m, yielding to soft) in September. Trainer has pinpointed this contest en-route to possible Aintree National challenge and a runner-up finish in Pertemps last March bodes well for him at this meeting.

Apple Away (Lucinda Russell/Barry O'Neill)

Mare has shown smart form in four chase starts, winning at Leicester (2m6½f, heavy) in December either side of solid runs behind Grey Dawning (Grade 1 contender this week). Behind Henry's Friend and Kilbeg King at Ascot last time and more will be needed over this marathon trip on that evidence.

Verdict

Market leaders Corbetts Cross and Embassy Gardens didn't cover themselves in glory at this meeting last year and there are some lingering doubts about them for that reason.

Salvador Ziggy came here fresh last season and ran well in the Pertemps, he could be a massive player for Gordon Elliott. He and Willie Mullins have hogged this race, essentially accounting for seven of the last eight winners, with Ben Pauling the only man to stop them in 2019 with Le .

He has another solid contender now in HENRY'S FRIEND, winner of the Reynoldstown at Ascot last month for his third successive strike. He put in cracking jump at the last and refused to wilt up the run-in.

He needs more, but with this being a Betfred Super Extra Place (3 places), he might be worth chancing each-way to stun the Irish contingent.

Henry's Friend to win the 17.30 Cheltenham at 12-1

Find more Cheltenham Tips here at Betfred Insights

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