Aintree Foxhunters Chase

The Foxhunters Chase is restricted to amateur riders and is the first of three races over the Grand National fences at the April Festival.

It is over two miles and five furlongs for horses who have qualified in either hunter chases or point-to-point races in the current season.

Credit Call famously won the race three times between 1972 and 1976 while other notable winners include Spartan Missile (1978, 1979), Eliogarty (1986), Katarino (2005, 2006) and On The Fringe (2015, 2016).

Find out more about the Aintree Foxhunters  Chase:

Aintree Foxhunters Chase

Race Overview

The Foxhunters’ Open Hunters’ Chase is a National Hunt steeplechase for amateurs in the United Kingdom, open to horses aged six and over. It is held at Aintree over a distance of approximately 2 miles and 5 furlongs and is held every year in April.

Famous Aintree Foxhunters Chase Winners

The race was first run in 1947 and was originally held over the Grand National distance of four and a quarter miles.

Colledge Master (1957, 1961) became the first dual winner of the event and was followed by Sea Knight (1963, 1965). Their achievements were surpassed by Credit Call (1972, 1975, 1976).

Nicky Henderson rode the winner of this race aboard Happy Warrior in 1977 and would train Scots Grey to win it thirty years later!

Willie Mullins also rode a winner here on Atha Cliath in 1983 although a training success still eludes him.

Spartan Missile won this race in 1978 and 1979 for owner, trainer, jockey John Thorne. He would famously chase home Aldaniti in the 1981 Aintree Grand National.

The Foxhunters has always retained a connection to the Grand National, whether it is promising hunter chasers or Aintree veterans. Lean Ar Aghaidh (1990) and Forest Gunner (2004) are among those to have run with credit in the National. 2012 winner Cloudy Lane had started joint-favourite for the 2008 Grand National when sixth behind Comply Or Die.

The most recent dual winner of the Foxhunters was On The Fringe (2015, 2016), trained by Enda Bolger. He was partnered by Nina Carberry for his first success with Jamie Codd taking over the reins the following year.

Carberry is one of several lady riders to have won this race including Caroline Beasley (Eliogarty 1986) and Polly Gundry (Torduff Express 2002).

Aintree Foxhunters Chase Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
2012 Cloudy Lane 12 Richard Harding Donald McCain
2013 Tartan Snow 13 Jamie Hamilton Stuart Coltherd
2014 Warne 10 Sam Waley-Cohen Brian Hamilton
2015 On The Fringe 10 Nina Carberry Enda Bolger
2016 On The Fringe 11 Jamie Codd Enda Bolger
2017 Dineur 11 James King Mickey Bowen
2018 Balnaslow 11 Derek O’Connor Graham John McKeever
2019 Top Wood 12 Tabitha Worsley Kelly Morgan
no race 2020 [a]
2021 Cousin Pascal 9 James King Joe O’Shea

Key Aintree Foxhunters Chase Trials

The Hunters Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is the best form guide for the Aintree Foxhunters. That race has produced five of the last eleven winners, two of them having won and one of them placed.

On The Fringe completed the CheltenhamAintree double in consecutive seasons in 2015-2016.

The same horse also went on to win at Punchestown in both seasons.

Warne (2014) finished third at Punchestown after winning the Aintree Foxhunters.

Seven of the last eleven winners returned to compete in this race the following season but, once again, only On The Fringe (2015) was successful.

Aintree Foxhunters Chase 2022 Odds

Listed below are the 2022 odds for the Aintree Foxhunters Chase:

  • Jett – 10-3
  • Cat Tiger – 11-2
  • Latenightpass – 11-2
  • Porlock Bay – 7-1
  • Mighty Stowaway – 10-1
  • Cousin Pascal – 10-1

Aintree Foxhunters Chase Betting Trends

The Aintree Foxhunters Chase has proved tricky for punters with only three outright winning favourites in the past eleven renewals.

Baby Run (2011) started 3-1 favourite and On The Fringe (2015 and 2016) returned at 5-2 and 15-8 favourite for his two victories.

Cloudy Lane was joint-favourite at 4-1 when winning in 2012 but the remaining winners cover the full spectrum of starting prices! Pick of the bunch was Tartan Snow who was sent off the 100-1 outsider when springing a huge surprise in 2013. Cousin Pascal (2021) was not that far behind at 66-1 and Silver Adonis was a 50-1 chance in 2010.

Age is no barrier to success in the Foxhunters with nine of the last eleven winners being aged ten or older.

Tartan Snow (2013) was the first thirteen-year-old to win it since Rolling Ball in 1996. Lean Ar Aghaidh (1990) and Gee-A (1992) also won at the same age.

The never-to-be-beaten age record for the race is 17, set by Hillmere back in 1950.

The youngest winner was Spartan Missile as a six-year-old in 1978.

Seven of the last eleven winners had a least one previous outing at Aintree with four of them having won at least once at the course.

All but one of them had at least 14 previous chase runs and at least two races (including 1 or more victories) in the current season.

Despite being a level weights race, class has rarely proved a significant factor here with only one of those recent winners having won in a Grade 1-3 race.

The official ratings range from 116 (Silver Adonis 2010) to 147 (On The Fringe 2016).

Aintree Foxhunters Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Winning connections have come from a wide variety of sources here and Arthur Stephenson still leads the training statistics with four victories. He won it twice with Sea Knight (1963, 1965) and trained Credit Call for his first two victories in 1972 and 1975.

Enda Bolger has won it three times; Elegant Lord (1999) and On The Fringe (2015, 2016).

Sam Waley-Cohen is the leading jockey with three victories. He rode his father’s Katarino to win in 2005 and 2006 and won again on Warne in 2014.

James King has ridden the winner twice in the last four renewals with Dineur (2017) and Cousin Pascal (2021).

Betting on the Aintree Foxhunters Chase

The Aintree Foxhunters Chase has proved something of a minefield for punters in recent years with winners at 100-1, 66-1 and 50-1.

Clearly it is not a race to blindly follow the market with the Grand National fences likely to thin out the field.

Previous Aintree experience is a definite plus if seeking out some value in this notoriously tricky contest.

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Popular Questions

Who won the 2021 Foxhunters at Aintree?

The winner of the 2021 Foxhunters Chase was Cousin Pascal.

How long is the Foxhunters Chase?

The Foxhunters Chase is exactly 2 miles, 5 furlongs and 19 yards long.

Summary of the Aintree Foxhunters

The Aintree Foxhunters is one of the highlights of the Aintree Grand National meeting.

It is one of only a handful of races run each year over the famous Grand National fences. It is known by many as the Amateur Grand National and has produced some memorable performances and stories in years past.

We love the spectacle of the Foxhunters and it really whets the appetite for The National, whilst being an amazing race in it’s own right.

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