Dipper Novices’ Chase

The Grade 2 Dipper Novices Chase is also over two and a half miles and was held at Newcastle until being switched to Cheltenham in 2005.

This race is scheduled to take place each year in January.

The inaugural running was famously won by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Little Owl in 1980.

Other significant winners include Barton (2002), My Way De Solzen (2007), Whisper (2017) and L’Homme Presse (2022). The latter returned to Cheltenham in March to win the Grade 1 Brown Advisory Novices Chase.

Find out more about the Dipper Novices’ Chase:

Dipper Novices’ Chase

Race Overview – The Dipper Novices Chase

Horses must be five years old or older to compete in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase.

There are seventeen obstacles to be jumped during the race, which is run on the New Course at Cheltenham over a distance of around 2 miles and 412 furlongs (2 miles 4 furlongs and 127 yards or 4,175 metres).

The Novice Chasers’ race takes place on New Year’s Day each year.

Dipper Novices’ Chase 2023 Odds

The Dipper Novices’ Chase 2023 odds are below:

  • The odds for this race have not yet been released.

Dipper Novices’ Chase Tips

Our Dipper Novices’ Chase tips are below:

  • 2 points to win for TBC at odds of TBC
  • 1 point each way for TBC at odds of TBC

There are horses from the Dipper Novices’ Chase that will also run in other races throughout the year so stay updated on them and place ante-post bets.

If you are looking for more tips for races taking place at Cheltenham Racecourse then check out our Cheltenham tip page.

Dipper Novices’ Chase Previous Winners

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer
1980Little Owl6Jonjo O'NeillPeter Easterby
1982Rosewell Riever9D NolanPeter Monteith
1983Lettoch6Graham BradleyMichael Dickinson
1984Jimbrook7Alan BrownPeter Easterby
1986Joint Sovereignty6Mark DwyerJimmy FitzGerald
1987Jim Thorpe6Phil TuckGordon W. Richards
1988Cool Strike7Brian StoreyGeorge M. Moore
1989Blazing Walker5Chris GrantArthur Stephenson
1991Meritmoore8Jason CallaghanGeorge M. Moore
1992Gale Again5Chris GrantArthur Stephenson
1993Dawson City6Lorcan WyerPeter Easterby
1995Morceli7Neale DoughtyHoward Johnson
1996Avro Anson8Peter NivenMaurice Camacho
1998Celestial Choir8Brian StoreyLes Eyre
1999Bobby Grant8Robbie SuppleChris Grant
2000Donnybrook7Brian HardingBob Woodhouse
2001Red Striker7Richard GuestNorman Mason
2002Barton9Tony DobbinTim Easterby
2003no race 2003–04 [a][b]
2005My Will5Ruby WalshPaul Nicholls
2006The Listener7Andrew ThorntonRobert Alner
2007My Way de Solzen7Robert ThorntonAlan King
2008Lead On7Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs
2009Calgary Bay6Tony McCoyHenrietta Knight
2010Seven Is My Number8Timmy MurphyDavid Pipe
2011Hell's Bay9Joe TizzardColin Tizzard
2012Champion Court7Alain CawleyMartin Keighley
2013no race 2013 [c]
2014Oscar Whisky9Barry GeraghtyNicky Henderson
2015Ptit Zig6Sam Twiston-DaviesPaul Nicholls
2016Seeyouatmidnight8Brian HughesSandy Thomson
2017Whisper9Davy RussellNicky Henderson
2018Yanworth8Barry GeraghtyAlan King
2019Lostintranslation7Robbie PowerColin Tizzard
2020Midnight Shadow7Danny CookSue Smith
2021Messire Des Obeaux[d]9Daryl JacobAlan King
2022L'Homme Presse7Charlie DeutschVenetia Williams
2023The Real Whacker7Sam Twiston-DaviesPatrick Neville

Famous Dipper Novices Chase Winners

The victory of subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Little Owl in 1980 gave this race a sensational launch. The six-year-old was trained by Peter Easterby and ridden by Jonjo O’Neill, although he was ridden by amateur Jim Wilson at the Cheltenham Festival. He won his first eight completed starts over fences but he was plagued with injury problems later in his career. He won 16 of his 33 career starts, his last notable success coming in the 1982 Tommy Whittle Chase at Haydock Park.

The race continued to produce high-class winners including Michael Dickinson’s Lettoch (1983) and the Gordon Richards-trained Jim Thorpe (1987). Arthur Stephenson trained Blazing Walker to win this race as a five-year-old in 1989. He was a high-class two-mile chaser who claimed notable victories at Ascot, Sandown and Aintree under regular rider Chris Grant.

2002 winner Barton won for Tim Easterby and Tony Dobbin. He won 14 of his 26 races under rules and was a very talented performer over hurdles and fences. He won the Royal & Sun Alliance Novices’ Hurdle at the 1999 Cheltenham Festival and the Fighting Fifth Hurdle at Newcastle in 2000. He also won the Aintree Hurdle in 2001 before switching to fences.

2007 winner My Way de Solzen had won the Grade 1 World Hurdle at Cheltenham the previous season. He was trained by Alan King and returned to the 2007 festival to win the Arkle Challenge Trophy. His other notable career victories include the Long Walk Hurdle (2005) and National Spirit Hurdle (2006).

Oscar Whisky provided Trainer Nicky Henderson with his first win in the race in 2014 and he struck again with Whisper in 2017. Other recent high-class winners include Yanworth (2018), Lostintranslation (2019) and L’Homme Presse (2022).

What Happened In The 2023 Dipper Novices’ Chase

Key Dipper Novices Chase Trials

There are no specific trial races for the Dipper Novices Chase but previous form at Cheltenham has been a factor.

Eight of the last eleven winners had raced at the course at least twice previously.

Five of those had recorded at least one Cheltenham victory.

Six of the last eleven winners had been successful on their previous outing.

Five of the last twelve winners of the Dipper Novices Chase ran in the Scilly Isles Novices Chase at Sandown next time. Oscar Whisky (2014) and L’Homme Presse (2022) won both races. Lostintranslation (2019) and Midnight Shadow (2020) both finished runner-up at Sandown.

Eight of the last twelve winners ran at the Cheltenham Festival that season; five ran in the Marsh Novices Chase and three ran in the Brown Advisory Novices Chase. Only L’Homme Presse (Brown Advisory) was successful.

Dipper Novices Chase Betting Trends

Three outright favourites and one joint-favourite have won this race in the last eleven seasons. Oscar Whisky (2014) won at 5-6, Ptit Zig (2015) at Even money and L’Homme Presse (2022) won at 7-4. Yanworth returned at 15-8 joint-favourite in 2018.

Hell’s Bay (2011) was a shock 16-1 winner for Colin and Joe Tizzard but there have been no real surprises since. Champion Court (2012) won at 6-1 for Martin Keighley and Alain Cawley but the longest winning odds in the last nine seasons was Midnight Shadow (2020) at 4-1.

Only two five-year-olds have won the Dipper; Blazing Walker in 1989 and My Will in 2005. There is no real trend in the winning age groups here with a fairly even spread in recent seasons. Ptit Zig won at the age of six while Oscar Whisky (2014), Whisper (2017) and Messire Des Obeaux (2021) were all successful at the age of nine.

An official rating of 147 or higher is usually required to win this race.

The highest-rated winner in recent years was Ptit Zig (157) while the lowest was Hell’s Bay (2011) on 143.

Dipper Novices Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Peter Easterby trained the winner three times in the early years of the Dipper; Little Owl (1980), Jimbrook (1984) and Dawson City (1993).

Alan King equalled that tally when Messire Des Obeaux (2021) followed the victories of My Way De Solzen (2007) and Yanworth (2018).

Colin Tizzard won it with outsider Hell’s Bay (2011) and with the classy Lostinstranslation (2019).

Jockeys to win this race twice include Chris Grant and Barry Geraghty. Grant’s victories came aboard Blazing Walker (1989) and Gale Again (1992). Geraghty won it on Oscar Whisky (2014) and Yanworth (2018).

Betting on the Dipper Novices Chase

The Dipper Novices’ Chase has a history of producing high-class winners dating back to the victory of Little Owl in 1980. L’Homme Presse gave the race form a further boost when scoring at the 2022 Cheltenham Festival and the form of this race can be followed with confidence.

Summary of the Dipper Novices’ Chase

Thank you for reading our Dipper Novices’ Chase guide.

We have looked at previous trends, betting info, the history of the race and more, so you have all the facts you need when making a selection.

It is a great race which has thrown up many stars of the future.

Other Popular Horse Races in January

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As the Founder of British Racecourses, I have a life-long passion for horse racing and have loved the sport as long as I can remember. I am also a keen racehorse owner and have worked in the gambling industry for several years. I set up British Racecourses with the desire to share my passion for racing with other like-minded people.