Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

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The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase is a Grade 1 race over two miles at Sandown Park in early December.

The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase takes place on Saturday 9th December 2024.

The race often features possible contenders for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival in March.

Notable past winners include Direct Route (1997), Fondmort (2001), Al Ferof (2011), Altior (2016) and Edwardstone (2021).

Find out more about the Henry VIII Novices Chase:

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

Race Overview – Henry VIII Novices Chase

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 1 National Hunt steeplechase, the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase .

Thirteen fences must be jumped during the course of the race, which is raced at Sandown Park over a distance of around 2 miles (1 mile, 7 furlongs, and 119 yards, or 3,126 metres). The race happens every year in December.

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase Previous Result

Check out the latest result from this race:

Famous Henry VIII Novices’ Chase Winners

1997 winner Direct Route went on to win the Grade 1 Tingle Creek Chase the following year.

Fondmort (2001) was another high-class winner, gaining the biggest win of his career in the 2006 Grade 1 Ryanair Chase at Cheltenham. 2009 winner Somersby finished second in the 2010 Arkle Chase and twice finished runner-up in the Queen Mother Champion Chase.

The most famous winner of this race was Nicky Henderson’s Altior in 2014. He had won by 63 lengths on his chasing debut prior to winning here. Altior won at four consecutive Cheltenham Festivals, following up his 2016 Supreme Novices’ Hurdle victory with the Arkle Chase (2017) and the Queen Mother Champion Chase (2018, 2019). He beat the National Hunt record of 18 successive victories set by Big Buck’s when winning the Celebration Chase at Sandown in April 2019.

The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase produced another Arkle victory in 2021-22 when Alan King’s Edwardstone won both races.

Key Henry VIII Novices’ Chase Trials

Four of the last eleven winners ran in the November Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham prior to winning here. Two had won at Prestbury Park and two had been placed. Fitness is a crucial factor here with all eleven having raced within the previous month.

Four of those winners ran next in the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase at Kempton Park and all were successful; Vibrato Valtat (2014), Ar Mad (2015), Altior (2016) and Dynamite Dollars (2018).

Two further winners ran in the Kingmaker Novices’ Chase at Warwick and were also successful; Allmankind (2020) and Edwardstone (2021).

Five-year-olds have the best recent record in this race. Esprit Du Large (2019) was the eighth winner from this age group in a ten-year period.

There have been four winning favourites in the last eleven renewals of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase; Al Ferof (2011), Captain Conan (2012), Altior (2016) and Allmankind (2020).

Ar Mad (2015) and Esprit Du Large (2019) were the longest-priced winners during the same period, both returning at 14-1.

Most winners had won at least twice over hurdles before going chasing.

Class is also a factor with over half of them having already won a Grade 1 or Grade 2 race.

Ar Mad won with a rating of 130 while the highest official rating in recent years is 153, shared by Sceau Royal and Allmankind.

Henry VIII Novices’ Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Paul Nicholls is the trainer to follow in the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase. He has won it a record seven times including Al Ferof (2011), Vibrato Valtat (2014) and Dynamite Dollars (2018).

Nicky Henderson was successful with Acre Hill (1990), Fondmort (2001), Captain Conan (2012) and Altior (2016).

Richard Dunwoody and Tony McCoy are the leading riders in the history of the race with three victories apiece.

Betting on the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

The winners of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase have a very high success rate on their next outing.

Clearly the form can be followed with confidence and will also have an impact on the betting for the Arkle Trophy at the Cheltenham Festival.

Popular Questions

What are important facts about Henry VIII Novices’ Chase?

Here are some important facts about Henry VIII Novices’ Chase:

  • The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase is run at Sandown Park, Great Britain
  • The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase is for horses aged 4 and over
  • The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase is a National Hunt Steeplechase in Great Britain
  • The Henry VIII Novices’ Chase distance is 2 miles

Summary of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase

Thank you for reading our Henry VIII Novices’ Chase guide.

We have looked at history, the betting, tips and more.

Often a high-class race, the winner goes to enjoy other big successes on the biggest stages.

You can check out the Sandown horse racing tips page for our tips on this race or take a look at more horse racing in December.