Peter Marsh Chase

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The Peter Marsh Chase is a Grade 2 handicap over an extended three miles and one furlong at Haydock Park in January.

The race has a rich history and has been won by four Cheltenham Gold Cup winners including The Thinker (1987) and Jodami (1993 and 1997) as well as Grand National winner Earth Summit (1995).

Recent top-class winners include Bristol De Mai (2017) and Royal Pagaille (2021 and 2022).

Find out more the Peter Marsh Chase:

Peter Marsh Chase

Race Overview – Peter Marsh Chase

Horses must be at least five years old to compete in the Grade 2 Peter Marsh Chase.

There are 19 obstacles to jump during the race, which is raced at Haydock Park over a distance of around 3 miles and 112 furlongs (3 miles and 125 yards, or 5,144 metres).

It is a limited handicap race that is slated to occur in January every year.

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Famous Peter Marsh Chase Winners

The Peter Marsh Chase was first run in 1981 with victory going to subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Little Owl. He was trained by Peter Easterby and ridden by amateur Jim Wilson.

The 1982 renewal was won by Bregawn, trained by Michael Dickinson. He would lead him a remarkable first five for his trainer in the 1983 Cheltenham Gold Cup. Bregawn beat Captain John, Wayward Lad, Silver Buck and Ashley House. The latter was a good horse in his own right and won the Peter Marsh in 1983.

The astonishing success of early Peter Marsh winners continued with the victory of The Thinker in 1987. Arthur Stephenson trained him to win the Gold Cup which was run in a snowstorm.

Jodami was the most recent Peter Marsh winner to go on to Cheltenham Gold Cup glory in 1993. He was also the first dual winner of the Haydock race when repeating his victory four years’ later.

The Nigel Twiston-Davies trained Earth Summit won here in 1995 and would win the Aintree Grand National in 1998. He also won the Welsh and Scottish Grand Nationals. General Wolfe became the second dual winner when scoring in successive seasons in 1998 and 1999.

Twiston-Davies claimed a second victory in the race with Bristol De Mai in 2017. The popular grey became something of a Haydock specialist, winning the Grade 1 Betfair Chase in 2017, 2018 and 2020. He also finished third to Al Boum Photo in the 2019 Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Royal Pagaille became the third dual winner of the race in 2021 and 2022, defying 11st 10lbs on both occasions.

Key Peter Marsh Chase Trials

One of the best Peter Marsh Chase trials is the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase at Wetherby. Wakanda finished fourth in that race before winning here in 2019.

There can also be clues from the Tommy Whittle Handicap Chase over the course in December. Cloudy Too finished third in the Tommy Whittle in 2015 before winning the Peter Marsh.

Six of the last eleven winners have returned to Haydock next time for the Grand National Trial in February. None were successful but Our Vic finished runner-up in the National Trial in 2010 and Cloudy Too finished third in 2016.

Only two of the last ten winners made it to Aintree for the Grand National itself but both were well beaten.

There have been a wide range of winning ages in this race. Bristol De Mai (2017) became the youngest winner of the Peter Marsh Chase at the age of six.

Jodami (1997) and Our Vic (2010) both won at the age of twelve.

There have been two winning favourites and one successful joint favourite in the Peter Marsh in the last ten years. Royal Pagaille started market leader for both of his victories in 2021 and 2022, the first outright favourite to win since Lord Transcend in 2005. Bristol De Mai (2017) started joint-favourite but there have been plenty of shock results.

Ebony Light (2006) was a 33-1 outsider, Our Vic (2010) started at 20-1 and Wychwoods Brook (2014) and Samstown (2015) were both 16-1 shots.

Most past winners had raced within the previous five weeks.

Around half of recent winners had already won at Haydock and had winning form over three miles or further.

An official rating of 135 or higher is usually required to win this race.

Royal Pagaille was the highest rated winner in recent seasons, scoring off 156 and 163.

Peter Marsh Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

The leading trainer in the history of the Peter Marsh is Sue Smith with five winners; The Last Fling (2000), Artic Jack (2004), Cloudy Too (2016), Wakanda (2019) and Vintage Clouds (2020).

Venetia Williams has won it three times. Her victories came with General Wade (1999) and dual winner Royal Pagaille (2021 and 2022).

Danny Cook leads the jockey standings with four winners; Our Vic (2010), Cloudy Too (2016), Wakanda (2019) and Vintage Clouds (2020).

Norman Williamson rode the winner of the Peter Marsh for three consecutive seasons, scoring on Jodami in 1997 and then twice aboard General Wolfe.

Betting on the Peter Marsh Chase

The Peter Marsh Chase may not have produced a Gold Cup winner since 1997 but dual winner Royal Pagaille was good enough to contest that race in 2021 and 2022. He was not disgraced in finishing fifth and sixth respectively.

Prior to his recent victories the race had proved tricky for punters and it remains one of the most competitive staying handicap chases of the season.

Summary of the Peter Marsh Chase

Thank you for reading our Peter Marsh Chase guide.

We have looked at trends, odds, tips and more, so you can find out more about this tough-staying race, which has been won over the years by many popular national hunt horses.

There are more races in January that you might enjoy, so make sure you check them out.

Check out our Haydock tips page if you enjoy watching races at Haydock Racecourse.

Here are all of January’s horse racing-related posts: