Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase

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The Wayward Lad Novices Chase is a Grade 2 race over two miles at Kempton Park in late December.

Named in honor of the remarkable Wayward Lad, this race stands not only as a testament to his extraordinary achievements but also as a crucial trial for the Arkle Trophy Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The echoes of past champions reverberate through Kempton Park, with the likes of Remittance Man, Sprinter Sacre, Dodging Bullets, and Altior etching their names into the race’s storied history.

Join us as we unravel the tale of the Wayward Lad Novices Chase, exploring its significance, notable past winners, and the legacy it carries into the present. From the thundering hooves on the Kempton track to the anticipation of future triumphs at Cheltenham, this article is your guide to understanding the prestige and excitement that surround this iconic race.


Race Overview – Wayward Lads Novices Chase

Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase.

It takes place in Kempton Park over a course that is roughly 2 miles (3,219 metres) long, and there are twelve fences that must be jumped. It takes place each year in late December during the course’s Christmas Festival, and it is for novice chasers.

Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase Previous Result

Check out the latest result from this race:

Famous Wayward Lad Novices Chase Winners

The Wayward Lad Novices Chase has a remarkable history of producing future Champion chasers.

Remittance Man (1990) set the standard by taking the 1991 Arkle and the 1992 Champion Chase.

Trainer Nicky Henderson has subsequently used this well-trodden path for the likes of Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Altior and Shishkin.

The big names among the Paul Nicholls-trained winners are Dodging Bullets (2013) and Cyrname (2017). The former added his name to the roll of honour in the Champion Chase in 2015.

Cyrname became the highest-rated steeplechaser in training when ending the record 19-race unbeaten run of Altior at Ascot in November 2019.

Alan King’s Edwardstone (2021) maintained the high quality of winners here by going on to win the Arkle impressively.

Key Wayward Lad Novices Chase Trials

The key trial for the Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase is the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase at Sandown. Five of the last eleven winners won both races.

Nine of those eleven horses had won last time and all but one of them had raced within the past forty days.

Three recent Wayward Lad winners ran in the Game Spirit Chase at Newbury next time with Sprinter Sacre (2011) and Altior (2016) winning both races.

The Arkle Trophy is the big target for winners of this race with eight of the last eleven running in that event at Cheltenham. Five of them were successful; Sprinter Sacre, Simonsig, Altior, Shishkin and Edwardstone.

There have been four winning favourites in the past eleven years, the shortest priced being Altior at a prohibitive 1-9 in 2016.

There have also been six winning second favourites during that period.

The only minor surprise was provided by 8-1 chance Global Citizen in 2019.

Horses aged five to seven have dominated in recent years.

There have been three winning four-year-olds but they all came between 2002 and 2006.

The oldest winner was the nine-year-old Angelo’s Double in 1997.

A rating of 152 or higher is usually required to win this race.

Wayward Lad Novices Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Nicky Henderson has successfully farmed this race with a record ten winners; Remittance Man (1990), Dusk Duel (2000), Fondmort (2001), Caracciola (2003), Jack The Giant (2006), Riverside Theatre (2009), Sprinter Sacre (2011), Simonsig (2012), Altior (2016) and Shishkin (2020).

Paul Nicholls has six race victories; Epervier d’Or (2002), Hoo La Baloo (2005), Dodging Bullets (2013), Vibrato Valtat (2014), Cyrname (2017) and Dynamite Dollars (2018).

Two jockeys have won the Wayward Lad on three occasions, Mick Fitzgerald and Barry Geraghty. All six horses were trained by Henderson.

Wayward Lad Novices Chase Facts

  • The Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase is a Grade 2 National Hunt steeplechase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older.
  • The race is run over a distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs (4,023 metres) at Kempton Park Racecourse, usually during the month of December.
  • The race was first run in 1987 and has been won by some of the most successful horses in National Hunt racing, including Best Mate, Kauto Star, and Denman.
  • The most successful jockey in the race is Tony McCoy, who has won the race four times.
  • The most successful trainer in the race is Paul Nicholls, who has won the race six times.
  • The average winning time for the race is 4 minutes and 12 seconds.

Popular Questions

What are important facts about Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase?

Here are some important facts about Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase:

  • The Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase is run at Kempton Park, Great Britain
  • The Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase is for horses aged 4 and older
  • The Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase is a National Hunt Steeplechase in Great Britain
  • The Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase distance is about 2 miles

Summary of Wayward Lad Novices Chase

Thank you for reading our Wayward Lad Novices’ Chase guide.

We have looked at the history of the race, a betting guide, facts, tips and more, so you have everything you need if placing a bet or just wanting to enjoy the race.

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

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

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