What does a novice chase in horse racing mean?

Novice chase horse racing is one of the most exciting forms of race… so what's it all about?

Novice chase horse racing betting guide


When betting on horse racing for the first time you’re likely to encounter a bewildering world of jargon.

Race types such as novice chase, classified stakes, sellers and handicaps litter the race cards of courses up and down the country.

That’s why Paddy Power is here to help with our latest guide in the Demystifying Racing series all about novice chases!

Check out this guide to learn what is a novice chase and why they make for great betting experiences…

What is a novice chase?

A novice chase is a type of horse race found during the National Hunt season.

First of all, we need to understand what a chase is. A chase race is another term for a steeplechase, which is a race run during the National Hunt season over fences and ditches.

These obstacles are the sort you will see at the Grand National and provide the toughest test for race horses and jockeys to navigate.

Leopardstown Races novice chase

There are plenty of novice chases throughout the year, such as this one at Leopardstown (GETTY)

Now, a novice chase is one of these steeplechases that is open solely to novice horses. In the National Hunt, a novice horse is one that has not won a steeplechase race in its current season.

Once a horse has won a steeplechase, from the next season they will not be allowed to enter novice chases unless the win comes in the final two months of a season, in which case they can run novices until the end of October that year.

Why is novice racing good to bet on?

Horse racing betting odds can wildly fluctuate during novice chases because a wide range of factors are in play for punters.

Horses running in novice races are generally young and inexperienced in jumps, which means they can surpass or fall short of expectations.

What’s more, towards the end of October some horses will have gained plenty of chase experience and may even have won a few races the previous season, yet are still allowed to race in the novices.

What makes novice chase races more unpredictable compared to novice hurdles or a novice Flat race is that fences are the trickiest obstacles to scale.

This means horses can fall at a less predictable rate, which may affect the betting.

Novice chase betting odds

The horse racing odds during novice chases can fluctuate (GETTY)


Cheltenham Festival boasts some top-level novice chases, including the Golden Miller Novices’ Chase and the Centenary Novices’ Handicap Chase. This latter race boasts handicap rules between 0 and 145, which means horses of varied quality level come together to run.

Another Grade 1 race is the Maghull Novices’ Chase, which is run at Aintree every year and boasts a prize purse of £100,000.

Over in Ireland the Arkle Novice Chase at Leopardstown has run for almost seven decades and has produced winners such as Douvan, Un de Sceaux and Kicking King down the years.



What do you think?