Frank Hickey: Lightning Novices’ Chase is interesting now the Arkle’s been blown wide open

Ferny Hollow's out of the Arkle... can any of the Lightning Novices' Chase trio make their case at Doncaster?



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It may not be the highest-profile race on Saturday but the Lightning Novices’ Chase could provide a few clues for the Arkle.

Dan Skelton’s Third Time Lucki will attempt to get back to winning ways after a disappointing run in last month’s Henry VIII Novices’ Chase but must give 5lbs to For Pleasure and Do Your Job at Doncaster.


The antepost betting market for the Arkle has been shaken up after red-hot favourite Ferny Hollow was ruled out for the remainder of the season due to injury, and an eye-catching run from one of the trio could see their price cut for the Cheltenham Festival.

Speaking on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth podcast, Paddy’s top trader Frank Hickey is intrigued to see how Third Time Lucki and last year’s Supreme Novices’ Hurdle third For Pleasure perform at Doncaster, while Matt Chapman branded the pair ‘nutcases’ for their front-running style.

Frank Hickey:

“The Lightning Novices’ Chase is a race to keep an eye on now that Ferny Hollow is out the Arkle.

“The Arkle potentially doesn’t look very deep and it’s wide open. It’ll be interesting to see how Third Time Lucki and For Pleasure go at Doncaster.”

Matt Chapman:

“What’s interesting about the Lightning Novices’ Chase is that Third Time Lucki and For Pleasure are both nutcases and they’re going to go off like the clappers.

“You’d imagine the jump at the first fence is going to have a big outcome because if one of them makes a little error at the first and the other one pings it suddenly one’s going to be two lengths clear of the other.”

Lightning Novices’ Chase Tips

Timeform: THIRD TIME LUCKI lost his unbeaten record over fences at Sandown last time but wasn’t seen to best effect behind Edwardstone there and can quickly get back to wining ways despite conceding 5lbs to both his rivals. Do Your Job appeals as the one to chase home Dan Skelton’s smart novice.



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