The Berkshire Novices’ Chase is a Grade 2 novices’ steeplechase run over 2 miles, 3 furlongs and 187 yards at Newbury in late November or early December. Open to horses aged four years and upwards, the race was inaugurated, as the Hopeful Chase, in 1987. It was renamed in 1991, to commemorate celebrated National Hunt trainer Fulke Walwyn – who died at his home in Lambourn, aged 80, in February that year – and again, to its current title, in 2006. That said, the Berkshire Novices’ Chase has been run under various titles for sponshorship purposes, including the Fuller’s London Pride Novices’ Chase and the Ladbrokes Novices’ Chase.

Notable winners of the Berkshire Novices’ Chase down the years include future Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Remittance Man (1990), future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Denman (2006), Bobs Worth (2011) and Coneygree (2014) and future dual King George VI Chase winner Clan Des Obeaux (2016). Nicky Henderson, trainer of Remittance Man and Bobs Worth, has saddled seven winners of the Berkshire Novices’ Chase – the others being Bacchanal (2000), Katarino (2001), The Market Man (2008), Punchestowns (2009), Champ (2019), and Caribean Boy (2020) – and is the most successful handler in the history of the race.

The race now known as the Coral Novices’ Steeple Chase was elevated to Listed status in 2001 and again, to Grade 2 status, three years later. The 2022 renewal is scheduled for 1:50pm on Friday, November 25, the first day of the newly-sponsored Coral Gold Cup Meeting, formerly the Ladbrokes Winter Carnival. Any novice steeplechaser trained by Nicky Henderson, who has a lifetime 20% strike rate over fences at his local course, must be worth a second look. His record aside, though, favourites have an excellent recent record in the Berkshire Novices’ Chase, with five out of the last ten market leaders successful.

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