Dipper Novices' Chase  The Dipper Novices’ Chase is a Grade 2 novices’ steeplechase run over 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 127 yards on the New Course at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day. As the name suggests, the race is open to horses, aged five years and upwards, who start the season without a win over regulation fences. In 1990, the Dipper Novices’ Chase was moved from its original position in the calendar, in November, to mid-January. In 2005, following abandonments in 2003 (twice) and 2004, the race was transferred to the traditional New Year’s Day fixture at Cheltenham.

Currently sponsored by Paddy Power, the Dipper Novices’ Chase was inaugurated, over the slightly shorter distance of 2 miles, 4 furlongs and 19 yards, at Newcastle in 1980. The inaugural running was won by Little Owl, trained by Peter Easterby, who went on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup the following March. Peter Easterby also saddled Jimbrook (1984) and Dawson City (1993) to victory and alongside Alan King remains, jointly, the most successful trainer in the history of the Dipper Novices’ Chase.  It’s the kind of race where we can all have a punt, or if you’re short on ideas free horse racing tips are always a possible route to go!

Little Owl aside, other notable winners of the Dipper Novices’ Chase include Barton, My Way De Solzen, Oscar Whisky and L’Homme Presse. At the time of writing, the latter has recently been ruled out of the 2023 Cheltenham Gold Cup, for which he was a general 6/1 chance, due to a ‘couple of issues’, but the 2023 winner, The Real Whacker is still among the entries for the ‘Blue Riband’ event. That said, he is most likely to contest the Brown Advisory Novices’ Chase at the Cheltenham Festival, for which he is currently 6/1 joint favourite, rather than the Cheltenham Gold Cup, in which he has plenty to find on official ratings and is, consequently, a 66/1 outsider.

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