Henry VIII Novices’ Chase 2019 Analysis
13:50 at Sandown on 7th December
The last nine winners of the Henry VIII Novices’ Chase have all been aged five or six and have run between 12 and 31 days before winning this race. Seven of those nine winners also won their previous race, with the other two finishing second. Trainer Paul Nicholls has saddled four of the last eight winners, and is the only trainer with a runner this year that has won the race in the last decade.
Return Ticket looks the unlikeliest winner on ratings, as he has over 20lb to find with the principals. However, he whipped round at the start on his chasing debut at Wetherby but still ran respectably. His hurdles form suggests he may enjoy stepping back in trip and, interestingly, he runs in the same colours as Waiting Patiently who runs in the Tingle Creek Chase.
Beakstown has failed to win in two runs over fences and, though the booking of Robbie Power catches the eye, this 6-year-old may lack the natural pace of some of his rivals for two miles. Esprit Du Large is another that steps back in trip, and isn’t sure to improve for it.
The other four looks closely matched on ratings but, though Nube Negra has looked stylish in winning both his chases, the form hasn’t worked out that well, whilst he was rated lower over hurdles than the others.
Torpillo bids to become the first 4-year-old winner since 2008 and he gets a handy 6lb weight-for-age allowance. He’s also a dual hurdles winner at Sandown but he has a few pounds to find on his hurdles form.
Former Supreme Novice’s Hurdle winner Summerville Boy was the best of these over hurdles and was particularly impressive when beating Kalashnikov here at Sandown over hurdles by four lengths. He’s definitely got the class to win, but he’s seven and is prone to making some bad jumping mistakes.