The JLT Novices Chase is one of the newer additions to the Cheltenham Festival, and will be run for the 6th time in 2016. It's the festival's only chase run over a distance of 2 miles 4 furlongs and features 17 fences.
The JLT Novices Chase has already been won by a couple of quality horses, with both Sir Des Champs and Vautour picking up the race titles.
JLT Novices Chase trends
The JLT Novices Chase hasn't been around for long enough for pundits to get a good handle on what constitutes a likely winner of the race. This shows up in the betting trends for the race, with just one antepost favourite taking a win in the race's history.
Entries by highly rated horses are the norm in the JLT Chase, with several horses rated 150 or above competing in every JLT Novices Chase since the race's inception. However, a horse with a rating of over 150 has won it just once - giving an indication of how open this event is.
Four of the last five winners won a Grade 1 or 2 chase prior to their Cheltenam trip, and the one who didn't finished second in a Grade 1. The Arkle Novice Chase at Punchestown has been used to groom horses for a run in the JLT Chase, however this season's Arkle Novice Chase winner, Douvan, has been aimed at the Supreme Novices Hurdle.
2016 JLT Novices Chase field
Garde La Victoire is the antepost favourite for the JLT Chase thanks to an unbeaten streak of four wins stretching back to January last year. While he has won at Cheltenham he's not won at the top level over fences and looks underpriced when he falls below 4/1.
Bristol De Mai won the Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices Chase last time out, and took a Group 2 before that. He's unbeaten since having his race distance bumped up to 20 furlongs and is very generously priced at 4/1 by William Hill.
Outlander has a Grade 1 win at Leopardstown last time out, and three wins from three starts over fences, he also offers generous value trading over 5/1.