National Hunt Chase

National Hunt Chase
The National Hunt Chase, or National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup, to give the race its full title, is run over 4 miles on the Old Course at Cheltenham, where it is currently scheduled as the penultimate race on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March each year. The National Hunt Chase is open to novice steeplechasers, that is, horses that have yet to win a race over fences at the start of the current season, aged five years and upwards, and restricted to amateur riders.

The race became part of the Cheltenham Festival programme in 1911 and has been run more often than any other event in that sphere; it is also the longest race run at the Festival. The National Hunt Chase was upgraded to Listed status prior to the 2014 running and, following a resurgence in popularity, upgraded to Grade 2 status prior to the 2017 running.

Since World War II, no jockey has won the National Hunt Chase more than twice, although Jonjo O’Neill is far and away the most successful trainer in recent years. The Master of Jackdaws Castle has saddled Front Line (1995), Rith Dubh (2002), Sudden Shock (2003), Native Emperor (2004), Butler's Cabin (2007), Minella Rocco (2016) for a total of six wins.

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