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turners novices chase cheltenham festival day 3 14/03/2024 sport preview

Turners Novices Chase – Cheltenham Festival Day 3 14/03/2024

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Turners Novices Chase 14/03/2024:
  • Ginny’s Destiny
  • Gaelic Warrior
  • Iroko

Turners Novices Chase – Cheltenham Festival Day 3 14/03/2024

Venue: Cheltenham Racecourse, Cheltenham UK | Dates: 12-15 March 2024 | Official Site: Cheltenham Festival 2024

1:30 – Winner: £98,472.5 Runners: 24 Going: Soft Distance: 2m3f168y

10 Year Official Rating Trends

  • Highest Winning Official Rating:   161
  • Lowest Winning Official Rating:    144
  • Average Winning Official Rating:  152


Ginny’s Destiny:

The son of Yeats has been a revelation since joining Paul Nicholls from Tom Lacey at the start of the season.  The champion trainer has officially improved the horse by 20lbs and he goes into this race on a 3lb higher mark (155) than his stablemate Stage Star who won this race for Paul Nicholls last season from a mark of 152.  Crucially Ginny’s Destiny has run all four races this season over the course and distance of this race and he has won the last three of them!  Last time out he gave Theatre Man 13lb and a 2¾ beating after making virtually all of the running.  The time before that he beat Grey Dawning (perhaps a little fortuitously given the mistake made by the grey horse two out) however that horse has run away with a Grade 2 novices chase at Warwick since and the form is extremely strong.  Ginny’s Destiny provides the champion trainer with one of his best chances of the week and if he gets out front and jumps as well as he normally does then it will take a fair horse to get by him.

Gaelic Warrior:

Speaking of fair horses, if Gaelic Warrior heads to this particular race then he falls right into that particular category.  A Grade 1 winning hurdler at the Punchestown Festival last season, this horse was built for chasing and he certainly backed up that assertion by winning his first two races over the larger obstacles this season.  The second of those was the Faugheen Novices Chase over 2m3½f at Limerick in December where he beat the subsequent Grade 1 winner Il Etait Temps by an easy 5½ lengths.  The biggest problem Patrick Mullins had from the saddle was giving an infamous ‘telling off’ to his cousin Danny Mullins after the race!  Gaelic Warrior then blew out in a two horse affair at the DRF when well beaten and falling at the last fence behind stable companion Fact To File.  A line can be drawn through that run.  The son of Maxios will head here with a major chance though there is a nagging query that he appears to prefer going right-handed and that could be his Achilles heel against a quick and aggressive jumper like Ginny’s Destiny.


Last season’s Martin Pipe winner Iroko looked long odds against getting to this year’s Festival after sustaining an injury when never coming off the bridle to win on his novice chase debut at Warwick in November.  That was a hugely impressive chasing debut and although the second horse was very disappointing when pulling up in both of his subsequent races, he was still a Grade 2 winning chaser in France.  The third horse Kilbeg King, was beaten 20 lengths by Iroko and he is now a 142 rated chaser having run very well in defeat since.  There is little doubt that the preparation of Iroko for Cheltenham has been massively compromised by his setback however make no mistake, this is a very good horse who could easily make them all go if he turns up fit and well on the day.

These are the main protagonists in a race that could easily cut up as a number of potential opponents carry multiple entries and could easily end up in other races.  It is also possible that the likes of Facile Vega and The Grey Dawning could head to this particular race and if they do then both would seriously enter calculations.

Turners Novices Chase Summary:

Ginny’s Destiny heads into this race as the obvious favourite given his exploits over course and distance this season.  This is allied to the fact that he has improved markedly for moving to Ditcheat and coming under the stewardship of a master trainer and he sets a tough standard for the others to match.  That said, both Gaelic Warrior and Iroko possess the scope and the class to put it up to Ginny’s Destiny and if Oliver Greenall can produce Iroko cherry ripe on the day then he could be right in the shake-up.  In addition to this and at the time of writing, both Facile Vega and/or The Grey Dawning could head here and case could easily be made for both to feature strongly if this proves to be the case.

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