The Grade 1 Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase (Saturday 2 February) first took place in 1964 and it is run at Sandown over 2 miles 4 furlongs and 10 yards, with runners having to jump 17 fences. It is open to horses aged five and older and notable winners include Best Mate, Oscar Whiskey, Bristol De Mai, and Top Notch.
Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase 10-Year-Trends
- Winners have been aged five, six, seven, and nine
- Seven of the last eight winners had already achieved a rating of at least 151
- Seven of the last ten favourites have won
- SP’s of the winners have ranged from 1/6 to 9/2
- Nicky Henderson has trained five of the last 10 winners
Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase 2019 Main Contenders
Winner of all six of his starts, including a bumper, three hurdle races and two chases, and has already achieved a rating of 151 over fences. He’s taken some notable scalps along the way too including the Grade 1 winning hurdler Champ and the useful Western Ryder. It’s also interesting that all five of this bold jumper’s runs over hurdles and fences have been on right-handed tracks, so he should be well-suited to Sandown.
Has only won two of his nine starts and all his runs have been on left-handed tracks. That doesn’t mean he won’t handle going right-handed but it is an unanswered question. He also comes into the race rated just 149, which is slightly lower than recent winners. However, his trainer Colin Tizzard has talked about him being a future Cheltenham Gold Cup horse, so a bold bid is anticipated.
Defi Du Seuil
The winner of the 2017 Triumph Hurdle endured a poor season over hurdles last season, but has shown plenty of his old sparkle on his last two runs over fences. He’s also proven that he can win on right-handed tracks after scoring at Exeter two starts ago. He does have 1¼ lengths to make up with Lostintranslation on their form at Cheltenham last time, but a 3lb pull in the weights should make things very close between them. For all that, there’s a suspicion he’s vulnerable to a stronger stayer over this trip.
Trained by Nicky Henderson and has won his two novice chases this season in taking fashion over three miles. The form of those wins also looks solid, but this drop-in-trip may not be ideal for a horse that has been made favourite for the four-mile National Hunt Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. His weakness in the market also suggests he may have other targets.
Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase Summary & Betting Tip
If OK Corral doesn’t run, the finish may be fought out between Vinndication, Lostintranslation, and Defi Du Seuil. This race is usually won by a horse that goes on to be better over further, so Defi Du Seuil is overlooked on this occasion. Of the other two, Vinndication’s experience of right-handed tracks and his slightly higher-rating win him the vote.