Future Champion Novices' Chase

The Future Champion Novices' Chase is a Grade 2 National Hunt Race, held annually in April at Ayr Racecourse in Scotland. The race is held over the gruelling distance of 2 miles and 4 furlongs, with 17 fences to be negotiated along the way. While the Future Champion Novices' Stakes are open to horses over the age of five, the entry is limited to 'novices', meaning horses which have not yet recorded a victory in the current season.

As part of the same racecard as the Scottish Grand National, the Future Champion Novices' Stakes is one of the most popular fixtures hosted at Ayr. Although it is currently classified as a Grade 2 event, which was introduced to the Scottish racing calendar in April 1968, it enjoyed a brief moment of Grade 1 glory between 1991 and 1995. Currently back to its Grade 2 status, the Future Champion Novices' Stakes awards a purse of £40,000 to the winning talent.

Trainer Jonjo O'Neill left his mark on the Future Champion Novices' Stakes in his jockeying days, becoming one of only two riders to ride three winners at the event; Crofton Hall in 1977, King Weasel in 1978 and Night Nurse in 1979. Joint record holder Ron Barry recorded his victories in 1973, 1975 and 1981.

Recent Winners of the Future Champion Novices' Chase:

Year Winner Age Jockey Trainer

2010

French Opera

7

Barry Geraghty

Nicky Henderson

2009

Deep Purple

8

Paul Moloney

Evan Williams

2008

Starzaan

9

Robert Thornton

Hughie Morrison

2007

Natal

6

Ruby Walsh

Paul Nicholls

2006

Monet's Garden

8

Tony Dobbin

Nicky Richards

2005

Locksmith

5

Timmy Murphy

Martin Pipe

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