Andy Newton’s Saturday Column

Peter Marsh Chase – Saturday 19th Jan 2019

Don’t get bogged down in the Peter Marsh Chase, let the key trends take the strain. 

This Saturday’s Peter Marsh Chase, often run in desperate conditions, it’s an aptly-named contest that is often billed as another Grand National trial ahead of the world’s greatest steeplechase in April.

However, don’t be fooled by this title, since the race was first run in 1981, we are yet to see a horse win both races in the same season.

The closest we’ve come is when the 1995 winner, Earth Summit, landed the Grand National three years later!

That’s not to say we’ve not had some classy horses winning the prize though.

In 2017 the popular grey, Bristol De Mai, took the honours, while Our Vic and Jodami were top staying chasers of their generation who also mopped-up the race.

Trainer Colin Tizzard won last year’s renewal, and with his horses going well anything he runs should be respected.

Sue Smith, David Pipe, Nigel Twiston-Davies and Venetia Williams are also yards that have winning form in this race since 2007.

Let’s take a look at some of the main trends to help us whittle down the runners…………

First up is age. We saw Bristol De Mai win the 2017 running as a six-year-old, but with 14 of the last 15 winners aged 8 or older, this trend is hard to ignore.

With seven (50%) of the last 14 winners aged 8, this age certainly has the best recent record. Of the 12 runners, the well-fancied 7 year-old Daklondike will need to overcome this stat.

Having had a recent run, looks key too. With 93% of the last 15 winners having raced in the last six weeks, heading here fit and well is another positive profile of recent winners.

If you want to take this a step further, then having run within the last 36 days could be the magic number, with 13 of the last 15 winners fitting that stat. Robinsfirth, who was last seen 400 days ago, would have this stat against him.   

We’ve several trainers who have landed this race in the past with runners.

Colin Tizzard took the prize last year, and tries to follow-up this time with Robinsfirth; while Nigel Twiston-Davies (Ballyarthur), Venetia Williams (Otago Trail), Sue Smith (Wakanda) and David Pipe (Daklondike) are stables that have had success in this contest since 2007.

Jockey Daryl Jacobs is a man who seems to love riding over fences at Haydock. He’s got a stonking 50% (9 from 18) record when getting the leg-up over the bigger obstacles here.

He teams-up with trainer Nicky Henderson to ride Valtor. Henderson boasts a decent 27% strike-rate with his chasers at Haydock.

This experienced French recruit won on his UK debut last month, but the handicapper has hiked up 12lbs in the ratings, so we’ll have to see if he can cope with the extra burden.


It’s a fascinating, and very competitive, renewal with a case to be made for all twelve runners.

We’ve got the added spice of the 2017 Grand National hero, One For Arthur, in the line-up, but the three that stand out based on the trends are: Otago Trail, Wakanda and last year’s runner-up CAPTAIN REDBEARD (e/w).

All three tick a lot of boxes and with the Venetia Williams yard, who have won this race twice before, in cracking order their Otago Trail could go well.

However, the main pick, Captain Redbeard, simply loves running at Haydock and we can’t ignore this. His form figures at the track read an impressive 3-1-2-1-2-3. This horse is yet to finish out of the top three, for 6 runs – not bad!

Yes, he ran below-par at Aintree last time out in the Sefton, but prior to that he was a close third over this course and distance, and gets in off the same mark.

He’s also rated the same as last year, but with the Henderson horse in the race this year, he actually carries 2lbs less this time. Jockey Sam Coltherd gets on well with the horse, and is able to claim 5lbs again here back at his beloved Haydock.  

I’ll take ‘Captain Redbeard’ to go one better than last year and steal the Peter Marsh treasure.

Recent Peter Marsh Chase Winners

2018 – THE DUTCHMAN (13/2)
2017 – BRISTOL DE MAI (4/1 jfav)
2016 – CLOUDY TOO (6/1)
2015 – SAMSTOWN (16/1) 
2014 – WYCHWOODS BROOK (16/1)
2013 – No race
2012 – ACCORDING TO PETE (9/1)
2011 – No race
2010 – OUR VIC (20/1)
2009 – CLOUDY LANE (6/1)
2008 – No race
2007 – THE OUTLIER (8/1)
2006 – EBONY LIGHT (33/1)
2005 – LORD TRANSCEND (9/4 fav)
2004 – ARTIC JACK (6/1)
2003 – TRUCKERS TAVERN (9/2)
2002 – RED STRIKER (8/1)
2001 – No race
2000 – THE LAST FLING (11/2)

Key Peter Marsh Chase Betting Trends

15/15 – Won on ground described as soft or worse previously
14/15 – Aged 8 or older
14/15 – Ran within the last 6 weeks
14/15 – Carried 11-3 or less in weight
13/15 – Had run within the last 36 days
11/15 – Won at least 3 times over fences previously 
10/15 – Officially Rated 139 or higher
10/15 – Won at Haydock previously
10/15 – Carried 10-12 or less in weight
9/15 – Favourites unplaced 
9/15 – Won between 3-5 times over fences before
8/15 – From outside the top 3 in the betting
9/15 – Aged either 8 or 9 years-old
8/15 – Won before (fences) over at least 3m
8/15 – Finished in the top 3 in their last race
8/15 – Irish bred
7/15 – Went onto finish unplaced in that season’s Grand National
7/15 – Won over fences at Haydock before
6/15 – Ran at Wetherby last time out
5/15 – Raced in the Roland Meyrick (Wetherby) last time out
5/15 – Went onto run at that season’s Cheltenham Festival (no winners)
3/15 – Trained by Sue Smith
2/15 – Trained by the McCain stable
2/15 – Won their last race 
2/15 – Winning favourites 

The average winning SP in the last 15 runnings is 10/1

That’s it for this week.

Until next Saturday,

All the best,
Andy Newton
for The Race Advisor

Andy Newton

Andy is a member of the Horse Writers’ Association and an established horse racing expert and tipster. He's been featured in Gambling Online magazine, and as an expert in the Official Wetherbys Cheltenham Festival betting guide since 2011 as well as other leading publications . Andy also has regular columns on, and and specializes in big race trends and stats.
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