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Robert Mottram Novices’ Chase: A Brief History


28 September 2021

The two and a half mile novices chase at Chepstow’s Unibet Jump Season Opener, run in memory of the course’s late head groundsman Robert Mottram since 2012, has been the launch pad for a host of top class horses beginning their fencing careers. 


A race with these conditions was inaugurated a year earlier, and little did we know how brilliant two of its four runners would turn out.  Cue Card was the winner, and though this much-loved horse amassed 16 career victories his fans will rue the one that got away; the 2016 Cheltenham Gold Cup, which was his for the taking when he fell at the third last.  Finishing third to Cue Card in the Chepstow race was Silviniaco Conti, another brilliant winner of 16 races, including seven Grade 1s. 


Fields can be small but select, with runners liable to come from all the leading southern stables. 


Cocktails At Dawn never won another race after taking 2015’s Robert Mottram Memorial Trophy, but he had Native River, Blaklion and Regal Encore behind him.  They would be successful in twenty more races between them, including a Gold Cup. 


And in 2016 Clan Des Obeaux, who in future would run away with the King George VI Chase at Kempton twice, was fourth behind the Chepstow course specialist Rock The Kasbah.  It’s not just the Robert Mottram winners that ought to go into your notebooks. 


This year’s race has been sponsored by Dunraven Windows. 


Click here for tickets for this year's Listed Dunraven Windows Novices' Chase for the Robert Mottram Memorial Trophy.

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