16th Mar 2017 | Cheltenham Festival

JLT Novices’ Tip: Top Notch

JLT Novices’ Tip: Top Notch

Unbeaten this season and ran a fast time and fast closing sectional when earning a big speed rating at Sandown last time out.

The aptly named Top Notch is just that. He has won all four starts this season and despite running in small field novice chases he’s shown a high level of form earning Topspeed Rating in excess of 110 each time.

Speed ratings are a function of pace, which isn’t always easy to judge in National Hunt racing but thankfully Timeform lend a hand. Simon Rowlands has been leading the way in this field and the sectionals from the Scilly Isles Novices’ Chase are worth noting.

Top Notch ran a fast overall time (Topspeed Rating 130) and a fast closing sectional. He was 1.45s faster from 3 out than anything else in the race and this was on the back of tracking a strong gallop. In any discipline of racing the fast time/fast sectional combination is worth noting, especially for a horse who has won all four starts this season.

In 2014, Top Notch was second in the Triumph Hurdle and last year was only beaten 9.75 lengths in the Champion Hurdle. That is classy back form and useful course experience. He looks the one to beat in the JLT. Back him at 10/3 with Sky Bet and get money back as a free bet up to £20 if he loses.

Odds correct at time of publishing: 01:34 16th Mar, 2017 but subject to change

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