There is certainly a big possibility that the majority of the main protagonists in the betting for the Jewson Novices’ Chase will take other Cheltenham engagements and this is one reason why it is hard to see Aupcharlie finishing out of the first three.
Willie Mullins is responsible for almost a dozen of the entries, with Boston Bob and Arvika Ligeonniere also prominent in the market.
However, 2m4f is liable to be too short for Boston Bob and he is more likely to tackle either the RSA Chase or National Hunt Chase.
The opposite problem exists for Arvika Ligeonniere, who may well run against Simonsig in the Arkle over 2m, given that this is the more prestigious race.
Therefore, Aupcharlie appears to be his number one in the Jewson and the trip should suit him perfectly.
He won easily over the distance on his maiden chase start and has been collared close home in his two starts since, which have both been over 3m.
There is a slight concern that he finds little off the bridle and this is not an ideal trait when the final Cheltenham hill has to be climbed, but if he is drawn into a struggle up the run-in, he should finish in the each-way places at worst.
Profit can still be made in this case, with Aupcharlie available at 6/1, with Ladbrokes offering the best price on his chances.
The 4/1 favourite Captain Conan looks the only other definite starter towards the head of the betting, but he looks more a workmanlike sort that may not have encountered the highest class of opposition yet on his three chase starts.
There is no doubt that he should stay up the Cheltenham hill, but whether he is close enough to Aupcharlie at this time is open to debate.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.