Foxhunter Chase Tips - 4:10pm Cheltenham

2019 Foxhunter Challenge Cup Hunters’ Chase Preview

One of the more traditional races ran at the Festival, the Foxhunter Chase was established in 1904. The race always follows the Gold Cup and is run over the same course and distance and is the richest race of its type during the National Hunt season.

Over the last few years the Irish trained horses have had a field day in this event and actually won it six times in succession from 2011. Paul Nicholls has since won it twice to even it up a fraction but it remains a race the away side look forward to.

It’s also a race where the old adage ‘horses for courses’ rings true, we have had three back to back winners in the last seven renewals. Salsify won it in 2012 and 2013, On The Fringe took it in 2105/16 and Pacha Du Polder has took the crown for the last two years.

Pacha Du Polder is a 12yo now and is lightly raced these days. He was a very lack lustre 5th the other day at Haydock and will need to bounce right back to form to have any chance of landing the hat-trick. In saying that he was an unfancied 25/1 shot when winning it last year so it would be folly to completely write him off.

Owner/Rider David Maxwell has bought plenty of horses this season and his best shot here could be with Shantou Flyer. He disappointed on his first start of the season when looking very rusty indeed. He was a well beaten 5th at Warwick that day behind the useful Hazel Hill.

Next time out Shantou Flyer made amends by winning at Kelso, it wasn’t straight forward that day either and looked a beaten horse turning into the straight. He buckled down and got back up on the run in to win by 7 lengths in the end but it looked a struggle and will need to step up from that to win this.

Hazel Hill has won eleven races in the point field and looked quite impressive when coming home 11 lengths clear of Mr Mix at Warwick in January. That followed a similar victory in a point to point race at Chaddesley Corbett and connections deserve a tilt at this big prize.

Road To Rome has been a revelation this season since being sold out of Oliver Sherwood’s yard last November. He won three points in quick succession and has now bolted up in four hunter chases.

He kicked off by winning by 25 lengths at Taunton and then won at Ludlow twice within three weeks. Last time out at Haydock he thrashed his rivals by an impressive 34 lengths and is now officially rated 30lbs higher than at this time last year.

He travels well in his races from the front and if he can get away with those tactics in this stronger race he could be a danger to all.

Caid Du Berlais is interesting for Rose Loxton, he's the mount of the experienced rider Will Biddick and the pair were 5th in this race last year. He was an easy winner at Punchestown last season and has since bolted up in a point to show his well being. He should be thereabouts yet again.

The Irish challenge is led by Edna Bolger’s 7yo Stand Up And Fight. He was rated 133 over hurdles but was always going to make a better chaser. His best performance so far was when winning at Down Royal on Boxing Day. He led all of the way that day to beat Sizing Coal and Kruzhlinin and although he was only second to Fenno’s Storm at Kilfeacle when last seen he is progressing well and is highly regarded by owner J.P.McManus.

Gordon Elliott saddles Ucello Conti in the colours of Simon Munir and Isaac Souede. He failed to get round in the Grand National last season but has since won three times since going down the hunter chase route. Last time out he won cosily enough at Navan and will have put him spot on for a tilt at this prize.

Another runner in with a chance is Haymount, he was only 3 ¾ lengths behind Tiger Roll in the National Hunt Cup a couple of years ago here and has since left Willie Mullins to join permit trainer Tom Ellis.

He won by 3 lengths on his point to point debut at Sheriff Hutton in January and still has plenty of ability in this type of company.

Punters Lounge Tip: Stand Up And Fight 9/2 at Coral - Click Here To Bet
 

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Foxhunter Chase Trends
Foxhunter Chase Previous Winners
Year WinnerAge JockeyTrainerSP
2019Hazel Hill11Alex EdwardsPhilip Rowley7/2
2018Pacha Du Polder11Harriet TuckerPaul Nicholls25/1
2017Pacha Du Polder10Bryony FrostPaul Nicholls16/1
2016On The Fringe11Nina CarberryEnda Bolger13/8
2015On The Fringe10Nina CarberryEnda Bolger6/1
2014Tammys Hill9James SmythLiam Lennon15/2
2013Salsify8Colman SweeneyRoger Sweeney2/1
2012Salsify7Colman SweeneyRoger Sweeney7/1
2011Zemsky8Derek O'ConnorIan Ferguson33/1
2010Baby Run10Sam Twiston-DaviesNigel Twiston-Davies9/2
2009Cappa Bleu7Richard BurtonSheila Crow11/2
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