Ultima Handicap Chase Tips - 2:50pm Cheltenham

2019 Ultima Handicap Chase Preview

Officially called the Festival Trophy, this race is the first handicap of the four day meeting and a very competitive contest at that. It’s run over an extended three miles and bags of stamina is required here so don’t be surprised if a few of these runners are entered in the Grand National. We have the full field of 24 runners and they won't hang about here.

It’s a poor race for the Irish raiders with no win since 2006 when Tony Martin won with Dun Doire. On the other side of the coin Jonjo O’Neill has won it the race three times in the last ten years.

Jonjo’s representative this time round is Minella Rocco who is starting to look well handicapped after quiet spell.

Two years ago he was second in the Gold Cup behind Sizing John and obviously anything like that form would make him dangerous here off his current mark. He hasn’t showed enough recently to get that excited about but you wouldn’t be surprised if he ran well.

Paul Nicholls saddles the well fancied Give Me A Copper, the 9yo is very lightly raced with only three starts over fences in his career. He won at Kempton like a decent horse last season and his only run this term was a respectable 4th at Kempton in February. That will have put him straight for this and looks a danger to all of 145.

Another runner with a big chance is Mister Whitaker trained by Mick Channon. He won the 2m4f Novice Handicap last season at the Festival and comes here 14lbs higher. He is unproven at this trip so on the face of it has plenty to prove.

Last time out he was 4th at Ascot to Cyrname which has turned out to be very good form and one thig going for him is that he always rune well here at Cheltenham.

Singlefarmpayment is a regular in this contest, he was second in 2017 and last year was 5th behind the novice Coo Star Sivola. The 9yo has had plenty of chances but you have to go back 3 years to find his last victory and is probably more of an each way bet than anything. 

Colin Tizzard has a couple of interesting runners and his main hope looks to be Royal Vacation, he has been running over longer trips all season so will have no trouble in the stamina department. He will be ridden by Aidan Coleman.

Nicky Henderson had plenty entered in this race and his Beware The Bear is worth a second look after a fine win last time out here at Cheltenham on New Years Day.

The 9yo was wearing blinkers for the first time that day so he could well improve on his 4th here twelve months ago from just one pound higher in the weights.

Willie Mullins has a poor record in this contest but his Up For Review who is owned by Graham Wiley looks to have a decent chance. He was pulled up when fancied for the Albert Bartlett last season but has since won twice from six outings over fences.

His third in the Thyestes Chase reads very well and gets to run off the same mark here.

Jessica Harrington run Magic Of Light, the 8yo won at Ascot in January and then was a decent second to Happy Diva at Huntingdon. He came down last time out but could easily bounce back here.

Finally we have to mention last years winner Coo Star Sivola trained by Nick Williams. He has yet to show any decent form this season but he wouldnt be the first horse to regain his enthusiasm back at the scene of his most notable win.


Punters Lounge Tip: Mister Whitaker EW 12/1 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet

 

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Ultima Handicap Chase Previous Winners
YearWinnerAgeJockeyTrainerSP
2019Beware The Bear9Jerry McGrathNicky Henderson10/1
2018Coo Star Sivola6Lizzie KellyNick Williams5/1
2017Un Temps Pour Tout8Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe9/1
2016Un Temps Pour Tout7Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe11/1
2015The Druids Nephew8Barry GeraghtyNeil Mulholland8/1
2014Holywell7Richie McLernonJonjo O'Neill10/1
2013Golden Chieftain8Brendan PowellColin Tizzard28/1
2012Alfie Sherrin9Richie McLernonJonjo O'Neill14/1
2011Bensalem8Robert ThorntonAlan King5/1
2010Chief Dan George10Paddy AspellJames Moffatt33/1
2009Wichita Lineman8Tony McCoyJonjo O'Neill5/1
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