- 1:30 Supreme Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 Arkle Chase
- 2:50 Ultima Handicap Chase
- 3:30 Champion Hurdle
- 4:10 Mares Hurdle
- 4:50 National Hunt Chase Cup
- 5:30 Close Brothers Novices Chase
- 1:30 Ballymore Novices Hurdle
- 2:10 RSA Chase
- 2:50 Coral Cup
- 3:30 Queen Mthr Champion Chase
- 4:10 Cross Country Chase
- 4:50 Fred Winter H'Cap Hurdle
- 5:30 Champion Bumper
- 1:30 JLT Novices Chase
- 2:10 Pertemps Final Hurdle
- 2:50 Ryanair Chase
- 3:30 Stayers Hurdle
- 4:10 Brown Advisory Plate
- 4:50 Mares Novices Hurdle
- 5:30 Kim Muir Chase Cup
Ultima Handicap Chase Tips - 2.50pm Cheltenham
2019 PREVIEW DUE by MARCH 5th-10th
The Ultima Chase is the first handicap of the Festival and has in recent years seen a definite shift towards the better horses in the line up. At one time the trends would suggest you looked for something under 11st but the last four winners have been rated over 145.
With that in mind trainer Nicky Henderson has a couple of likely lads in the shape of Gold Present and O O Seven, both rated in the 150’s.
Gold Present arrives unbeaten this season after victories at Newbury and Ascot. The first win was over 2m6f and was running after a 200 day break, he won that off 142 and was raised just 5lbs. Not surprisingly Henderson sent him out again three weeks later and was very impressive when accounting for Frodon by 3 lengths over three miles.
That form has been upheld and has been put up another 8lbs but he’s an improving 8yo and has more to offer I’m sure. He was second in the Listed handicap here twelve months ago and will make a bold bid to go one better and not running for 80 days could actually be a positive for this horse.
O O Seven was fourth behind Gold Present at Ascot but is now 9lb better off for 11 lengths. Since then he has ran here at Cheltenham and was fifth beaten 21 lengths by Frodon. The heavy ground took its toll in the closing stages and should be much more at home in better ground.
The yard also have Beware The Bear in the line up, he needs to recover from a poor effort last time out when he pulled up in the Welsh National, he's had plenty of time to get over those exertions so is a possibility.
Singlefarmpayment pulled up in the Grade 2 Costwold Chase last time after making a bad error at the 11th fence, he had earlier finished 5th behind Gold Present at Ascot and is closely matched with several of these. The Tom George trained 8yo was well backed to win this race last season but was just edged out by Un Temps Pour Tout in a photo-finish. He’s only 3lb higher this time round and must be on the shortlist.
Improving novice chasers have a decent record in the race and Coo Star Sivola looks to have the right profile. The 6yo has steadily improved since going over fences and comes here on the back of his first victory which was at Exeter last month. He actually needed to win that day to get a run here so on the face of it it looks like a well laid out plan. Lizzie Kelly takes 3lbs off his back and could be the blot on the handicap this year.
Venetia Williams is no stranger to the winners enclosure at the Festival and can certainly do the job if she has the ammunition. She has had a relatively quiet season by her standards but Yala Enki bounced back to form last time out at Haydock in the National trial. The 8yo loves to go from the front and ground his rivals into submission. He came home 54 lengths clear of Blaklion and although the conditions played a big part he still needs to be taken seriously here.
Sue Smith saddles both Wakanda and Vintage Clouds and both arrive here in very good form. Wakanda had been a good second at Wetherby on Boxing Day and followed that up with a typical battling performnace at Doncaster last time out. He's gone up 3lbs which wont help his cause but is a very consistent chaser.
Vintage Clouds is the choice of jockey Danny Cook, the 8yo has been running well all season and kicked off with a victory at Aintree in October. Since then ha has been placed in the Welsh National and last time out was a decent runner up to Ballyoptic at Wetherby in a Grade 2 contest. He comes here with a big chance especially as he acts well in soft ground conditions.
Punters Lounge Tip: Gold Present EW 9/1 at Bet365 - Click Here To Bet
Ultima Handicap Chase Runners
Ultima H'cap Chase Trends
|10/10 Winners||Were trained in Britain|
|10/10 Winners||Had won over 3m+ previously|
|9/10 Favourites||have failed to win|
|9/10 Winners||Won a Class 3 Chase or higher|
|9/10 Winners||Were Irish bred|
|8/10 Winners||Were rated 142 or more|
|8/10 Winners||Were either 7 or 8 year olds|
|7/10 Winners||Carried between 10st 9lbs and 11st 7lbs|
|7/10 Winners||Were placed in the first three on their latest run|
|5/10 Winners||Started double figure price|
Ultima H'cap Chase Previous Winners
|2018||Coo Star Sivola||6||Lizzie Kelly||Nick Williams||5/1|
|2017||Un Temps Pour Tout||8||Tom Scudamore||David Pipe||9/1|
|2016||Un Temps Pour Tout||7||Tom Scudamore||David Pipe||11/1|
|2015||The Druids Nephew||8||Barry Geraghty||Neil Mulholland||8/1|
|2014||Holywell||7||Richie McLernon||Jonjo O'Neill||10/1|
|2013||Golden Chieftain||8||Brendan Powell||Colin Tizzard||28/1|
|2012||Alfie Sherrin||9||Richie McLernon||Jonjo O'Neill||14/1|
|2011||Bensalem||8||Robert Thornton||Alan King||5/1|
|2010||Chief Dan George||10||Paddy Aspell||James Moffatt||33/1|
|2009||Wichita Lineman||8||Tony McCoy||Jonjo O'Neill||5/1|