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The Ultima Handicap Chase Tips (2:50pm)

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The first handicap of the week is run over 3 miles 1 furlong of the old course with a maximum field of 24 likely to go to post. 10 of the last 13 winners had run at Cheltenham earlier in the season with 9 of the last 11 wearing some form of headgear. Novices have a good record in the race having won 5 of the last 9 renewals. The race was won last year by novice Northern raider Corach Rambler trained by Lucinda Russell.

Irish raider Stumptown was an easy winner at Sandown for Irish trainer Gavin Cromwell last time out and a 8lb rise may just be enough to get him into the race if taking this route as he also holds an entry in the Kim Muir on Thursday. Colin Tizzard’s Oscar Elite bounced back to form in a three runner novice chase at Ascot last time and a 4lb rise puts him in here with a definite chance. He ran third in this last year from a one pound lower handicap mark. Tizzard also has The Big Breakaway in the contest who arrives in good form having run second in the Welsh Grand National last time. Gary Moore’s Nassalam has already been supported for this contest having run well here on New Year’s Day last time over 2m 4 1/2F. He’s yet to try this trip and has stamina to prove though. One of the leading lights is the Yorkshire trained Into Overdrive who has won five of his last six starts with his latest success coming in the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase on Boxing Day at Wetherby by half a length from the useful Sounds Russian with Fanion D’Estruval back in third. That’s good form and he should run his usual sound race for handler Mark Walford. Last year’s winner Corach Rambler is back to defend his title off of a handicap mark 6lb higher. He’s not been seen since running 4th in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury back in November. Coopers Cross was last seen winning the Skybet Chase at Doncaster in January in first time cheek pieces, form which was boosted by the subsequent win of the runner up Cap Du Nord at Ascot. He’s been raised 5lb for that victory. Runner up two years ago was the Kim Bailey trained novice Happygolucky who’s well in at the weights with Into Overdrive on his re-appearance effort at Newcastle in November but flopped back in trip here on New Years Day. Another who could run well on his best form. Jonjo O’Neill’s Iron Bridge ran well at Warwick last time but has four entries at the Festival so is best left until we know his target. O’Neill also has the four time chasing Monbeg Genius, a novice who would most definitely have claims if running here (he also has Kim Muir and Midlands Grand National on Saturday entries.) Sam Thomas’s Our Power won the Coral Trophy Handicap Chase at Kempton in late February but will be re-assessed for that effort. Remastered is been aimed at the Grand National and has to put a very poor effort over hurdles at Sandown last time behind him. Irish raider The Goffer is interesting. Trained by Gordon Elliott this is his only entry at the Festival and comes here having won a valuable handicap chase over 2M 5F at Leopardstown in February. A lightly raced novice he can run well.

A tough race with preference for the Yorkshire trained Into Overdrive who has this as his only entry at Cheltenham and with his recent form tying in with smart sorts L’Homme Presse and Sounds Russian can give Mark Walford a first Cheltenham Festival winner.

Punters Lounge Tip: Into Overdrive 9/1 EW 1/5 12345 NR NB at >bet365 - Click Here To Bet

by The Brigadier

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  • StevieDay1983 changed the title to The Ultima Handicap Chase Tips (2:50pm)
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Ultima Handicap Chase - 2.50 Cheltenham 

The first handicap of the week is run over 3 miles 1 furlong of the old course with 23 runners going to post. 10 of the last 13 winners had run at Cheltenham earlier in the season with 9 of the last 11 wearing some form of headgear. Novices have a good record in the race having won 5 of the last 9 renewals. The race was won last year by novice Northern raider Corach Rambler trained by Lucinda Russell who’s back to defend his title.


4th in last season’s Ryanair Chase (beaten 28L). One of three Venetia Williams runners. Has a chance on his third beaten 9L by the fancied Into Overdrive at Wetherby on Boxing Day on 9lb better terms. Top weight today and will be ridden by 5lb conditional jockey Miss Lucy Turner. One of the better outsiders.


Kim Bailey’s 9 year old was runner up in this two years ago to Vintage Clouds off of a handicap mark 5lb lower. Came back from a long absence when 3rd in Rehearsal Chase won by the useful L’Homme Presse with Into Overdrive in 2nd. 8lb better off here for 3L and if we can forget his subsequent flop at Cheltenham over a shorter trip has definite each way claims with David Bass riding.


Claims on his best form which include a 1/2L runner up in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury last November and a comfortable win at Kempton around Christmas time. Flopped badly however back over hurdles at Sandown since. Somerset based trainer David Pipe does well in this race and he will be ridden by David Noonan. The Grand National is the aim and has each way claims on best form.


One of two Joe Tizzard trained chasers in field. Last seen when runner up in the Welsh Grand National at Chepstow for which he’s been raised 3lb for. Can make the occasional blunder and will be ridden today by Brendan Powell. A thorough stayer who won’t mind the conditions.


6th in last year’s Brown Advisory. 6th in Classic Chase at Warwick last time and down a pound. Trained by Paul Nicholls and ridden by A Heskin for the McNeill Family. Probably better than we’ve seen this season and sports a first time tongue tie here today. Capable of running well.


Was runner up, only beaten a short head in last season’s Coral Cup and has the feeling of one that has been laid out for this. Trained in Ireland by Martin Brassil he’s only had two starts over fences both in the top grade and off of a 6lb higher handicap mark than last year is one for the short list. Will be ridden by J J Slevin.


Gordon Elliott’s only representative comes into this in excellent form having won a grade A handicap chase at Leopardstown last month in his first handicap over 2m 5f. Yet to prove he truly stays this far and has to race off of a 11lb higher handicap mark. Davy Russell takes the reigns.


Fourth in this last year off of a 2lb lower mark. Not disgraced on his first two starts over fences this season and was outclassed when reverting to grade 2 company over hurdles last time out at Newbury in the Long Distance Hurdle. Stan Sheppard takes the ride for Tom Lacey.


Northern trainer Mark Walford has been amongst the winners in the last week and trains this 8 year old who will be ridden by Jamie Hamilton. Has won five of his last six starts climbing some 35lb in the weights. Last seen winning the Rowland Meyrick at Wetherby on Boxing Day from the smart Gold Cup bound Sounds Russian (5lb higher now) He missed the Skybet Chase with a slight niggle but has been away for a gallop at Manton and holds excellent claims.


Cosy winner of this race last year and back to have another go off of a 6lb higher handicap mark. Trainer Lucinda Russell is in red hot form at present winning with 10 of her last 26 runners and looks sure to go close with the only negative being that we havn’t seen 9 year old since a fine 4th in the Coral Gold Cup at Newbury last November.


Winner of the 2021 Ladbroke Trophy (old Henessey!) though hasn’t raced much since. Venetia Williiams’ 10 year old made a pleasing re-appearance when third of fourteen to stable mate Quick Wave in the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock and with Charlie Deutsch riding is another lively outsider.


Gary Moore’s six year old has been popular in the ante post market having run well here on New Years Day when 3rd to Midnight River over 2m 4 1/2F. An improver but that’s as far as he’s raced over so has stamina to prove with trainer’s son Jamie Moore in the saddle.


Three wins from eight starts over fences all over 2m 4F and this represents a step up in trip for Fergal O’Brien’s eight year old. Stamina a major issue for this Jack Hogan ridden gelding.


Ran well at the Dublin Racing Festival at Leopardstown in February when third to The Goffer beaten only 3L. 6lb better off here and looks overpriced on that run although is well held by Into Overdrive on his previous run. The oldest in the field and likely to find several too good for the Philip Kirby trained runner. Thomas Dowson rides.


A seven year old improver trained by Jonjo O’Neil and ridden by his son Jonjo Junior. Has won three of his four starts over fences rising 18lb and with novices having a good record in the race and with conditions ideal can run well.


Is looking well handicapped now having shown little in three starts this season and currently rated 6lb lower than his last win which came in the 2021 Rowland Meyrick. Nigel Twiston-Davies’ 10 year old is getting on a bit though and with Daryl Jacob riding for his bosses Simon Munir and Isaac Souede is likely to find a few too good for him today.


Ran a highly credible third in this last year to Corach Rambler and returns on 5lb better terms for 3L. Joe Tizzard’s eight year old was last seen winning a sub standard renewal of the Reynoldstown Novices’ Chase at Ascot and a case can be made for him with Harry Cobden an eye catching jockey booking.


First run for David Pipe having transferred from David Cottin in France. 3 wins from 17 starts in his native country but impossible to assess properly although is most likely best watched under Jack Tudor riding for Professor Caroline Tisdall.


Third of Venetia Williams’ runners who will be ridden by Shane Quinlan who still claims 3lb. Won first time out back in November at Ludlow and is now 7lb higher following three runs since including when flopping at Ascot last time under Lucy Turner. Hard to fancy on that effort.


A lightly raced seven year old trained locally by Ben Pauling. A winner at Bangor in November but ran poorly here on New Year’s Day in a novice chase won by The Real Whacker. Has yet to race beyond 2m 4F and stamina has to be a doubt with Tom Cannon in the saddle.


The second of Nigel Twiston-Davie’s runners. First time cheek pieces and a tongue tie are employed here for this eight year old who ran 7th when only a 8/1 chance beaten some 13L in this race last year. He’s rated 12lb lower now so has a healthy 18lb pull for that beating with the winner Corach Rambler. Very well handicapped now and with Sam Twiston-Davies in the plate can out run his odds.


Olly Murphy trains this out and out stayer who’s hard to win with. He’s been dropped 8lb for his efforts this season and is getting to a very winnable handicap mark but it’s hard to fancy him much here today.


Irish raider whose best run this season was when chasing home The Goffer in the Bulmers Leopardstown Chase last month. Out of his depth when unseating in the Bobbyjo Chase since he has a squeak although it’s been a while since Paul Gilligan’s 10 year old troubled the judge.


A cracking renewal of the Ultima with several holding good chances. Last year’s winner Corach Rambler won well and despite a 6lb higher mark can go well for the in form Lucinda Russell stable. Back in 7th that day was Fantastikas who’s now 18lb better off for a 13L beating which can pull the two closer together especially with the latter sporting first time cheek pieces and a tongue tie. Into Overdrive is my idea of the likeliest winner however. He represents some of the best staying handicap chase form around and can go close. Happygolucky has run well in this race before and is another with decent each way claims. Irish raider Fasterslow ran very well at the meeting over hurdles last year and has kept the best company over fences in two starts this season. He’s a very interesting contender.

1 Into Overdrive

2 Fasterslow

3 Fantastikas

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My top 3 rated 

Corach rambler  9.0 7/1 

Into overdrive   8.8 8/1 

Big breakaway  8.5  18/1 

I think ground will play a big part ......top 2 go on soft/heavy  ....Having a go at big wins this year so I'm having 10pt ew doubles all top 3 here with top 2 in supreme (il etait temps ...marine national...11/2 13/2 )

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This race offers lots of potential with some bookmakers offering each way tems of 6,7 or even 8 places.

Out of the last 9 runnings, 8 of the winners have been in the top 6 in the betting forecast. Of the 136 runners not in the top 6 only 1 has won. An easy way to narrow down the field.

All 9 winners last ran between 18 and 70 days ago. The remaining 80 all lost. This reduces the field to 3.

FASTORSLOW 9/1, 6 places

OSCAR ELITE 12/1, 6 places

MONBEG GENIUS 8/1, 6 places



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Like Monbeg Genius here. Just seems to keep pulling out more and if you look at the form of his latest win, his new mark looks well within reach - on the face of it, a couple of lengths ahead of a moderate enough horse may not look so good at the time but the runner-up has gone well twice since to be rated much higher now. Should keep it simple towards the front end and should give his running at 13/2.

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