THE most valuable handicap chase of the meeting, Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) tells us who he’s backing in the Ultima Handicap Chase.
14:50 Cheltenham | Channel 4
A change of pace here after two Grade 1 novice races over the minimum distance. This race is a 3 mile 1 furlong chase with 24 lining up and what looks a hugely competitive race.
Out Sam has only had three races over fences and comes in to this as an unexposed chaser on the up. His last two starts have resulted in impressive victories and he comes here in the form of his life. However both wins have come in small fields and you have to wonder whether he will like the hustle and bustle of this. He fell in the Albert Bartlet here last season and I expect him to come up short here too.
Morning Assembly is of interest after returning from a long absence recently. Third in the RSA in 2014 he has only run three times since. He is well handicapped on his old form and will relish the trip, but I still feel he will fall short.
Un Temps Pour Tout is an interesting runner too. He won the French Champion Hurdle last season and started this season as a leading fancy for the RSA. He has yet to hit the heights expected of him over obstacles yet, however he is a highly talented horse and could well run a huge race here at these weights.
I previewed the Gold Cup a few weeks ago and I thought Holywell could represent some each way value at a big price. He was fourth in the race last year and is a real spring horse. However this season has been a non event for him and he comes here out of form. Despite that I’m sticking to my guns.
Last time out he hated the ground and he is the class act of the field here. His stable has a great record in this race and he will appreciate the better ground here. He has ran three times at the Cheltenham Festival, winning twice and finishing fourth in a Gold Cup. I make him a solid an each way bet here.
14:50 Cheltenham – Holywell each way (8/1 Ladbrokes)
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