Cheltenham Festival – Ultima Handicap Chase: Take struggling horse to rediscover his form


GRAEME Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) takes a look at always intriguing Ultima Handicap Chase.

Cheltenham 14:50 | Ultima Handicap Chase | ITV1

The Ultima Handicap Chase over 3 miles 1 furlong is a big field handicap that will be very different from the previous two races on the card. Plenty of these have proven course form and we also have three previous winners of the race lining up who we would be foolish to ignore.

I’m going to start by looking at an improving sort and the likely favourite Singlefarmpayment. This will be the 7 year old’s fifth career start over fences and so far he’s shown a liking for this course.

He won a decent novice chase here in December and was brought down last time when creeping in to contention. He has a progressive profile and has to be respected however this is a big step up in class and he’s vulnerable in my eyes.

Noble Endeavour has run twice at the festival in his life, finishing second to the talented Killultagh Vic and then falling last year when looking held in the National Hunt Chase. This would have been his target for the season and despite having plenty of weight he is likely to be competitive.

Bizarrely I am backing the exact same horse as I did last year in this race and I’m taking a chance on Holywell being at his best for the meeting. A horse who only shows his real form in the spring, he has a real love affair with this meeting and comes in to this race off a lenient mark compares to recent years. The stable is starting to send out winners and Holywell ticks a lot of boxes here. I’m backing him each way for this.

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Ultima Handicap Chase – Holywell each way (10/1 10BET)


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About Author

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I grew up watching Hearts games with my dad and playing football at every opportunity so betting on it was the logical next step! Football coupons became a Saturday ritual and it introduced me into the world of horse racing. I started watching it on a regular basis, and after Galileo's Derby win in 2001 I was hooked. I follow both flat and national hunt racing attending the northern meetings when possible.

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