RACING anorak Graeme Johnston (@GraemeJ_83) analyses the field for the 2021 Cheltenham Festival opener, the Ultima Handicap Chase.
Ultima Handicap Chase | Tuesday 16th March 2021, 2:30 | ITV1
The Ultima Handicap is a break from the grade one action and this looks a very tricky puzzle to solve. Novices tend to have a good record in this race historically, however Im going for one who has plenty of experience but seems to have fallen back in love with the sport again after being a rogue in the past.
Admiral's Secret doesn't tick many boxes in terms of a normal Festival winner, no course form, no Festival experience and taking his first try at a new distance but I like him here.
He's a 10 year-old on an upward curve, and after refusing to race twice in 2019 he has been transformed partly by being ponied to the start and looks reformed. He's improved 17lbs since then and his form last time behind Aso and Two for Gold is very solid.
He'll love the ground and he looks like he will relish the extra distance. Provided the occasion doesn't get too much for him I like him each was with some firms offering seven places for each-way bets.
2:30 Ultima Handicap Chase – Admiral's Secret each-way (16/1 SkyBet)