Ultima Chase – Cheltenham Day 1
14.50 Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f
The Ultima Handicap Chase open to 5 year olds that often pre-empts a tilt at the Aintree Grand National next month.
This hasn’t been a favourites paradise over the years with just two winning since 1977, though outsiders are a bit of a rarity with 11 winners from the last 15 been in the first four in the forecast.
Let’s check the stats and trends for this one….
- Last 5 winners finished Top 5 in their last race and 16/18 finished top 6 LTO
- 11 from 15 in top 4 betting forecast
- Must have run at least 5 times over fences
- Had a run in the previous 16-45 day period
- last 5 winners carried 11-06 or less from a rating below 147
- Favours 149 or below – last above 150 was 1983
- Must have had two or more runs this season and between 1 and 5 chase wins
- 3 from last 6 winners ran in the Cleeve Hurdle
- Trainer form: – Jonjo O’Neill: 3/17, 5 places, A King: 2/13, 3 places, P F Nicholls: 0/19, 4 places, N Henderson: 0/18, 6 places
Warren Greatrix’s Out Sam heads the market at a best 8/1 but questions have to be asked with neither a course or distance win to his name.
Kruzhlinin sits within the top 4 in the betting and is lightly raced following a switch to the Hobbs stable, but recorded that impressive win at Kempton in January when beating Le Reve.
We mentioned in the stats above regarding the Cleeve prep and The Young Master featured there, he has had a somewhat chequered history since running in the RSA last year, but has decent form around here and opts for this instead of the RSA.
Kings Palace comes in on a run of poor form compared to last years exerts and cannot really be fancied.
Doctor Harper was well voted for the Super Yank by yourselves a fairly decent handicap hurdler and after running second to a couple of very decent sorts in his first two novice chases got off the mark at the third attempt when bolting up at Leicester…..however he’s now off for the Kim Muir and we’ll take view on that later
CAROLE’S DESTRIER is a proven 3 miler and though beaten a distance on seasonal debut at Wincanton, bounced back at Sandown next time out despite pecking the last – he hasn’t been seen out since and rates a strong contender despite the 151 rating.
The Young Master gets our smaller 0.5 pt opting for this instead of the RSA.