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Festival Handicap Chase betting tips, predictions, preview and free bets (DAY 1 - March 13, 2018)

  • Written by Simon Bettarini
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The Grade 3 Festival Handicap Chase is run over 3 miles and a half a furlong. The race is open to 5 year olds and over, and involves 19 fences. It is the first big handicap of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival meeting and will as always be an ultra competitive race. This race was won in 2017 by the Alan Fleming-trained Tully East from odds of 8/1. Don't miss our Ultima Handicap Chase race preview with free predictions, tips, betting trends, best odds, free bets and no deposit bonuses on the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.


Are you looking for all the 2018 Cheltenham predictions? Visit our Cheltenham betting tips section here!

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Formerly the Jewson's Novices Handicap Chase, the Festival Novices' Handicap Chase was  moved to the opening day card in 2011 after the introduction of the new Jewson Novices Chase to the DAY 3 racecard. The race itself is run over 3 miles at Cheltenham and there are 19 fences for the field to jump around the old course at Prestbury Park. It's a Grade 3 handicap chase, for horses aged five and upwards, where many of the top handicappers come together, producing a thrilling race. The prize fund is £55,000.

Many horses will arrive looking well handicapped making it very hard to predict the winner. Furthermore, some of the previous winners have carried big weights to victory.

And now we'll take a closer look at this year's Ultima Business Solution Handicap Chase 2018 and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.

SINGLEFARMPAYMENT has only won 1 from 8 over fences, but he has some excellent form over this unique course and distance. The usual decent ground at Prestbury Park in March suits him to perfection.

GOLD PRESENT arrives unbeaten this season after victories at Newbury and Ascot. The first win was over 2m6f and was running after a 200 day break, the second success cam three weeks later when accounting for Frodon by 3 lengths over three miles.

COO STAR SIVOLA will run off 4lb higher than in the Martin Pipe last year - when he finished a good fourth - but has good course form and was impressive in his last race, winning by 14 lengths

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BEWARE THE BEAR had looked a progressive handicapper previously, shaping well until stamina ebbed in the NH Chase at the 2017 Festival. He found the demands of a heavy ground Welsh National against him in January but trainer Nicky Henderson is quite confident about his chances.

O O SEVEN was fourth behind Gold Present at Ascot but is now 9lb better off for 11 lengths. Since then he has ran here at Cheltenham and was fifth beaten 21 lengths by Frodon.

RAMSES DE TEILLEE had a good season and hasn't been out of the first two in his last six starts. His big assets are that he jumps well and travels well.

EAMON AN CNOIC is proving much better over fences than he was over hurdles. He fell at Wetherby but since then has won at Haydock and Plumpton.

VINTAGE CLOUDS is flying under the radar. He was running a big race at the Festival last year when he tipped up two out and his recent second to RSA fancy Ballyoptic at Wetherby reads well.

YALA ENKI notched up his first win in almost a year when beating Blaklion in  the Betfred Grand National Trial at Haydock Park. He could be the long shot option for brave punters.

PERFECT CANDIDATE might be 11 years old but he well here at his local track and his latest win was in November over 3m3f.

MINELLA DADDY, SHANTOU FLYER, VICENTE, COGRY and WAKANDA are other valuable entries that can't be ruled out.

The section below contains the most backed entries at the moment:

  • Unibet Betting BonusCoo Star Sivola  7.00Bet
  • Betfred Betting BonusSinglefarmpayment  8.00Bet
  • Totesport Betting BonusGold Present  8.00Bet
  • Betfred Betting BonusO O Seven  15.00Bet
  • Betstars Betting BonusBeware The Bear  15.00Bet
  • Betway Betting BonusVintage Clouds  15.00Bet
  • Winner Sports Betting BonusRamses De Teillee 15.00Bet

All the bookmakers we recommend are offering No Runner No Bet on every Cheltenham Festival race.

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  • 11 of the last 13 winners were in the first six in the betting
  • 14 of the last 18 winners returned 11/1 or shorter
  • 9 of the last 13 winners finished first or second last time out
  • 13 of the last 17 were novices or second season chasers
  • 12 of the last 15 winners carried less than 11st to victory
  • 14 of the last 18 winners were officially rated 143 or less
  • The last 6 winners all wore headgear
  • Only 1 winner in the last 9 hadn’t raced at a previous Festival


Feel free to copy our betting tips on the Ultima Business Handicap Chase 2018. Get the best odds available on your favourite recommended bet by clicking the 'Bet' button!

  • Totesport Betting BonusGold Present to win  8.00Bet
  • Betfred Betting BonusYala Enki to win & each-way  17.00Bet

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