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Ultima Handicap Chase Betting Tips, Predictions, Preview & Free Bets (Cheltenham 2019 - DAY 1)

  • 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 2019 Cheltenham Festival meeting and will as always be an ultra competitive race. The 2018 renewal saw Coo Star Sivola live up to his favourite billing. Lizzie Kelly steered him first past the past with odds of 5/1. 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 2019 Cheltenham Festival.

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Are you looking for all the 2019 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 Festival Handicap Chase 2019 and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.

GIVE ME A COPPER is very lightly raced with only three starts over fences in his career. He finished a respectable 4th at Kempton in February on his seasonal reappearance.

MINELLA ROCCO, who finished 2nd behind Sizing John in the 2017 Cheltenham Gold Cup, was well held in on his seasonal return in a Grade Two at this track last month. Obviously anything like that form would make him dangerous here off his current mark.

MISTER WHITAKER was last year's Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase hero has been kept relatively fresh for another big spring campaign. He comes here 14lbs higher after easily accounting for Happy Diva and Cyrname in Carlisle's Colin Parker Memorial Chase at the start of the campaign. Anyway, things haven't quite worked out for him in two subsequent starts, the Betvictor Gold Cup and at Ascot on January 19.

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COO STAR SIVOLA has an excellent Festival record which includes a win in this race last season off a rating of 142. He has been placed in both the Fred Winter and Martin Pipe in recent years.

SINGLEFARMPAYMENT finished runner-up in 2017 and last year was 5th behind the novice Coo Star Sivola. He failed to win a single race in the last 3 years and is probably more of an each way bet than anything.

CRUCIAL ROLE beat Now McGinty by nine lengths in a really warm race at Uttoxeter on December 11 and consigned a low-key Haydock effort to the past when getting back in the groove at the Staffordshire venue last time.

UP FOR REVIEW was pulled up when fancied for the Albert Bartlett last season but has since won twice from six outings over fences.

SOME NECK won a Grade 2 novice chase at Punchestown in November and he looked a very useful chaser in the making.

JERRYSBACK has only raced up to 2m5f under rules, but everything about his run style suggests he wants an extreme test of stamina, backed up by his point-to-point record.

Other interesting options, coming with good odds, are NOBLE ENDEAVOR, CALIPTO and BEWARE THE BEAR.

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

  • Paddy Power Betting BonusGive Me A Copper  7/1Bet
  • SportNation Betting BonusUp For Review  8/1Bet
  • William Hill Betting BonusMinella Rocco  9/1Bet
  • BetVictor Betting BonusMister Whitaker  9/1Bet
  • 888 Sport Betting BonusCoo Star Sivola  11/1Bet
  • Bet365 Betting BonusSinglefarmpayment  16/1Bet
  • 10Bet Betting BonusBeware The Bear 16/1Bet

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  • 8 of the last 14 winners came into the race on the back of a win
  • 13 of the last 18 came from the top 4 in the betting
  • 9 of the past 11 winners had a BHA rating of at least 142
  • 10 of the last 11 winners had run within the last 45 days
  • 19 of the last 20 winners had no more than 2 wins that season
  • 6 of the last 7 winners all wore headgear
  • Horses aged 11 or older are just 2 from 48 to even get placed


Feel free to copy our betting tips on the Ultima Business Handicap Chase 2019. Get the best odds available on your favourite recommended bet by clicking the 'Bet' button!

  • William Hill Betting BonusMinella Rocco 9/1Bet
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