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Foxhunter Steeple Chase predictions, betting tips and free bets (DAY 4 - March 16, 2018)

  • Written by Simon Bettarini
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The Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup is the richest and most prestigious hunter chase of the season. It is run on exactly the same course and distance of the Cheltenham Gold Cup. The race was won in 2017 by the classy the Paul Nicholls-trained Pacha Du Polder at odds of 16/1. Don't miss our Foxhunter Steeple Chase race preview with free predictions, tips, betting trends, best odds, free bets and no deposit bonuses on the 2018 Cheltenham Festival.


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The Foxhunters Chase is always a popular contest with the Festival drawing to a close. It is the Gold Cup for amateur riders and older horses. An extreme test ran over the same course and distance as the Gold Cup -  three miles, two and a half furlongs - so that definitely tests out the horses jumping and stamina. The race is for chasers and the age limit on the race is five year old and above, and it usually attracts horses that are veterans.

Furthermore, the Foxhunters Chase is now the richest and most prestigious hunter chase of the season, worth a total of 40,000.

And now we'll take a closer look at this year's Foxhunter Steeple Chase and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.

BURNING AMBITION has been backed into clear favouritism since finishing second to classy stayer Gilgamboa. Prior to that, he won a point at Moira in early December. Off level weights he thrashed the formerly useful Sambremont. With the positive booking of Jamie Codd in the saddle, he looks set to run a big race at the Festival this year.

WONDERFUL CHARM, a very good jumper, was a close second twelve months ago. The horse won his prep race at Musselburgh without much trouble, that was his first run for over 200 days.

Unable to run this race last year, FOXROCK is one of the probable contenders this time. His 10 length second to Gilgamboa at Thurles in January was a promising effort.

ON THE FRINGE is one of the best hunters around in recent years, bagging this prize in 2015 and 2016 before finishing fourth 12 months ago. He was beaten 5 lenghts by Rue Hill when second of 14 at 5-4fav on his latest outing in a point-to-point race at Borris House over 3m in December last year.

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CAID DU BERLAIS, twice placed at the Cheltenham Festival and a Bet Victor Gold Cup, was 8th in the Pertemps Handicap Hurdle 12 months ago before moving stables to Rose Loxton. He has won 3 Point to Point’s in 3 starts for this yard.

BALNASLOW finished 5th in last year's renewal. Then he went on to win at Punchestown last April and ran a cracker to be runner-up in the Foxhunters Champion Chase at Stratford. Since then he was pulled up on his comeback run at Kirkistown.

VIRAK got back to winning ways in a Hunter Chase at Ludlow. He looked a rock solid handicapper and his jumping was as good as always while PACHA DU POLDER was 5th in 2016 and this 11 year-old is sure to be popular again. He looks in decent form but to this day his only victory over 3 miles or more was here last year.

BAREL OF LAUGHS snatched a place carrying a price of 100/1 last year half-a-length behind Pacha Du Polder. Since then, he has won three of his four starts in point-to-points and Hunter Chases. He had to settle for second on his 2018 reappearance behind Saddler’s Encore, who carried 10 pounds less to post, but returned to winning ways in a point-to-point at Bangor in February.

SIR JACK YEATS has won his last two starts at Market Rasen and Kelso and looks a probable contender.

UNIONISTE was far from disgraced at Taunton when just touched off on his debut in this discipline. Anyway, his best run came three years ago when only ten lengths behind Coneygree in the Grade 2 Denman Chase at Newbury.

Dark horses?

YOUNG HURRICANE should be much higher in the betting than he is likely to be based on his win in the Champion Hunters' Chase at Stratford last June. He was beaten in a point-to-point last time out but he often improves significantly for his first run of the year.

VOLNAY DE THAIX has won on his latest outing in a point-to-point race when 4-6fav at Brocklesby Park over 3m last month, beating Corrin Wood by 20 lenghts. He could surely be in the mix.

Veterann TOP WOOD is among the horse who can cause an upset, as well as the useful SHOTAVODKA, GRAND VISION, COUSIN PETE and MINELLA FOR VALUE.

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

  • Coral betting bonusBurning Ambition  4.50Bet
  • Ladbrokes Betting BonusWonderful Charm 7.50Bet
  • Bet365 Betting BonusFoxrock  9.00Bet
  • Unibet Betting BonusCaid Du Berlais  13.00Bet
  • 10Bet Betting BonusVirak  13.00Bet
  • Betfred Betting BonusBalnaslow 17.00Bet
  • BetVictor Betting BonusOn The Fringe  17.00Bet

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

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  • 7 of the last 9 winners returned 15/2 or shorter
  • 7 of the last 9 winners came from the first 4 in the betting
  • 24 of the last 32 winners won on their last appearance before the Festival
  • 22 of the last 23 winners had won a race under rules
  • 7 of the last 10 winners had won at least two races under rules
  • 10 of the last 12 winners ran 34 days or less ago
  • Willie Mullins has trained the winner four times in the last six years
  • 5 of the last 6 winners ran in the Leopardstown Inn Hunters’ Chase


The section below contains our betting tips on the Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase 2018. Feel free to copy our Cheltenham Festival tips and get the best prices available on the market by clicking the 'Bet' button! Are you looking for boosted odd on the Festival? Visit our Enhanced Bets section and grab huge prices!

  • Ladbrokes Betting Bonus
    Wonderful Charme to win     7.50Bet
  • Unibet Betting Bonus
    Caid Du Berlais to win & each way  13.00Bet
  • Totesport Betting Bonus
    Barel Of Laughs to win & each way  21.00Bet
  • BetVictor Betting Bonus
    Young Hurricane each way  51.00Bet

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