The Grade 3 Ultima Handicap Chase is run over 3 miles and one furlong. The race is open to 5 year olds and over, and involves 20 fences. It is the first big handicap of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival meeting and will as always be an ultra competitive race. The 2022 renewal saw Corach Rambler winning the Ultima Chase for trainer Lucinda Russell, at odds of 10/1. 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 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
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ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE BETTING PREVIEW
Formerly the William Hill Handicap Chase, the Ultima Handicap Chase is run over 3 miles at Cheltenham and there are 20 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 £110,000.
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 take a closer look at this year's Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase and try to determine which horse is likely to prevail.
CORACH RAMBLER was a brilliant winner of last year's edition of the Ultima Handicap Chase and could also go for the Grand National next month. He well beaten on seasonal debut, ran pretty well in The Ladbrokes Trophy when 4th to Le Milos. The current champion is six pounds higher this time around but the manner of his success 12 months ago suggest he can surely defy it.
INTO OVERDRIVE is a progressive horse that has won five of his last six starts. He only lost to L'Homme Press since February 2022. A mark of 147 will demand another career best, but he is capable of delivering it despite a lack of Cheltenham form.
NASSALAM has shaped like a stayer over two-and-a-half miles and has solid Cheltenham form to his name. He was last seen at Prestbury Park on New Year's day when he finished third in a competitive race.
OSCAR ELITE has already placed in a previous renewal, and he is weighted to go close from just a 1lb higher mark compared with 12 months ago. He scored in the Reynoldstown last time out - a Grade 2 Novices Chase.
STUMPTOWN was an impressive winner at Sandown for Gavin Cromwell last time out and a 8lb rise may just be enough to get him into the race if taking this route as he also holds an entry in the Kim Muir on Thursday.
FASTORSLOW was only beaten a short head in last years Coral Cup and just had two outings over fences in Ireland this season, both well beaten in Grade 1’s.
HAPPYGOLUCKY finished 2nd in the 2021 edition and recently ran very well when third behind L’Homme Presse and Into Overdrive back in November. He is only 3lb above his last winning mark and 8lb lighter that Into Overdrive having finished 3 lenghts behind him.
THREEUNDERTHRUFIVE had conditions against him in last season’s Brown Advisory but has delivered a couple of impressive performances this season.
Dark Horses?THE GOFFER is very lightly raced. Gordon Elliott's charge arrives having won a valuable handicap chase over 2M 5F at Leopardstown in February and could be the surprise package.
LORD ACCORD was a faultless winner of the 3m1f handicap chase here at Cheltenham back in October, and went on to run a blinder behind Frodon in the Badger Beers at Wincanton.
TEA CLIPPER finished 4th last year and is 3lbs higher now. He has twice been beaten favourite in handicaps this season which makes him 0 from his last 6 chase starts.
REMASTERED won two of his four races so far this season, and was only beaten half a length in one of the other race. Anyway, he has to put a very poor effort over hurdles at Sandown last time behind him.
CLOUDY GEN is another interesting dark horse. He finished runner-up to Mount Ida in the 2021 Kim Muir and won the Coral Gold Cup off 140 last season. As to this season, Venetia William's charge only faded in the closing stages of the Grand National Trial at Haydock off this mark last month.
At the moment, the most backed horses are the following:
All the bookmakers we recommend are offering No Runner No Bet on every Cheltenham Festival race.
ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE TRENDS
- Only 2 of the last 27 favourites won
- 6 of the last 9 winners returned at between 8/1 & 11/1
- 1 of the last 23 winners were the top weight
- 15 of the last 16 winners had previously placed in a race around Cheltenham
- 13 of the last 16 winners had ten or fewer runs over hurdles
- 4 of the last 16 winners had run in the previous year’s renewal
- 10 of the last 16 winners were rated 142 or more
- 15 of the last 22 winners were aged either 7 or 8
ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE PREDICTIONS
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ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE FAQs
What is the distance of the Ultima Handicap Chase?
The Ultima Handicap Chase is run on a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong
How many obstacles are jumped in the Ultima Handicap Chase?
There are 20 fences to jump for the Ultima Handicap Chase runners
What time is the Ultima Handicap Chase?
The Ultima Handicap Chase is the 3rd race run on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. That falls on Tuesday March 14, 2023 and the official starting time is 2:50pm.
What is the prize money for the Ultima Handicap Chase?
The total prize money on offer for the Ultima Festival Chase at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival will be £110,000.
Who won the Ultima Handicap Chase last year?
Last year's renewal was won by Corach Rambler at SP of 10/1, trained by Lucinda Russell and ridden by Derek Fox.
What weights are carried for the Ultima Handicap Chase?
10st - 11st 12lb (handicap).
Who is the leading jockey in the Ultima Handicap Chase?
Tom Scudamore is more successful than any other jockey in the race in recent times, with three winners since 2008 (all for trainer David Pipe) and four places overall. Robert Thornton also has three wins, but the most recent came courtesy of Fort Lightning in 2004.
Who is the leading trainer in the Ultima Handicap Chase?
The last 16 winners were trained in Britain. With 3 winners and 6 places each overall, David Pipe and Jonjo O'Neill have the best record in the race.