What Happened in the Ultima Handicap Chase 2020?

Winner: The Conditional

The Conditional became the first-ever Cheltenham Festival winner for trainer David Bridgwater in the Ultima Handicap Chase of 2020. A previous course and distance winner from earlier in the season at The Showcase meeting in October, he overcame a mistake and peck on landing at the penultimate fence to land odds of 15/2.

Previously a gallant runner-up in the valuable Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and a fine fourth in the Classic Handicap Chase at Warwick which is a trial for the Grand National at Aintree, The Conditional stayed on well up the famous Cheltenham hill to prevail over 10/1 chance Kildisart by a neck in this Grade 3 contest.

Much of the running was made by 11/2 joint-favourite Vinndication, but carrying top weight in the Ultima Handicap Chase told in the closing stages as Kim Bailey’s horse faded and finished fourth. Fellow market leader Discorama, who had twice finished runner-up at the Cheltenham Festival in previous years for Irish trainer Paul Nolan, was ahead in third but 2 1/2 lengths behind The Conditional.

It has been a remarkable season for the eight-year-old. The Conditional represents one of British jumps horse racing’s smaller yards in Cheltenham local handler Bridgwater and was again ridden by Brendan Powell junior here. Given how well-handicapped he was and the fact he has stayed well over three miles in the Ultima Handicap Chase, he could well be aimed at staying graded handicaps again next season.

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Page Contents

Best Betting Sites

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Ultima Handicap Chase Tips

Betting Offers

Betting Guide

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Stats & Trends

Past Winners

Ultima Handicap Chase Info

BEST BOOKIES FOR THE ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE 2020

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Date: March 10, 2020

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Type: Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase

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Distance: 3 Miles 1 Furlong

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Age Of The Horse: 5 Years and Older

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2019 Winner: Beware The Bear

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Ultima Handicap Chase 2020 Tips (Updated 09/03)

This is a really competitive handicap chase but what recent history has taught us is that the top trainers get it right year after year, knowing how to prep their main contenders and leading to winners coming from the first five or so in the betting.

While we don’t know who those five will be just yet it does show that we shouldn’t be looking too far down the ante post list for our selections.

THE CONDITIONAL

While it is understandable that many are backing Sodexho Gold Cup winner Vinndication, we reckon he may be too high in the weights and would prefer tracks other than this one and so the nod goes to THE CONDITIONAL.

A 15/2 shot at the time of writing but being backed all the time, The Conditional won over this course and distance in October before finishing a fine second to De Rasher Counter in the Ladbrokes Trophy.  There’s more to come from David Bridgwater’s horse we’re sure, especially over this trip after a short experiment to see whether he could be a Grand National type.

This is a very tough race as it always is, but despite the undoubtedly solid preparations given to the likes of Who Dares Wins, Discorama and Burbank who all have chances, the one with the most ticks in the most boxes remains The Conditional and so with a career best run perhaps on the cards, he remains the one to be on.

Ultima Handicap Chase Tip: THE CONDITIONAL

Ultima Handicap Chase 2020 Preview 

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Preview By Frank Monkhouse

Former professional boxer who is now a content writer specialising in sports and betting. Has worked for some of the biggest names in the industry, including Coral and Betfair covering all manner of sports, from boxing and football to horse racing. A student of the formbook, he loved stats, trends, numbers and how they can guide punters towards a winner.

One of the standout fixtures of Tuesday, this handicap race has a history that can be traced back to 1946 when the first outing was won by Dunnshaughlin for Bobby O’Ryan and Charles Rogers. The most recent episode of the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase saw Beware The Bear crowned the 2019 champion for Jeremiah McGrath and Nicky Henderson.

Who will come out on top this year? It is still very early in the National Hunt horse racing season, but followers will have a close eye on the results over 3m 1f distance with an eye on picking the champion of the 2020 Festival Trophy Handicap Chase. The following review of the race aims to make picking the right horse easier to do.

Our team of horse racing experts look back at the all-important stats and trends before offering our betting guide which can be used on the race itself when the antepost markets become available in the coming weeks and months.

Antepost Key Runners & Favourites

At the time of writing many Cheltenham Festival races have been priced up through the antepost betting markets, including the Gold Cup. This allows backers to get their stake money down early, jumping the queue, to secure a better price about their runner of choice compared to those waiting for the final declarations. There’s more of a risk involved there as your horse may not run in the race you backed it to win but the odds available often make it a risk worth taking.

This is a really competitive handicap chase but what recent history has taught us is that the top trainers get it right year after year, knowing how to prep their main contenders and leading to winners coming from the first five or so in the betting.

THE CONDITIONALGLENLOE

While we don’t know who those five will be just yet it does show that we shouldn’t be looking too far down the ante post list for our selections. While it is understandable that many are backing Sodexho Gold Cup winner Vinndication, we reckon he may be too high in the weights and would prefer tracks other than this one and so the nod goes to THE CONDITIONAL and GLENLOE.

THE CONDITIONAL

The former, a 10/1 shot at the time of writing, won over this course and distance in October before finishing a fine second to De Rasher Counter in the Ladbrokes Trophy.  There’s more to come from David Bridgwater’s horse we’re sure, especially over this trip after a short experiment to see whether he could be a Grand National type.

Glenloe

Glenloe on the other hand at 16/1 is real value given his profile, one that makes it appear as though his clever trainer Gordon Elliott has laid him out for the Festival.

We already know he stays three miles and loves Cheltenham, something evidenced by his second in the 2018 Pertemps Final, but thus far over fences he has stuck to trips of around the 2½-mile mark meaning his best form has not been forthcoming.

Nevertheless, he has still performed well, but with his handicap mark having been looked after, a big improvement is on the way and he would be a fair shout at these prices.

Ultima Handicap Chase Ante Post Tips: THE CONDITIONAL & GLENLOE

Traders at major online bookmakers are caught between wanting a good look at the form of the horses that may be including in the betting for this race and trying to grab the attention of potential customers by being one of the first bookies to offer betting on the contest. Bookmark this page and return to see when the antepost betting has been added.

Keep your eyes peeled for the Ultima Handicap Chase 2020.

Ultima Handicap Chase Betting Offers

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Race Stats & Trends

  • The race to be the most successful horse in the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase is a three-way tie between Sentina, Scot Lane and Un Temps Pour Tout who have all won the title twice in the past. Un Temps Pour Tout rates as the most recent of the trio, having landed the prize in 2016 and 2017. It should take quite some time before we see the current record broken and a horse going on to win three on the trot.
  • Two men are locked on three wins each in the most successful jockey list. They are Robert Thornton who did the business on Fork Lightning in 2004, Kelami in 2005 and Bensalem in 2011. Tom Scudamore was the winner of this race in 2008 with An Accordion and twice with Un Temps Pour Tout. Those efforts are recent enough to suggest the hattrick is possible.
  • Leading trainer has two rivals on four wins each. Fred Rimell trained the champion in 1948, 1949, 1951 and 1954. Fulke Walwyn joined him with success in 1961, 1963, 1971 and 1977.
  • Looking at the age of recent winners and we notice four of the last 10 winners have been eight-year olds at the time of winning and that’s certainly worth keeping in mind when making your bets for the 2020 renewal.

Ultima Handicap Chase Betting Guide

The below betting guide aims to help you beat the bookies. We offer our advice and experience on how best to approach your Cheltenham Festival 2020 betting. Keep the following points in mind when the antepost betting is released and you prepare to invest your cash.

Enjoy Perks of Antepost Martket

Antepost betting markets offer customers a better price as there’s more risk involved. When punting on the winner where the final field hasn’t been announced yet there’s the chance you could get your cash down on a horse that is entered into a different contest or suffers injury between now and the off. Before the non-runner money back promotion comes into play, if you back a horse and it doesn’t go you lose your stake money. This is a job of weighing up risk vs reward.

Take Tips from Industry Experts

Take an Ultima Handicap Chase tip and you could be given a winner without doing any of the hard work. With that approach, however, you are placing your trust in the expertise and research of another. It is advised you spend time doing your own research and making your own bets. Read reviews and industry interviews, study the form of both horse and trainer then check the stats and trends. Only then will you be able to make an informed decision.

Get Access to Live Streaming

It is easier than ever to watch the Cheltenham Festival thanks to the invention and growth in popularity of live betting and a live streaming service. Place your bets with a bookmaker offering live streaming, such as bet365, and you will be able to watch the race live through your desktop computer and mobile app. Major bookies offer an HD quality live streaming site with expert commentary and no frustrating buffering or loading times. Never again will you be forced to check a results site to see how you got on. If you back a horse, you should be able to cheer it on to victory at no extra cost.

Festival Trophy Handicap Chase Past Winners

One popular way to try and solve a big race like this is by studying the ultima handicap chase trends. Which jockeys have proven successful in this event in the past, which trainers have won more titles than any other?

Can any hints, tips and clues be taken from the age of recent winners. The more research you do into the trends the more chance there is of you uncovering a bet worth having in the next renewal. Below is a list of the last 10 winners…

Ultima Handicap Chase winners:

  • Beware The Bear – 2019
  • Coo Star Sivola – 2018
  • Un Temps Pour Tout – 2017
  • Un Temps Pour Tout – 2016
  • The Druids Nephew – 2015
  • Holywell – 2014
  • Golden Chieftain – 2013
  • Alfie Sherrin – 2012
  • Bensalem – 2011
  • Chief Dan George – 2010

What Happened in 2019?

Beware The Bear won last year’s race when scoring off an SP 10/1 for Henderson and McGrath. The victor came good ahead of runner up Vintage Clouds who was 1 ¼ lengths behind in second under the ride of Danny Cook. We then had Lake View Lad a further three lengths behind in third to complete the major places. The latter crossed the line with a 25/1 price tag attached.

Beware The Bear was given a patient and intelligent ride that day, held up in rear and delivered when the time was right. He led going over the last and after hitting the front there really was no catching him and those watching the race knew there was always going to be one winner. Backers were able to count their winnings as soon as Beware The Bear safely passed the final hurdle. He was ridden to the finish but stuck to his task and ended a worthy champion.