Date: Tuesday (14:50), March 14, 2023
Type: Grade 3 National Hunt Steeplechase
Distance: 3 Miles 1 Furlong
Age Of The Horse: 5 Years and Older
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 2022 Festival Trophy Handicap Chase. The following review of the race aims to make picking the right horse easier to do.
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 closer we get to the 2023 Cheltenham Festival the more promotions, deals and specials will be made available by major bookmakers. These types of offers are used by major bookmakers to ensure they stand out from the crowd in a busy market at a hectic time of year but it’s also great news for punters. Traders fighting over your custom puts you in complete control of how you bet and the promos you use.
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 2023 betting. Keep the following points in mind when the antepost betting is released and you prepare to invest your cash.
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 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.
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.
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…
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.
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.