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Festival Handicap Chase 2021 Racecard

The Festival Trophy Handicap Chase is a Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase handicap which takes place each year during the Cheltenham Festival in March, and is one of the big betting races on day one of the meeting. Open to horses aged five years or older, the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase is run on the Old Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about three miles and one furlong (3 miles 1 furlong), with 20 fences to be jumped.

2:30 Tue 16 Mar FESTIVAL HANDICAP CHASE

Distance: 25f 0y Age: 5yo + Prize: £82,500 Going: Gd/Sft

Analyst's Verdict

Novices have an excellent record in this and HAPPYGOLUCKY is taken to enhance it further. He had plenty to spare in a 5-runner novice here in December and proved he can handle the hustle and bustle of a big field when fourth in the Martin Pipe last season. The tough and reliable Aye Right should make another bold bid, with last year's Kim Muir winner Milan Native another to consider.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
1
jockey silks 1. CEPAGE (FR)
J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
9
11-12
* * *
* * *
Very smart chaser who has largely been consistent in high-quality handicaps and 14l winner at Chepstow (19.5f) in January. This trip seemed to stretch him when seventh in this last year, however.
2
jockey silks 2. AYE RIGHT (IRE)
J: Richard Johnson
T: Harriet Graham
8
11-8
* * * *
* * * *
Has developed into a very smart chaser, third in Charlie Hall before excellent second in Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury and Sky Bet at Doncaster. Tough and reliable so should be on the premises again.
3
jockey silks 3. PYM (IRE)
J: Nico de Boinville
T: Nicky Henderson
8
11-7
* * *
* * *
Made a good start to chase career last term and, after a couple of dismal runs, he was firmly back on track to land a listed race at Sandown on return. Found little at Newcastle since, though.
4
jockey silks 4. OK CORRAL (IRE)
J: M. P. Walsh
T: Nicky Henderson
11
11-5
* * *
* * *
Low-mileage 11-y-o. Runner-up in Albert Bartlett in 2018. All-or-nothing record over fences but produced a career best when defying top weight in Sky Bet at Doncaster when last seen 13 months ago.
5
jockey silks 5. MILAN NATIVE (IRE)
J: J. W. Kennedy
T: Mrs Denise Foster, Ireland
8
11-3
* * * *
* * * *
Found extra distance in his favour on handicap bow when justifying support in Kim Muir here last season. Better than bare results since making a winning return at Galway. Can bounce back.
6
jockey silks 6. HAPPYGOLUCKY (IRE)
J: David Bass
T: Kim Bailey
7
11-1
* * * * *
* * * * *
Made up into a useful novice hurdler last season and has continued progress over fences this term, winning 2 of 3 starts, including novice chase here (25.2f, soft) latest. Remains with potential.
7
jockey silks 7. ALNADAM (FR)
J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
8
10-13
* * *
* * *
Point/hurdle winner who has taken very well to fences this season and wasted no time getting back to winning ways at Sandown (20f) last month. Up in trip now and remains unexposed.
8
jockey silks 8. DELIRE D'ESTRUVAL (FR)
J: Daryl Jacob
T: Ben Pauling
8
10-11
* *
* *
Bit of an in-and-out performer but did post a smart effort to win 20.5f handicap at Kempton on final start last season. Scant encouragement on belated return there 17 days ago, however.
9
jockey silks 9. VINTAGE CLOUDS (IRE)
J: Ryan Mania
T: Sue Smith
11
10-11
* *
* *
Placed twice in this race but only eighth last year and below par all 3 starts this term. Back on last winning mark but possibly best days are behind him. Headgear on.
10
jockey silks 10. DISCORDANTLY (IRE)
J: Robbie Power
T: Mrs J. Harrington, Ireland
7
10-10
* *
* *
Second-season chaser who produced a career best to win Galway handicap on return but mostly let down by jumping since, failing to complete last 2 starts. Risky.
11
jockey silks 11. ADMIRAL'S SECRET
J: Alan Johns
T: Victor Dartnall
10
10-10
* * *
* * *
Has his quirks but ended last season winning at Leicester and Wincanton and carried on where he left off when successful at Ludlow on return. Good third at Warwick since and worth a try at this trip.
12
jockey silks 12. ONE FOR THE TEAM
J: Tom Scudamore
T: Nick Williams
7
10-8
* * *
* * *
Useful hurdler who quickly matched that level over fences when second in Grade 2 at Newbury. Not disgraced in Kempton Grade 1 next time and ground might have been too testing in Sky Bet since.
13
jockey silks 13. THE WOLF (FR)
J: A. P. Heskin
T: Olly Murphy
7
10-5
* *
* *
Useful hurdler who jumped soundly when making winning start over fences at Chepstow in October. Has disappointingly failed to build on that since though, tried in cheekpieces latest.
14
jockey silks 14. NIETZSCHE
J: Jonathan Burke
T: Brian Ellison
8
10-2
* * *
* * *
Posted some good runs on the Flat in late summer and excellent placed efforts back over fences this season. Worth a try over this trip given his stamina on the level.
15
jockey silks 15. SOUPY SOUPS (IRE)
J: Robert Dunne
T: Neil Mulholland
10
10-2
*
*
Enhanced good record at Perth when resuming winning ways there in August but well held in stronger company next 2 starts and pulled up in this last year.
16
jockey silks 16. FINGERONTHESWITCH (IRE)
J: Millie Wonnacott
T: Neil Mulholland
11
9-12
*
*
Veteran who enjoyed excellent time of it last season, but signs of decline this term and hard to fancy from out of the handicap.

Betting Forecast : 4/1 4 HAPPYGOLUCKY, 13/2 6.5 AYE RIGHT, 7/1 7 ONE FOR THE TEAM, 10/1 10 MILAN NATIVE, 14/1 14 ALNADAM, 18/1 18 OK CORRAL, 18/1 18 CEPAGE, 18/1 18 DISCORDANTLY, 22/1 22 VINTAGE CLOUDS, 22/1 22 ADMIRAL's SECRET, 22/1 22 PYM, 25/1 25 NIETZSCHE, 25/1 25 DELIRE D'estruval, 28/1 28 THE WOLF, 66/1 66 FINGERONTHESWITCH, 66/1 66 SOUPY SOUPS

In 2011, the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase was run as the Stewart Family Spinal Research Handicap Chase to highlight the work done by the charity Spinal Research.

Spinal Research is the UK’s leading charity funding medical research around the world to develop effective treatments for paralysis caused by spinal cord injury.

The Stewart family in question is that of racehorse owner Andy Stewart who has enjoyed plenty of success as an owner at the Cheltenham Festival, his winners including the multiple Stayers’ Hurdle winner Big Buck’s who wore Stewart’s familiar red and white halved silks.

Stewart’s son Paul was told he would never walk again after breaking his back after getting caught up in an avalanche while snowboarding in the Alps in 2008.

Stewart Snr has never won the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase, but Lizzie Kelly became the 12th women to ride a winner at the Cheltenham Festival when guiding the well-supported 5/1 favourite Coo Star Sivola to victory in the race in 2018.

Winners of the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase often go on to run in the Grand National, although not always in the same year. Horses to have achieved victory in both events include Royal Tan, Team Spirit, West Tip, Seagram and Rough Quest.

Three horses have won the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase twice - Sentina in 1957 and 1958, Scot Lane in 1982 and 1983, and Un Temps Pour Tout in 2016 and 2017.

The last-named was ridden by Tom Scudamore , who, along with Robert Thornton, has won the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase on three occasions.

Thornton’s wins in the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase include Kelami , successful in 2005, who is the only French-trained winner of the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase.

In terms of Timeform ratings this century, Coo Star Sivola’s smart performance was actually one of the lesser winning efforts, rated 2 lb lower than the iconic Festival Trophy Handicap Chase victory of Wichita Lineman in 2009.

The well-backed favourite Wichita Lineman had been pushed along for over a circuit by the legendary AP McCoy , but stayed on best of all up the hill to collar Maljimar in the dying strides and win by a neck.

The ride is considered one of the best of all time, and is fondly remembered by McCoy in his 2011 book My Autobiography. "It was only after we crossed the winning line that I was aware of the noise coming from the stands. It was probably one of the better rides that I have given any horse; in fact I'd say that in my own little head I thought it was probably the best ride I have ever given a horse."

Un Temps Pour Tout, winner of the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase in 2016 and 2017, has produced the best winning performances in recent years, his most recent effort was classified as ‘High Class’ by Timeform, and would have been good enough for a fourth-placed finish in the same year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Though Fred Rimell and Fulke Walwyn both won the race four times many decades ago, the most successful Festival Trophy Handicap Chase trainer in recent times is David Pipe, who has won it three times, with: An Accordion (2008), and Un Temps Pour Tout (2016, 2017).

The most successful Festival Trophy Handicap Chase jockey in recent times are Tom Scudamore and Robert Thornton , who have both won it three times.

Scudamore’s wins were all on the David Pipe-trained runners listed above, while Thornton’s success came with: Fork Lightning (2004), Kelami (2005), and Bensalem (2011).

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Festival Handicap Chase 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the Festival Handicap Chase?

3 miles and 1 furlong

How many obstacles are jumped in the Festival Handicap Chase?

20

What day of the festival is the Festival Handicap Chase?

Day 1

What time is the Festival Handicap Chase?

14:50

What weights are carried for the Festival Handicap Chase?

As it is a traditional National Hunt handicap steeplechase, weights range from 11 st 12 lb for the top weight, to 10 st for the bottom weight.

What is the purse for the Festival Handicap Chase?

£110,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the Festival Handicap Chase*?

Tom Scudamore and Robert Thornton

Who is the leading trainer in the Festival Handicap Chase*?

David Pipe

Who won the Festival Handicap Chase?

You can check out our Festival Handicap Chase results page here to see a list of previous winners.

Where can I compare the odds for the Festival Handicap Chase?

Click the link to visit our Festival Handicap Chase Odds Comparison page.

*Since 1977

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2022

Days Hours Mins Secs

HORSE SEARCH

CHELTENHAM RACES 2022

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

£33.87 George Boughey's profit to a £1 level stake with debutants (saddles ARIES LAD)
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