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Cheltenham Festival

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Festival Plate 2021 Racecard

The Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Festival Plate is a Grade 3 run over two miles and five furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham with a total of 17 fences to jump. The race is a handicap race that takes place on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival.

3:40 Thu 18 Mar FESTIVAL PLATE

Distance: 20f 127y Age: 5yo + Prize: £82,500 Going: Gd/Sft

Analyst's Verdict

FARCLAS has been running well in some hot handicap chases in Ireland and looks set for a bold bid back at the scene of his 2018 Triumph Hurdle heroics. Big improver The Shunter is chasing a £100,000 bonus after winning the Morebattle at Kelso and likely has more to offer over fences, so he ticks plenty of boxes, with his old rival A Wave of The Sea chief among the other strong contenders.

ENTRY
FORM
SILKS HORSE
JOCKEY & TRAINER
AGE
WGT
1
jockey silks 1. TOP NOTCH (FR)
J: Luca Morgan
T: Nicky Henderson
10
11-12
* * *
* * *
Looked very rusty after 11 months off when sixth in the Peterborough in December and could be much closer to form after a wind op now. Twice placed at the Festival. Cheekpieces on. Handicap debut.
2
jockey silks 2. CARIBEAN BOY (FR)
J: Daryl Jacob
T: Nicky Henderson
7
11-11
* * *
* * *
Taking winner of 20f Newbury Grade 2 in November and ran respectably, for all he couldn't get on terms over the minimum trip, in Sandown handicap last time. Could have a bigger effort in the locker.
3
jockey silks 3. MISTER WHITAKER (IRE)
J: Jonathan Burke
T: Mick Channon
9
11-8
* * *
* * *
Good record here, successful in the novice handicap chase at the 2018 Festival and beaten just 3 lengths in third in this off 2 lb higher last year. Lightly raced since and primed for a big run.
4
jockey silks 4. ASSEMBLE
J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland
7
11-6
* * *
* * *
Successful return in 21f Fairyhouse maiden chase and even better when following home Envoi Allen next time. Has fallen twice since, though, hardly the ideal preparation for this handicap/Festival bow.
5
jockey silks 5. HUNTSMAN SON (IRE)
J: Kielan Woods
T: Alex Hales
11
11-5
* * *
* * *
Made light of 18-month absence with impressive victory in 19f Wetherby listed handicap chase on return and tanked along before being pulled up in the mud here in December. Probably no back number.
6
jockey silks 6. OLDGRANGEWOOD
J: Harry Skelton
T: Dan Skelton
10
11-4
* * *
* * *
Did well last term after wind op, winning Newbury and C&D handicaps before a good fourth in this off 1 lb higher. Rare jumping lapse at Warwick after 12 weeks off last time and should bounce back.
7
jockey silks 7. FARCLAS (FR)
J: J. W. Kennedy
T: Mrs Denise Foster, Ireland
7
11-4
* * * * *
* * * * *
2018 Triumph winner who scored on his first 3 starts over fences and has run well in some red-hot handicaps in Ireland this season. Big effort looks forthcoming.
8
jockey silks 8. HAPPY DIVA (IRE)
J: Richard Patrick
T: Kerry Lee
10
11-3
* * *
* * *
Likeable mare who won the 2019 Paddy Power Gold Cup here and was second off a higher mark in this 12 months ago. Rare poor run at Warwick last time but likely to be much closer to form today.
9
jockey silks 9. FILS D'OUDAIRIES (FR)
J: Donagh Meyler
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland
6
11-3
* * *
* * *
Lightly-raced novice chase winner who has twice tackled top company since his Navan success. Pulled too hard at Leopardstown last time and this scenario should suit him better on handicap debut.
10
jockey silks 10. LASKALIN (FR)
J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
6
11-1
* * *
* * *
Useful chaser in France, successful 4 times over fences (latest in January), proven over further and in the mud. €77,000 purchase by new connections and tricky to weigh up on UK/handicap debut.
11
jockey silks 11. COOLE CODY (IRE)
J: Tom O'Brien
T: Evan Williams
10
11-1
* * *
* * *
Big improver over fences for new yard this term, landing the Paddy Power Gold Cup in gutsy fashion here in November. Suspect recent Kempton run will have him spot on for this. Wouldn't dismiss.
12
jockey silks 12. A WAVE OF THE SEA (IRE)
J: M. P. Walsh
T: Joseph Patrick O'Brien, Ireland
5
11-0
* * * *
* * * *
Grade 1-winning hurdler who improved massively on previous chasing form when landing red-hot Leopardstown handicap last month (The Shunter third). Stiffer test will suit and a very interesting runner.
13
jockey silks 13. TWO TAFFS (IRE)
J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
11
10-13
* *
* *
Useful chaser for Dan Skelton, third in the novice handicap here in 2017. Possibly needed the run for new yard when supported at Leicester in November but some feat to bounce back and take this now.
14
jockey silks 14. THE SHUNTER (IRE)
J: Jordan Colin Gainford
T: Emmet Mullins, Ireland
8
10-12
* * * *
* * * *
Has been turned inside out by this yard, bolting up in the Greatwood Hurdle here and Morebattle at Kelso (shaped well behind A Wave of The Sea in Leopardstown handicap chase in between). More to come.
15
jockey silks 15. KILTEALY BRIGGS (IRE)
J: A. P. Heskin
T: Jamie Snowden
7
10-11
* *
* *
Useful winning hurdler at up to 23f in the mud. Has matched that form over fences this season, but without success, and suspect the handicapper has his measure.
16
jockey silks 16. PADDY'S POEM
J: James Davies
T: Nick Gifford
10
10-10
* * *
* * *
Tremendously consistent and gained reward for a couple of good placed efforts when scoring at Wincanton a fortnight ago. This is tougher, though he could have more to offer over this sort of trip.
17
jockey silks 17. SULLY D'OC AA (FR)
J: Richie McLernon
T: Anthony Honeyball
7
10-9
* * *
* * *
Confirmed previous promise over fences when successful on return at Ascot and fine third from 10 lb higher at Newbury (19.8f) in November, losing momentum with a mistake over the last. Interesting.
18
jockey silks 18. SMARTY WILD
J: Richard Johnson
T: Philip Hobbs
7
10-8
* * *
* * *
Useful hurdler and off the mark over fences in Kempton handicap over this trip in January. Not so good at Warwick since though, and this is even more competitive.
19
jockey silks 19. CHAMPAGNE COURT (IRE)
J: Nick Scholfield
T: Jeremy Scott
8
10-6
* * *
* * *
Jumped well when winning at Sandown/Plumpton over this sort of trip last term and better signs again at Warwick 3 weeks ago having fallen plenty in the weights. Could outrun big odds.
20
jockey silks 20. THE UNIT (IRE)
J: Tom Cannon
T: Alan King
10
10-6
* * *
* * *
Dual novice chase winner over this sort of trip in 2018 and all his ability remains judged by latest third at Warwick (closely matched with Champagne Court). Place claims if building on that.
21
jockey silks 21. MAYPOLE CLASS (IRE)
J: Gavin Sheehan
T: Jonjo O'Neill
7
10-4
* *
* *
Progressed well initially over fences this season, winning handicaps around 20f/21f at Bangor and Fakenham. Reportedly lame at Wetherby just 4 weeks ago, though. Looks outclassed.
22
jockey silks 22. DEAD RIGHT
J: Tom Scudamore
T: Neil Mulholland
9
10-4
* * *
* * *
Resumed progress right away starting out on only his second season over fences after 10 months off, winning 21.4f Market Rasen handicap in September. Will clearly need more again 6 months on.
23
jockey silks 23. EAMON AN CNOIC (IRE)
J: David Noonan
T: David Pipe
10
10-2
* * *
* * *
Campaigned over hurdles of late, winning 2m handicap at Sandown last month. Fourth in this off 7 lb higher 2 years ago but his jumping has often failed him over fences in the meantime.

Betting Forecast : 7/1 7 THE SHUNTER, 9/1 9 FARCLAS, 9/1 9 A WAVE OF THE SEA, 11/1 11 CARIBEAN BOY, 12/1 12 FILS D'oudairies, 16/1 16 MISTER WHITAKER, 22/1 22 EAMON AN CNOIC, 22/1 22 DEAD RIGHT, 22/1 22 PADDY's POEM, 25/1 25 OLDGRANGEWOOD, 25/1 25 SMARTY WILD, 28/1 28 SULLY D'oc AA, 33/1 33 TOP NOTCH, 33/1 33 ASSEMBLE, 33/1 33 KILTEALY BRIGGS, 40/1 40 HAPPY DIVA, 40/1 40 TWO TAFFS, 40/1 40 HUNTSMAN SON, 40/1 40 CHAMPAGNE COURT, 40/1 40 MAYPOLE CLASS, 40/1 40 LASKALIN, 50/1 50 THE UNIT, 50/1 50 COOLE CODY

The Festival Plate first took place in 1951 in memory of 2nd Baron Mildmay of Flete who rode three winners at the Festival as an amateur National Hunt jockey.

There are two horses who have won the race twice – The Tsarevich (1985, 1986) and Elfast (1992, 1994).

Fred Winter is the leading jockey, having tasted victory three times – on Slender (1951 – dead heat), Sy Oui (1953) and Caesar’s Helm (1958).

There are three leading trainers. Bobby Renton – Tudor Line (1954), Caesar's Helm (1958), Siracusa (1959), Merry Court (1968). Nicky Henderson – The Tsarevich (1985, 1986), Liberthine (2005), Non So (2006). Martin Pipe – Terao (1997), Majadou (1999), Dark Stranger (2000), Blowing Wind (2002).

In the 2019 renewal, Lizzie Kelly gained her second win at the Cheltenham Festival when riding Siruh du Lac to victory. The winner typically jumped superbly and answered every question asked of him, always holding off the well-backed favourite Janika on the run-in.

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Festival Plate 2022 FAQs

What is the distance of the Festival Plate?

2 miles and 5 furlongs

How many obstacles are jumped in the Festival Plate?

17

What day of the festival is the Festival Plate?

Day 3

What time is the Festival Plate?

16:10

What weights are carried for the Festival Plate?

As it is a traditional National Hunt handicap chase, 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 Plate?

£110,000 (2019)

Who is the leading jockey in the Festival Plate?

Since the turn of the century, Richard Johnson, Tom Scudamore and Bryan Cooper have won this race twice. The all-time leading jockey is Fred Winter who won this race three times.

Who is the leading trainer in the Festival Plate?

The leading active trainer is Nicky Henderson with four race wins, but Bobby Renton and Martin Pipe also have 4 victories in this race.

Who won the Festival Plate?

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

Where can I compare the odds for the Festival Plate?

Click the link to visit our Festival Plate Odds Comparison page.

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CHELTENHAM COUNTDOWN 2022

Days Hours Mins Secs

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CHELTENHAM RACES 2022

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NEXT RACE SMART STATS

2 Evan Williams's number of winners in past 10 runnings. (saddles SILVER STREAK)
20% Alan King's strike rate with hurdlers at up to 2m2f (saddles SCEAU ROYAL)
;