Ultima Handicap Chase
The last 6 winners ran at Cheltenham that season.
Only one of the last eight winners aged older than eight.
10 of the last 12 won by either novices or second season chasers.
The last five GB trained novices to win all had previously won a hurdle with a first prize of at least £10k.
All winners this century had recorded their best RPR over at least 3 miles.
7 of the last 8 had run at a previous Festival.
4 of the last 7 ran in the Newbury Ladbroke Chase. The other three were novices.
Only two winning favourites since 1994.
No Irish trained winner since 2006.
Six of the last seven winners all rated at least 142 and none SP bigger than 11/1.
W Mullins and P Nicholls have yet to win it.
Seven of the last eight winners wore some sort of headgear.
No horse has won this having been beaten in it three times previously.
Race distance - 3 miles and about one furlong. No older than 9 yrs. Will have run before at the Festival or will be 7 or 8 yrs and improving i.e. with a rising handicap rating. Winner’s handicap rating at least 142. Will have recorded their best Racing Post Rating over at least 3 miles. This rating will be at least 143. Will have already won at least a Class 3 chase. Either ran in the Newbury Ladbroke or is a novice. If a novice, will have won a hurdle worth at least £10k to the winner. Has won over 3 miles or at least placed over 3 miles in two of last three runs. Will have run between 3 and 12 times over fences in UK and/or Ireland. Will have run at least twice this season. Will have been 1st or 2nd sometime this season. 1st or 2nd in either of last two chase runs or at a pinch 3rd last time. Winners over 11st becoming a lot more frequent. Not bigger than 12/1. One of the top weights to be placed at least. Winner wasn't unplaced in this years 3m Kempton Chase on Adonis day. Has run in the last 60 days. P Nicholls and W Mullins poor enough records. Any UK trainer can win this. Wears some type of headgear. Irish trained don't win but get placed. No F, R, B or U as last form entry. Not a claiming jockey. Half a furlong longer in distance from 2014. Repeat win is gettable.
Year||| Form |||Winner |||Age||| Weight |||OR||| SP |||Trainer||| Jockey||| Runners||| Last race (No of days)
2020||| 3124||| The Conditional |||8 |||10-6 |||139 |||15/2||| D Bridgewater||| B Powell||| 23 |||4th Warwick Classic 3m 5f (59)
2019||| 41||| Beware The Bear |||9||| 11-8||| 151||| 10/1||| N Henderson||| J McGrath||| 24||| 1st Chelt H'cap 3m 2f (70)
2018||| 53241 |||Coo Star Sivola |||6 |||10-10||| 142||| 5/1F||| N Williams||| L Kelly (3)|||18 ||| 1st Exeter Nov H'cap 3m (38)
2017||| 1036||| Un Temps Pour Tout |||8 |||11-12||| 155 |||9/1 |||D Pipe |||T Scudamore||| 23 |||6th G2 Cleeve H'dle (45)
2016 |||1224||| Un Temps Pour Tout |||7||| 11-7 |||148 |||11/1 |||D Pipe||| T Scudamore |||23 |||4th Chelt Nov H'cap 2m 5f (45)
2015 |||1275||| The Druids Nephew |||8 |||11-3||| 146||| 8/1||| N Mulholland |||B Geraghty |||24 |||6th G2 Cleeve H'dle (45)
2014 |||32U11||| Holywell||| 7||| 11-6 |||145||| 10/1 |||JJ O'Neill||| R McClernon||| 23||| 1st Donc. Nov Chase (20)
2013||| P3633||| Golden Chieftain |||8||| 10-2||| 132||| 28/1||| C Tizzard||| B Powell (3) |||24 |||3rd Warwick H'cap 2m 4f (18)
2012||| PF75||| Alfie Sherrin||| 9||| 10-0 (1lb oh) |||128||| 14/1||| JJ O'Neill |||R McClernon||| 19||| 5th Haydock H'cap H'dle (24)
2011||| 52||| Bensalem||| 8||| 11-2||| 143||| 5/1||| A King||| R Thorton||| 19 |||2nd G2 Rendlesham (24)
AGE - Croco Bay (2019 Grand Annual), The Package (Kim Muir 2015, bless him), Spot the Difference ’05, Uncle Ernie ’97, Foyle Fisherman ’91 and Three Counties ’89 are the only 12 year olds to have won a race at the Festival since ’84. None of them won this race. The Package 2014 is the only horse aged 11yrs or over to be placed in this since ’97. 49 have tried. Cogry last year PU. Chief Dan George in 2010 last horse aged in double figures to win. Before that Joes Edge '07. Last year three 10 yr olds ran, best Big River in 5th. 2019 four ten yr olds all unplaced. Last year nothing above an eight yr old in the first four home. 2019 first four home were all nine yr olds. In 2018 none of the 18 runners were aged older than nine years. In total 17 horses aged in double figures ran in the last six years, Buywise in 4th 2017 the only one to be placed. (If looking at 12 yr olds in future The Package and Uncle Ernie had been placed no less than 3 times at previous Festivals, Croco Bay twice. Spotthedifference had already won the Cross Country Race twice that season. He was only getting going in 2005).
Flyers Nap '97 last winner older than 10 yrs and he was a previous Festival chase winner. The novice Coo Star Sivola 2018 first six year old winner since Antonin '94. Elwood fell early last year. None ran 2019. Behind Coo Star in 2018 two others finished in the first eight.
NOVICES - In the last 12 renewals, four have been won by novices and six by second season chasers. Novices can do well for their numbers. Fork Lightning in '04 was the first novice in 30 years, then Dun Doire ’06 who was still technically a novice but had already won a Thyestes Chase. He was followed by Wichita Lineman, Holywell, Un Temps Pour Tout, obviously the first time and finally Coo Star Sivola. 2010 might have been a sixth winning novices but for a poor enough ride by Timmy Murphy on The Package or even Bensalem who fell 2 out when going very well in the same race. Also Vintage Clouds, Singlefarmpayment (the talented rogue), Green Flag, White Star Line, Our Mick, Reve De Sivola and Ogee all recently placed as novices. Novice winner ratings Fork Lightning first, 136, 129, 142, 145, 148, 142. four novices well down the field last year, two unplaced in 2019, five novices ran in 2018, three in 2017. Mirroring this 12 from the last 15 had no more than 10 runs over fences. The Conditional had 10, Beware The Bear was a third season chaser with only 10 previous runs. Coo Star was only running in its sixth chase, Un Temp's second win was only his seventh chase.
All the novice winners above bar Dun Doire had previously won a hurdle with a first prize of at least £10k.
FESTIVAL FORM - 12 from last 24 placed at least at a previous Festival. 12 hadn't. The Conditional hadn't run before at the Festival but had a CD in October. Beware The Bear previous 4th in this 2018, Coo Star 3rd in Fred Winter 2016. All bar The Conditional and Golden Chieftain 2013 had run at a previous festival. History of horses being placed more than once in this, including Big River (5th 2019 after being 4th) Beware The Bear, Vintage Clouds, Un Temps Pour Tout, Holywell, Our Mick, The Package (3 times), Juveigneur, Irish Hussar, Kelami, Ad Hoc, Unguided Missile, Boraceva. Bensalem may well have been. Discorama 3rd last year, 2nd in NH Chase 2019. Fair Along, 4th in 2011, had been previously placed in a QM and an Arkle. Look for Kildisart, Discorama, Vinndication, Big River.
WEIGHT CARRYING - The Conditional only carried 10st 6lb but Beware The Bear 11st 8lb, Un Temps Pour Tout 11st 12lb, 11st 7lb, The Druids Nephew 11st 3lb, Holywell '14 11st 6 lb have all augmented the trend this century to have won carrying over 11st to victory. Bensalem 2011 11st 2lb first to carry more than 10st 12 to victory since Unguided Missile's 11st 10 in '98. That's 6 from the last 9 carrying over 11st. Coo Star Sivola carried 10st 13lbs (minus Lizzie Kelly's 3lb claim, of course). In 2017 1st and 3rd were the two top weights, in 2016 all four placed carried at least 11st 5lb. Holywell had 11st 12lb in second.
In 2012 Alfie Sherrin (1lb wrong) was the third winner out of 68 running from out of the handicap (only Maamur ’96 has won more than 3lb ‘wrong’. Last year was a 'full' handicap'. Bottom weight should have carried 9st 10lb, 4lb 'wrong', 24 declared. Bottom weight in 2019 carried 10st 11lb, in 2018 10st 8 lbs but there were only 18 runners. Bottom weight in 2017 carried 10st 5lbs.
HANDICAP RATINGS - In 2017 we waved goodbye my old friend Scot Lane who won the race for the second time off 150 in 1983. One of the great chestnuts bit the dust. I do mourn the loss of the big beast stats. Since 1983 the ratings of winners between 129 and 150. The Conditional 139, Beware The Bear 151, Coo Star Sivola 142, Un Temps Pour Tout off 155. Going back from 2017, Un Temp 148, The Druids Nephew 146, Holywell 145. Golden Chieftain 132. All bar The Conditional of the last seven had a winning handicap rating of at least 142 and were numbered in the top 12 on the racecard. (The Conditional No 17)
Last 20 had all recorded their best performance as assessed by RPR (Racing Post Ratings) over at least 3 miles. The last thirteen had achieved a minimum RPR of 143. The Conditional 145, Beware The Bear 156, Un Temp 163. This stat doesn't do much to cut out numbers.
IRISH TRAINED - Before Youlneverwalkalone ‘03 and Dun Doire ’06 the last Irish trained winner was Arkloin ’66 carrying 12st 5lbs. The former pair came here having both just won major Irish handicaps. White Star Line 3rd 2013 from 4 triers between 2012 to 2014. In 2015 two came, Grand Jesture 2nd at 25/1, Gallant Oscar 3rd at 9s. In 2016 Morning Assembly in 4th best of the three. In 2017 three came, best Noble Endeavour in third. Even Clarcam finished 9th. In 2018 there wasn't a single Irish trained runner in the race. In 2019 four were unplaced, including the ill fated Up For Review. I believe he was Willie Mullins's first ever runner in the race. Last year Discorama 3rd and Elwood (F). Tony Martin has had 5 runners in this in the last 13 years, one winner and two placed. Irish Trained 0 from 26 since 2006.
M. and D Pipe. - Un Temps Pour Tout '16 and '17. Well targeted. Ran Eamon An Cnoic 28s and Ramses De Teillee 12s in 2018. Both ran rightly before running out of puff in the bog. Three runners unplaced since Un Temps Pour Tout. Great Endeavour still in contention when fell 2011. The Package 2nd 2014 also placed in 2010 and 2012. An Accordion won in '08. None of the latter priced above 11/1 on their first effort. Un Temps returned 11s and 9s, well punted on both wins.
N Henderson - Two winners and 7 placed from last 24 runners (Ma Filleule 33s 2nd 2013 but his unpl including Quantitiveeasing 11/2 jt fav. Gold Present 10s). Beware The Bear 2019 first success since the classy Marlborough in 2000. (He was good) His placed horses returned between 11/2 and 66/1. Doesn't help. All a bit too hot for Burbank and Brave Eagle last year. Three runners in 2018 Beware The Bear 14s best in fourth.
JonJo ONeill has had 3 winners in the last 12 and 3 runners up this century. No winner since Holywell 2014. Quarenta BD last year. Minella Rocco PU as usual in 2019. No runner 2018 but Go Conquer ran well in 5th 2017.
Paul Nicholls yet to win this - 0 from 22. Didn't even come racing on the Tuesday last year. Between this and the NH Chase he has given up. Give Me A Copper, alleged good thing at 9/1, beaten when fell 2019. 2018 Vicente 20s PU. 2017 Caid De Berlais fell early, Ibis De Rheu unpl, 2016 Southfield Theatre 16s BD. 2015 Black Thunder carrying topweight unpl. 2014 Pacha Du Polder 50/1 unpl.
PROFILE - 23 from last 26 had all won over 3 miles (Alfie Sherrin and Un Temps Pour Tout (first time) had both won a 3m hurdle, the latter in France). Exceptions - Bensalem '11, Rough Quest ‘95 and Frenchmans Creek’ 02 but those had been placed over three miles in at least two of their last three runs. 10 of last 30 winners (including Alfie) had already tried 4 miles sometime during their career. 20 hadn’t. The Conditional didn't stay las time out in the Warwick Classic.
CHASE RUNS - Mentioned above, 10 of the last 12 had no more than 11 chase runs in UK and Ireland (The Conditional 10, The Bear 10, Coo Star 5, Un Temps second time 6, Holywell and Alfie had 6, Bensalem, 5). Un Temps, first time, and Wichita had 3 runs but both had won G1 hurdles. The Druids Nephew (12 previous chases) 2nd to Sam Winner in G3 h'cap Paddy Power meeting. Golden Chieftain (14) had been placed in the course G3 December Chase.
No horse with a letter as their last form that is F, P, U or B has won this since Flyers nap in 1997. Race known as the Astec Buzz in those days. No Comment last year went F then F, 3 in 2019, best Vintage Clouds 2nd. 5 tried 2018, best Beware The Bear in 4th (P). 3 tried 2017, best finisher 13th.
HEADGEAR - The Conditional, Beware The Bear, Un Temps Pour Tout (both times) and The Druids Nephew won wearing their usual blinkers and cheekpieces respectively. Holywell wore blinkers for the first time over fences when winning. The only other time he had worn them was to win the Pertemps in 2013. Both the previous two winners wore cheekpieces as did the 2nd in 2012, Alfie Sherrin for the first time, Golden Chieftain 6th time. An Accordion 2008 makes it nine from the last 13. Won't help much. Last year 15 of the 23 runners wore some sort of headgear, including Kildisart, 2nd in first time cheekpieces. In 2019, 11 wore some sort of headgear, best behind The Bear was Flying Angel 5th in his usual visor. In 2018 five wore some sort of headgear, the fastish finishing Shantou Flyer, 2nd in a first time visor the best performer. In 2017 12 out of the 23 runners wore some sort of headgear, 13 in 2016 and nine in 2015. Isn't this just marvellous stuff?
All former winners at least two runs this season (coincidentally both Alfie and Bensalem finished 5th the run before in a 3m h'cap hurdle). 16 from last 21 no more than 4 chase starts that season. It was Coo Star Sivola's 6th that season, Holywell's 6th chase in 2014, Golden Chieftain's 8th run since October.
10 of the last 13 had run in the past 45 days (24th January ish). Not The Conditional 59 days, not Beware The Bear, not seen since winning at Cheltenham on New Years Day. Not Wichita Lineman. What a ride, AP, even if it was only Darryl Jacob on Maljamar (don't be nasty now Bryan, Darryl is having a great season). The four previous winners to The Bear had all run at Cheltenham Trials Day.
4 of the last 21 runners up in Betbright/Racing Post Chase went on to Cheltenham that year to run in 3 mile + chases. Two winners. '00 Marlborough WH Chase, '97 King Lucifer Kim Muir. The others were L'Ami who finished 4th in the Gold Cup and Possol unplaced in this '09. Double Shuffle was second at Kempton 2017 but didn't come here. Did OK in the King George, though. N/A last few years as this race has lost its kudos. Antonin 1994 the last one to do the double Clondaw Castle
We Ignored those that finished unplaced in Racing Post Chase. 17 tried recently, improvement last year with Whatmore 4th, same place in the 2m 4f Novice Handicap and Kildisart 5th at Kempton, 2nd here. Only Shardam of the previous 16 placed (2014 Tour Des Champs 3rd at Kempton, 5th here).
12 from last 19 'held up in rear' or 'well off the pace', 'midfield' (Colin Tizzard didn't think Golden Chieftain would stay the trip and I'm not sure that AP had much choice on Wichita. Beware The Bear, Coo Star, Holywell and Un Temps Pour Tout 'tracked leaders, close up' both years).
NEWBURY LADBROKE CHASE - The Conditional 2nd, Beware The Bear 4th, Un Temps (10th, 2nd year) followed The Druids Nephew (7th) to become the first Hennessey/Ladbroke runners to win this since Seagram ‘91 (Offshore Account placed in '10 having fallen early at Newbury). The Druids Nephew then went close to emulating Seagram's Grand National success. When he fell at Valentines 2nd time round I could have cried. He also became the first ever winner to come from the 3m 3f h'cap at Cheltenham on Betvictor November meeting. Ramses de Teillee from Yala Enki. Ladbroke Chase becoming important.
PRICE - Last four favourites to oblige are Gay Vulgan ’77, Antonin ’94, Wichita Lineman '09 Coo Star Sivola '18. Up to 2018 this was possibly one of the worst races at Festival for winning favourites. Not sure now since Coral Cup fav win shock by Dame de Compagnie. In 2018 Coo Star Sivola became the first favourite to win in 37 consecutive Festival handicaps. As good a reason for backing it as any. Last year Discorama and Vinndication 11/2 jf favs both placed, In 2019 Up For Review, Coo Star and Mister Whittaker 8/1 co favs all unplaced. In 2017, Singlefarmpayment, the Pricewise Selection, was backed from 10s overnight to 5/1 fav on the off. Our Mick was placed as 13/2f in 2013. Bensalem, Marlborough and An Accordion were solid morning favourites but drifted before the race itself. 4 of the last 19 were not from the first 4 in the market. As a clerk, you would expect that.
26 of last 29 winners had been 1st or 2nd sometime that season. 21 had won. Not Un Temps (first time) nor Alfie Sherrin.
24 from last 31 had been 1st or 2nd in either of last two runs. Not Un Temps (second time) nor Druids Nephew. Both ran down the field in Cleeve Hurdle. Three other exceptions were Frenchmans Creek, Kelami and Golden Chieftain all 3rd last time out.
Only four of the last eleven won last time out. Last year six last time winners, best in 4th and 5th. 2019 four last time winners ran. Beware The Bear and Lakeview Lad 3rd. Seven ran in 2018, Coo Star only one in first five. Three in 2017, best was Noble Endeavour in 3rd. 2016, five came, best Kruzhlinin in 5th, 3 in 2015 all unpl. 7 last time out winners in the 2014 field produced 1st and 2nd.
Apart from The Conditional and Golden Chieftain, last 23 winners had run previously at the Festival or were aged 8 and below and improving i.e handicap mark is going up. (Both 8 yrs old, The Conditional's h'cap mark was down 3lb since Warwick, Chieftain's handicap rating had been previously 10lb higher. Alfie Sherrin had been unpl in a Pertemps Final, Holywell won it, Druids Nephew covered both stats.
JOCKEY - No conditionals placed in last two years. Lizzie Kelly (3) bt James Bowen (3) in 2018. Brendan Powell (3) on Golden Chieftain became the first claiming jockey to win since at least 1990. Mr Sam Waley Cohen (3) third 2016, JJ Burke (3) 2nd on Grand Jesture 2015 Nico De Boinville (5) second 2014 on Ma Filluele. 17 other claiming riders unpl over the last nine years.
This century The Conditional 15/2 joined Un Temps Pour Tout 11/1 (first time) to become the third BF last time to win following Bensalem 2011 at 5/1. 30 other beaten favourites last time have tried. The Conditional only one in the field last year, the tramp. Singlefarmpayment., Shantou Flyer and Vintage Clouds all placed in the previous three years carrying that particular cross.
Wealth Warning. Any decisions made (or not) or the basis of any information in this site are the sole responsibility of the reader. There is no obligation on me to follow my own advice. I take no responsibility for (but am keen to hear of) any factual errors. (Bgault01@gmail.com, @gaultstats). Previous years ‘stats on stats’ would suggest we may identify a decent priced winner from manageable groups every three or four races. It is believed that Savello (2014 Grand Annual) took from Golden Chieftain (2013 3m hcap chase) the record for breaking the most stats in a race. Stands now at 8. Cole Harden equalised with 8 in the 2015 World Hurdle. Remember, after you have cursed/laughed at me and given up totally on trends, they will come back to bite. Always happens. Usually on Gold Cup Day. Beware GO SEA - Groundless Optimism Syndrome Encouraged by Alcohol. A Cotswold condition very common at this time of year.