• Ultima Handicap Chase

    Nine of the last 11 winners wore some sort of headgear

    Seven of the last eight ran at Cheltenham that season

    Seven of the last ten had run at a previous Festival

    Eight of the last ten no older than eight years

    11 of the last 14 won by either novices or second season chasers

    Five of the last six GB-trained novices to win all had 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

    Four of the last nine ran in the Newbury Ladbroke/Coral Chase. Four others were novices

    Only two winning favourites since 1994

    No Irish trained winner since 2006

    Un Temps Pour Tout 2017 only repeat winner since 1983

    Eight of the last ten rated between 139 and 151

    W Mullins and P Nicholls yet to win

    Vintage Clouds first ever winner having been previously beaten four times in this

    Corach Rambler U first since 1997 with a letter as previous performance

    19 from the last 21 no more than one career fall


    Race distance - 3 miles and about one furlong. No older than 9 yrs or first time blinkers and placed in this before. 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 139. 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. May have ran in the Newbury Ladbroke or is a novice. If a GB novice, should 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 GB and/or Ireland. Will have run at least twice this season. Will have been 1st or 2nd sometime this season. Winners over 11st becoming a bit more frequent. any price. One of the top weights to be placed.   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, check for first time. Irish trained don't win but get placed. No F, R or B as last form entry. Not a claiming jockey. Half a furlong longer in distance from 2014. Repeat win/place gettable. Not more than one career fall. Check those 7lb or more under their hurdle mark. No chestnuts. Watch for well punted from Pond House. Repeat successes a rarity.

  • Honours Board

    Year ||| Form ||| Winner ||| Age ||| Weight ||| OR ||| SP ||| Trainer ||| Jockey ||| Runners ||| Last race (No of days)

    2022 ||| 3114U ||| Corach Rambler ||| 8 ||| 10-2 ||| 140 ||| 10/1 ||| L Russell ||| D Fox ||| 24 ||| U Reynoldstown Ascot 3m (24)

    2021 ||| 753 ||| Vintage Clouds ||| 11 ||| 10-11 ||| 143 ||| 28/1 ||| S Smith ||| R Mania ||| 16 ||| 3rd Kelso Cl2 H'cap (25)

    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)

  • Evidence


    HEADGEAR - No headgear for Corach Rambler last year. Might you, after the run in the Ladbroke, Lucinda might consider some. My ANTEPOST 2023 Grand National Bet at 20/1. 


    Moving on. Great decision by Sue Smith in 2021. Vintage Clouds' 28th Chase, 11 yrs old, beaten in the Ultima four times. KNOWS HER STATS. Let's put cheekpieces on him. 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 to him wore cheekpieces as did the 2nd in 2012, Alfie Sherrin for the first time, Golden Chieftain 6th time. An Accordion 2008 makes it 10 from the last 15. 2022, 8 of the 24 wore headgear, Tea Clipper and Lostintranslation cheekpieces for the first time. Best finishers Tea Clipper 4th at 12s, Our Power 5th. 2021 four headgear wearers, Vintage Clouds the only one wearing them for the first time. No, of course I didn't. In 2020, 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 blinkered Beware 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. So sometimes, it doesn't help much.


    Bar Corach, the Only other winner in last 11 not to wear any sort of headgear was Coo Star Sivola in 2008, the favourite, a novice running in his sixth chase.


    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.


    But, Vintage Clouds at 11 yrs first horse in double figures to win since Chief Dan George as a 10 yr old in 2010. The Package 2014 the only other horse aged 11yrs or over to be placed in this since ’97. 54 aged 11 and above have tried. Two last year, best the 11 yr old Death Duty in 6th. Bar Vintage, two other 11 yr olds in 2021 finished last and PU. 2020 Cogry PU. Twelve 10 yr olds over the last four.


    Ages of the 1-2-3-4 last year were 8-6-7-7. Vintage Clouds chased home by the 7 yr old favourite and an 8 yr old. 2020 nothing older than eight 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 26 horses aged in double figures ran in the last seven years, apart from Vintage, Buywise 4th in 2017 the only one to be placed. (If looking at 11/12 yr olds in future, Vintage Clouds had previously finished F328 in this race, 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).


    Before Vintage, Flyers Nap '97 last winner older than 10 yrs and he was a previous Festival chase winner.


    SIX YR OLDS - The novice Coo Star Sivola 2018 first six year old winner since Antonin '94. Gericault Roque 2nd the only six yr old to run last year. None ran 2021, Elwood fell early 2020. None ran 2019. Behind Coo Star in 2018 two others finished in the first eight.


    NOVICES - In the last 14 renewals, five 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, Coo Star Sivola and finally Corach Rambler last year. 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 (who knew?), Singlefarmpayment (the talented rogue), Green Flag, White Star Line, Our Mick, Reve De Sivola and Ogee all recently placed as novices. Last year we had 9 novices in the 24, as well as Corach, we had Oscar Elite in 3rd and Tea Clipper 4th. Novice winner ratings Fork Lightning first, 136, 129, 142, 145, 148, 142, 140. 2021 People knew this stat. Happygolucky 100/30 fav 2nd to the definite non novice. Three others finished 5th 7th and 10th which might have worked out ok as Skybet was paying 7 places in a 16 runner race. 2020 Four novices well down the field, two unplaced in 2019, five novices ran in 2018, three in 2017. Mirroring this 13 from the last 17 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. Corach and Coo Star were only running in their sixth chase, Un Temp's second win was only his seventh chase. Vintage Clouds was running in his 28th chase!


    All the novice winners above bar Corach Rambler and Dun Doire had previously won a hurdle with a first prize of at least £10k.


    FESTIVAL FORM - 13 from last 26 placed at least at a previous Festival. 13 hadn't. Corach Rambler first time here. Vintage Clouds previously placed twice in this. The Conditional hadn't run before at the Festival but had a CD in October. Beware The Bear 4th in this in 2018 the year before, Coo Star 3rd in Fred Winter 2016. All bar Corach, The Conditional and Golden Chieftain 2013 of the last ten 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. Oscar Elite, third last year had finished 3rd in an Albert Bartlett. Tea Clipper 4th, had been 3rd in a Coral Cup. Happygolucky 2nd 2021, previously 4th in the Martin Pipe. Discorama 3rd in 2020, 2nd in NH Chase 2019. Fair Along, 4th in 2011, had been previously placed in a QM and an Arkle. Look for Gericault Roque, Oscar Elite, Tea Clipper, Our Power.


    WEIGHT CARRYING - Four of the last five under 11st. Corach Rambler 10-2, Vintage Clouds 10 st 11lb, The Conditional only carried 10 6 but Beware The Bear 11 8, Un Temps Pour Tout 11 12, 11 7, The Druids Nephew 11 3, Holywell '14 with 11 6 have all augmented the 'over 11st' theory since 2011. Bensalem 2011 with 11 2 first to carry more than 10st 12 to victory since Unguided Missile's 11st 10 in '98. . Last year with Frodon off 164, there were only himself and Lostintranslation over 11st. Third and fourth in 2021 were the two top weights. 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. Hard to make any hard and fast rule.


    In 2012 Alfie Sherrin (1lb wrong) was the third winner out of 69 running from out of the handicap (only Maamur ’96 has won more than 3lb ‘wrong’). 2nd and 3rd last year were 5lbs and 4lbs wrong 2021 Fingerontheswitch bottom off 9-12, 16 to post. 2020 also a 'full' handicap'. Bottom weight should have carried 9st 10lb 24 declared. Bottom weight in 2019 carried 10st 11lb, in 2018 10st 8 lbs with 18 runners.

    HANDICAP RATINGS - Since 1983 the ratings of winners between 129 and 150. Corach 140, Vintage 143, 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.


    Last 22 had all recorded their best performance as assessed by RPR (Racing Post Ratings) over at least 3 miles. The last 15 had achieved a minimum RPR of 143. Corach 147, Vintage 159, 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. 2020 Discorama 3rd and Elwood (F). 2021 two came, 6th and 9th. Last year seven gave it a go, best Death Duty 6th, Noble Yeats had a Grand National prep jog in 9th. Irish Trained 0 from 35 since 2006.


    Tony Martin has had 5 runners in this in the last 14 years, one winner and two placed.


    M. and D Pipe. - Gericault Roque (9s from 11s on course) a gallant 2nd last year. 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 between Un Temps Pour Tout and the Roque. 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. No runners 2021. Gericault Roque is still a novice which opens other options.


    N Henderson - Two winners and 7 placed from last 25 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 Pym The Pig, OK Corral, Burbank and Brave Eagle between them the last three years. Three runners in 2018 Beware The Bear 14s best in fourth.


    JonJo ONeill has had 3 winners in the last 13 and 3 runners up this century. No winner since Holywell 2014. Quarenta BD 2020. Minella Rocco PU as usual in 2019. Go Conquer ran well in 5th 2017.


    Paul Nicholls yet to win this - 0 from 23. Frodon off 164 'struck into' last year. 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 but he liked the (Fox)hunters more.


    PROFILE - 25 from last 28 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. 11 of last 32 winners (including Alfie) had already tried 4 miles sometime during their career including Vintage Clouds, 3rd in a Scottish National. 21 hadn’t. The Conditional didn't stay last time out in the Warwick Classic. Corach Rambler had outstayed a 1/2 shot over 3m on soft ground at Carlisle. Takes some doing.


    19 from last 25 had won a handicap chase Class 3 or above. Exceptions were the four English trained novices, Bensalem (who didn't try a handicap between The Festival 2010 and 2011) and Alfie Sherrin. Un Temps Pour Tout had yet to win a chase but had been second to Native River in a G2 Newbury novice. All the exceptions had previously won a hurdle worth at least £10k to the winner. Only Fork Lightning had not won at least a Cl 2 Hurdle.


    Vintage Clouds (G2 Peter Marsh) joins Un Temps Pour Tout (2017 obviously) and Joes Edge 2007 to be the only winners to have previously won a Graded chase before winning this. Beware The Bear had won a Listed Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle. The Conditional a CL2 course handicap.
    BACK TO BACK WINS? Un Temps Pour Tout 2016-2017 first since Scot Lane 1982-1983. Used to be one of the great stats. This century only four others have tried in successive years. 2011 Chief Dan George Fell, 2014 Golden Chieftain Upld, 2019 Coo Star Sivola PU. Vintage Clouds PU last year. Holywell went 4th in GC then 2nd 2016, Benslaem Fell with race at mercy 2011, then won 2011. Corach Rambler.

    CHASE RUNS - Mentioned above, 11 of the last 14 had no more than 11 chase runs in UK and Ireland (Corach 5, 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. Vintage 27!


    Corach Rambler with a U (Ascot, Reynoldstown, 5 out, still in contention) became the first to win with a letter as their last form that is F, P, U or B since Flyers Nap in 1997. Race known as the Astec Buzz in those days. Three others last year, none of them novices, best finisher 8th. Two unplaced in 2021, 2020 No Comment followed an F with an F, 3 in 2019, best Vintage Clouds 2nd. 5 tried 2018, best Beware The Bear in 4th (P). Only Vintage Clouds and Bensalem of the last 21 had more than one career fall before winning.


    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). 17 from last 23 no more than 4 chase starts that season. Corach and Coo Star Sivola's 6th that season, Holywell's 6th chase in 2014, Golden Chieftain's 8th run since October.


    12 of the last 15 had run in the past 45 days (24th January ish). Corach Ascot 24 days, Vintage Clouds 3rd at Kelso 25 days earlier. 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). 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 the Kempton race has lost its kudos. However last year Our Power was 3rd at Kempton before finishing 5th here. Antonin 1994 the last one to do the double.


    We Ignored those that finished unplaced in Racing Post Chase. 20 tried recently, three again unplaced in both last year, improvement in 2020 with Whatmore 4th achieved the same place in the 2m 4f Novice Handicap and Kildisart 5th at Kempton, 2nd here. Only Shardam of the previous 15 placed (2014 Tour Des Champs 3rd at Kempton, 5th here).


    13 from last 20 '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). Vintage Clouds up in the van the whole way.

    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). Aye Right 2nd both at Newbury and here. Two outsiders came last year, out with the washing. Ce Milos, Remastered, Gericault Roque, Corach Rambler. 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 November meeting. Does He Know from Eva's Oskar.


    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 (Coral Cup?). 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 Floeur 15/2f unplaced, 2021 Happygolucky 100/30 2nd, 2020 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. If only we knew then what we know now. Our Mick was placed as 13/2f in 2013. Bensalem, Marlborough and An Accordion were solid morning favourites but drifted before the race itself. 6 of the last 21 not from the first 4 in the market. As a clerk, you would expect that.


    27 of last 31 winners had been 1st or 2nd sometime that season. 22 had won. Not Vintage, Un Temps (first time) nor Alfie Sherrin.


    HURDLE MARK - In the last 13, 14 runners were 7lb or more below their hurdles mark. 5 won. High-class hurdlers, similar to Un Temps Pour Tout, Holywell & Wichita Lineman, that are novices over fences. Only horse last year below its hurdle mark was Oscar Elite 22s in 3rd.


    24 from last 32 had been 1st or 2nd in either of last two runs. Not Corach, Un Temps (second time) nor Druids Nephew. The latter two 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 13 won last time out. Last year seven came, best was 6th. 2021 three last time winners, best the jolly in 2nd. 2020 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.


    Apart from Corach Rambler, The Conditional and Golden Chieftain, last 24 winners had run previously at the Festival or were aged 8 and below and improving i.e handicap mark is going up. (All three aged 8 yrs old, Corach Rambler and The Conditional's h'cap marks was down 2/3lb since Warwick, Chieftain's handicap rating had been previously 10lb higher. Druids Nephew covered both stats.


    CONDITIONAL JOCKEYs - No conditionals placed in last four years. Five tried last year, best 10th. 2021 Millie Wonnacott (5) finished last. Lizzie Kelly (3) wins from 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. 22 other claiming riders unpl over the last decade.


    Tom Scudamore has won this three times and rode the second in 2022. His eight rides in the last decade have gone 2/5/6/1/1/12/3/F. All Pipe trained. And he's just retired 17th Feb.


    This century Corach Rambler 10s joins The Conditional 15/2 and Un Temps Pour Tout 11/1 (first time) to become the fourth BF last time to win following Bensalem 2011 at 5/1. 32 other beaten favourites last time have tried. Corach was 16/5 fav for the Reynoldstown. None in 2021. The Conditional only one in the field, the tramp. Singlefarmpayment, Shantou Flyer and Vintage Clouds all placed in the previous three years carrying that particular cross.


    Last year there were three BFS last time in the field. Finished 1st, 2nd 3rd. Fantastic, Bryan.


    No chestnut winners in the last 20. Love these. Ben Dundee 11th last year.