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  1. #1

    Ultima Handicap Chase 2019

    As mentioned in the handicaps thread I think it’s time we had individual threads for the handicaps to avoid some of the good suggestions being lost amongst each other.

    The opening handicap of the week and, unlike most of the other handicaps where everyone is seemingly trying to find the Irish plot horses, this one has been very much dominated by the Brits – in fact, there wasn’t a single Irish-trained runner in the field last year. This should mean there is a little less uncertainty to factor in.

    It's clearly been a race where progressive types have thrived – novices and 2nd season chasers. A quick check on Gaultstats backs up this assumption. As you work down the market there seems to be a good number of seasoned chasers who look to have found themselves on lofty marks, the likes of:
    Singlefarmpayment - finds himself on a career high mark without having won for 2 years, 6lb higher than when just done by UTPT in 2017 and 3lb higher than when beaten much further in last year’s race. His 2 runs so far this season have been decent but questions remain about his appetite for a battle up the run-in. Weak favourite.
    UTPT - could be back for yet another crack. Now 10yo on a career high mark of 158 and only 1 run since winning this in 2017. Entered up on Saturday and if he could drop a few lbs between now and the festival then he’ll no doubt have his followers on the day. Not an AP proposition at this stage though.
    O O Seven – well down the field in this last year off the same mark (152) that he currently sits on – has struggled to be competitive from 150+ in the past. Has won at Cheltenham but best results have seemingly come at flatter tracks. Likely to be aimed at the Topham or National and may take this race in along the way but is not one I see as a factor.
    Beware The Bear – Another Nicky contender who finds himself on 152 after his win at the course on NYD. Was 4th in the race last year off 150 after being badly outpaced before coming home strongly, but the race was well out of his grasp by that point. Looks all over a marathon type and likely to be caught out again in a competitive and fast run 3 mile festival handicap. Not sure why he was so disappointing in the Scottish National last year but that looks the obvious race for him.
    Yala Enki – another who finds himself on a career high mark (156) after a good performance in the Welsh National. A well beaten 6th in this last year off 152 and in this kind of company he needs a bigger stamina test.
    Cogry – admirable sort but well beaten in this last year off 4lb lower

    There are also a number of horses towards the top of the market who look very unlikely to line up…

    Mall Dini – Interesting wherever he turns up but I’d suggest this is one of the unlikelier destinations
    Cepage – Having never raced over 3m you’d have to think the Plate is a much more likely destination
    Go Conquer – Rooney-owned. Say no more.
    The Worlds End – It actually wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see him go here but off 155 he’d likely to be very near top weight and that will be a big challenge for a novice who seemingly blows hot and cold. Not sure a big rough handicap is what he wants.

    So, putting a line through all of the above, I’ve tried to pick out a few who I think look likely types:

    Talkischeap – my one and only bet in the race so far. I've liked his 2 performances this season against LBAR and Lostintranslation, staying on well on both occasions over intermediate trips. Already a 3m winner over hurdles there's good reason to suspect there will be more improvement to come when stepped up in trip. Alan King has won this race a couple of times in the past, once with a novice (Fork Lightning) and his other winner (Bensalem) also went for this race as a novice when looking the likely winner before falling 2 out - he then came back and won it the following year. I have toyed with the any race markets for this horse but quite frankly this is the race I'd fancy him for so I'm happy to take the bigger price and hopefully have a cash out fallback if he looks to be heading elsewhere.

    Give Me A Copper – Interesting horse. Highly regarded by PFN and I had an eye on him with a view to the Hennessy this year but I believe he’s suffered with a number of minor setbacks. He was declared to run at Cheltenham on NYD but was withdrawn due to the ground. There’s a whole heap of potential there and I’m interested to see him in the coming weeks. Having been off for so long I’d imagine his next start will be a cobweb-blower and it’ll be a watching brief for me with a potential view to a race like this. Nicholls handicappers are to be feared at the festival but interestingly Gaultstats make a point of the fact that he doesn’t have a good record in this race. Not sure if there’s anything in that. 20/1 NRNB with Sky is very tempting.

    Dingo Dollar – Another for Alan King he’s a progressive 2nd season chaser who ran a really good race in the Hennessy on unsuitably soft ground. He beat Beware The Bear 15L that day off level weights and that horse would now have to give Dingo Dollar 4lb, yet BTB is further up the betting. 14s NRNB is too low but 25/1 with B365 is very fair.

    Jerrysback – He’s interesting wherever he goes after winning a shade cosily at Bangor and then finishing his race off nicely when chasing home Vinndication. 25/1 would look a cracking bet if he lined up here but that is far from certain.

    White Moon – Jocked up at Warwick at the weekend over 3m and his further target will probably be greatly impacted by what happens there. On his current mark the Close Bros is still in the equation but I think Colin sees him as a 3 miler and should he prove that on Saturday (without winning) then the Ultima becomes a real possibility. If he wins on Saturday then they’ll undoubtedly take the Grade 1 route. 25/1 NRNB is reasonable.

    Coo Star Sivola – Well I couldn’t preview this race without mentioning the reigning champion. Back down to a mark just 3lb higher than for winning this last year, albeit that’s because of a few lacklustre displays which you need to forgive. Highly likely to be targeted here again though and I wouldn’t put anyone off the 33/1 with B365.

    1 bet so far – Talkischeap 1pt EW 25/1.

  2. #2
    Champ Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Great start, well done VF.

    I've got Coo Star Sivola at 45/1 as mentioned elsewhere which I think is still available?

  3. #3
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    Coo Star Sivola stands out like a sore thumb. 33/1 is a cracking EW bet, it really is. Not only reigning champ but a serial placer in multiple festivals.

  4. #4
    I think this was the Ladbrokes any race price? No longer seems to be available.

  5. #5
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    Id love UTPT to come here but he’s definitely geared towards the National and as he took a full year off after that this race took out of him last time I’m not sure they will put him in anything competitive

  6. #6
    Champ Kevloaf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Viking Flagship View Post
    I think this was the Ladbrokes any race price? No longer seems to be available.
    I'm on 45s ew ultima 4 places ... they must have clipped him.

    33s still a great bet IMO

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by charlie View Post
    Coo Star Sivola stands out like a sore thumb. 33/1 is a cracking EW bet, it really is. Not only reigning champ but a serial placer in multiple festivals.
    I agree Charlie, and have listened to the opinions on here about him and added him and Talkischeap to my portfolio.

  8. #8
    Firstly, well done VF for starting the thread. Someone had to. Good write up too.

    For me, Dingo Dollar at 14s NRNB is more than fair. I see him going off here at 6/1 to 8/1. Easy prep, decent weight and he will even be the favourite potentially.
    Last edited by Middle_Of_March; 01-09-2019 at 01:35 PM.

  9. #9
    Another nice race for Talkischeap and his form is stacking up

  10. #10
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    Dingo Dollar was going well before a mistake at Newbury. Prefers good ground too. I like Talkischeap as well, very good jumper.

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