Horse Racing Tips: Ultima Handicap Chase Antepost Predictions, Preview and Best Bets For Cheltenham 2024

The Ultima Handicap Chase, set against the historic backdrop of Cheltenham‘s Prestbury Park, is a cornerstone of the Cheltenham Festival, renowned for its rigorous test of stamina and skill over 3 miles and 1 furlong. This race, a spectacle of equine endurance and agility, has become a battleground for the finest in the field, with a particular dominance by British-trained horses in recent years.

As we approach the 2024 iteration, anticipation builds for what promises to be another chapter in this storied event, taking place on Tuesday, March 12, with a provisional start time of 14:50.


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Ultima Handicap Chase Preview, Predictions And Best Bets

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Ultima Handicap Chase Best Bets

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The Contenders and Their Prospects

The Irish Challenge

Despite a historically modest record in the Ultima, with only two victories since the era of Tom Dreaper, the Irish contingent remains hopeful, buoyed by a number of promising entries. Among them, The Goffer has captured attention with favourable odds and a recent flat race victory that, while not covert, suggests a strategic build-up to this event. However, the buzz around The Goffer also raises questions about the wisdom of backing a horse that, despite its potential, has become a somewhat predictable choice among punters.

Gavin Cromwell’s Inothewayurthinkin also enters the fray with expectations tempered by a handicap mark of 145, positioning him on the cusp of eligibility for the Kim Muir. His untested stamina at three miles, coupled with his youth, adds layers of complexity to his candidacy, making him a less attractive option for those seeking a more assured bet.

British Hopefuls and Dark Horses

Favori de Champdou and Aye Right emerge as notable mentions within the British ranks, with the former’s participation still uncertain and the latter viewed as a viable each-way bet. Aye Right, under the guidance of Harriet Graham, has shown consistent form and, despite lacking a “sexy profile,” is deemed worthy of consideration due to a favourable handicapping.

Ben Pauling’s Twig, remembered for a commendable second in the autumn over course and distance, seeks redemption after a disappointing outing in the Coral Gold Cup. His previous performance at Cheltenham positions him as a dark horse capable of surprising many, especially in a race known for its unpredictability.

Last Year’s Echoes and Future Hopes

The 2023 Ultima offered a dramatic finish, with Corach Rambler clinching victory in a stunning late surge, later triumphing in the Aintree Grand National. Runner-up Fastorslow’s subsequent victory over Galopin Des Champs in the Punchestown Gold Cup further exemplifies the quality and competitive depth typical of this race.

Predictions for the Ultima Handicap Chase


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The Intriguing Prospect of Stumptown

In the competitive landscape of the Ultima Handicap Chase, Stumptown emerges as a compelling protagonist. The narrative of Gavin Cromwell’s success in the UK, highlighted by an enviable strike rate, sets the stage for Stumptown’s anticipated performance. Cromwell’s astuteness in preparing contenders for the rigours of Cheltenham is well-documented, and Stumptown’s triumph on New Year’s Day serves as a testament to this preparation. The application of first-time blinkers in that race was a masterstroke, catalysing a performance that not only signified a horse in peak condition but also showcased an innate compatibility with Cheltenham’s demands.

Stumptown’s journey to the Ultima is underscored by a handicap mark that intriguingly situates him within the sweet spot for this race. This alignment with Ultima’s requirements, coupled with Cromwell’s strategic nous, illustrates a horse that not only fits the historical mould of success in this event but also possesses the form and finesse to convert potential into victory.

The trend of novice/second season chasers excelling in the Ultima further bolsters Stumptown’s credentials. His previous festival experience, notably a close second in the Kim Muir, underlines a seasoned campaigner ready to navigate the complexities of this challenge. Given these factors, Stumptown’s candidacy transcends mere participation, embodying the quintessence of a horse on the cusp of Ultima glory.

The Goffer: Primed for an Upset

The narrative surrounding The Goffer is one of calculated preparation and tactical acumen. Having secured a respectable fourth place in the preceding iteration of the Ultima, The Goffer’s journey back to this stage has been meticulously orchestrated. The subsequent campaign, characterised by a series of understated chase runs, was strategically designed to shield his handicap mark while honing his chasing acumen. This period of careful cultivation culminated in a confidence-boosting flat race victory, a manoeuvre aimed at priming him for the pinnacle of his season.

This methodical approach to The Goffer’s preparation reflects a broader strategy aimed at peaking when it matters most. The significance of his improved chasing experience cannot be overstated, equipping him with the refined skills necessary to navigate the Ultima’s challenges. Moreover, the historical precedence of well-favoured horses clinching the Ultima lends empirical weight to The Goffer’s prospects. His positioning towards the front end of the betting spectrum is not merely a reflection of market sentiment but a testament to his perceived readiness to transcend prior achievements.

In the context of these narratives, The Goffer emerges as a dark horse, embodying the potential for a dramatic upset. His preparation, marked by strategic foresight and tactical execution, positions him as a formidable contender, ready to defy expectations and etch his name into the annals of Ultima history.

In conclusion, both Stumptown and The Goffer stand at the precipice of a significant opportunity. Stumptown, with Cromwell’s strategic mastery and a form that resonates with the Ultima’s historical trends, and The Goffer, with a campaign meticulously tailored for this moment, represent the dual narratives of potential triumph and unexpected surprise that define the essence of the Ultima Handicap Chase.

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Herrin Kendrick
Herrin Kendrick is a sports journalist with 10 years of experience in the sports betting industry. His work has been referenced by many sports publications over the years. Sport passionate.