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St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase Tips

Friday 15th March 16:10

The St. James's Place Festival Open Hunters' Chase takes place at 16:10 on Friday 15th March 2024 at the Cheltenham festival and our expert horse racing analyst Will Smith will be providing hot tips for the race.

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Hunters Chase
DateTimeDistanceType
Fri 15/03/202416:103m 2fChase

The Hunters Chase, or its full name, the St. James’s Place Festival Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase, is a Grade 2 steeplechase that is run on the New Course at the Cheltenham Festival. It is a race for amateur riders and is run over a distance of 3 miles and 2 furlongs. The race is open to horses aged five and older and is seen as a showcase for the best amateur riders and horses in the sport.

The Hunters Chase features 23 fences to be jumped over the testing course and horses that are able to display both speed and stamina are best suited to the race. The race is a unique event in that it is run exclusively by amateur riders, which adds an extra layer of excitement and unpredictability to the competition. It is a race that provides amateur riders with an opportunity to showcase their talents on one of the sport’s biggest stages.

Over the years, the Hunters Chase has been won by horses such as On The Fringe, Salsify, and Pacha Du Polder.

St. James's Place Festival Open Hunters' Chase Odds

Selection Odds
Its On The Line 9/4
Ferns Lock 10/3
Billaway 8/1
Premier Magic 8/1
Samcro 14/1
Vaucelet 16/1
Sine Nomine 18/1
Time Leader 18/1
Quintin's Man 20/1
Secret Investor 33/1
D'jango 50/1
Shantou Flyer 66/1
Ramillies 80/1
From The Heart 125/1

Previous Tips

2020 Foxhunter Chase Tips [expired]

Not everyone’s cup of tea, granted, but the Foxhunters’ Chase market at this stage provides a couple of very attractive ante-post bets.

Last year’s winner Hazel Hill has shown his fallibility when being beaten at Wetherby at the beginning of February. What was most alarming was his tendency to shift markedly right-handed at his fences – something which reared its head slightly when winning the Foxhunters last year. It is entirely possible that race fitness will iron this idiosyncrasy out, but when you consider he is still the general favourite for the race, there must be value elsewhere.

When you consider that his nemesis at Wetherby, Minella Rocco, can be backed at 6/1 and has any amount of innate back-class to bring to the race, then I’m finding it hard not to recommend backing him.

Derek O’Connor got a lovely tune out of Minella Rocco at Wetherby, allowing the former Gold Cup runner-up to jump fluently, straight as a die, and travel with supreme efficiency. All attributes that will stand him in good stead when it comes to the nature of the Foxhunters. O’Connor will surely keep the ride, and having him on your side is worth it’s weight in gold in a race like this.

Last year’s second, Shantou Flyer, is also worth a small investment. Beaten only four lengths last year, cutting the deficit back all the way to the line. It is possible that with a slightly more aggressive ride, this confirmed stayer can turn the tables.

Shantou Flyer has joined Rose Loxton since last season, and it’s possible this could eke out a bit more improvement, given that Rose is such an integral part of the Paul Nicholls stable operation. While, he looked as good as ever when absolutely bolting up at Fakenham last week. He is simply too big at 12/1.

In a race where most people will still be concentrating on the aftermath the Gold Cup, run 40 minutes earlier, give yourself a chance to reap some returns with these two classy sorts – one of whom finished second in the Gold Cup of 2017, and the other certainly wouldn’t have been out of place in a Gold Cup.

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