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The Ultima Handicap Chase is the third race to take place on Day 1 of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival with a scheduled start time of 14:50.
Below, you can view our top Ultima Handicap Chase tips from our expert tipster Will Smith who will be offering Free Cheltenham betting tips on all races at the 2021 Cheltenham Festival.
With the threat of the Coronavirus affecting the Cheltenham Festival rescinding (famous last words) and the 5-day entry confirmations all finalised, now is the time to get stuck in a little deeper into the action.
So many of the novice race markets are subject to huge fluctuations over the next few days, as running plans and weather will have large bearing on where certain horses go, and thus the relevant markets.
Given the almost guaranteed soft ground at best on day one, I do feel there is an opportunity to have an investment in the Ultima Handicap Chase – the first handicap run at the festival.
Paul Nolan’s Discorama has been second at the last two Cheltenham Festivals – courtesy of runner-up finishes in the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys’ Handicap Hurdle in 2018, and the National Hunt Chase of last year.
Since running below par in a couple of races before Christmas, he has been put away, had a wind operation – and will crucially run fresh with Bryan Cooper confirmed aboard on Tuesday. On the three occasions he has reappeared off the back of a 6-month break or more, he has won twice and chased home leading chaser Champagne Classic on the other occasion.
Given that Champagne Classic is a 150+ rated chaser, and Discorama was beaten just over 3 lengths giving him 5lbs, it could be argued that Discorama is potentially nicely handicapped off his current mark of 148.
A couple of pounds here or there are not the be all and end all by any stretch. It is much more the combination of being fresh, wind op, previous festival form, soft ground and the perfect trip of 3m1f all aligning to give Discorama a favourite’s chance in my eyes.
At 8/1, with the 5 places and the NRNB concession he is worth locking in, but if you were brave enough to take the 9/1 with Coral then so be it. Either way, he could be one that punters latch on to in the coming days, in a race that will be high on numbers but low on horses with a winning chance.