Ultima Handicap Chase Betting & Odds 2023

Vintage Clouds ridden by Ryan Mania jumps the last to beat Happygolucky ridden by David Bass in the Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

Vintage Clouds ridden by Ryan Mania jumps the last to beat Happygolucky ridden by David Bass in the Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Ultima Handicap Chase is the third race on the opening day of Cheltenham and is the first big handicap of the Festival. Previously known as the Festival Trophy, this event always attracts a large field, and this year 23 runners are set to head to post, headed by last year’s winner Corach Rambler.

However, favourites have a poor record in the race, with just one winning favourite in the past 13 years, while Irish-trained horses have an even worse record, with just two winners in the past 53 years.

Jonjo O’Neill and David Pipe are the leading trainers in the Ultima, having both won the race three times and both saddles runners in this year’s race – Monbeg Genius for O’Neill and Remastered and Iceo Madrik for Pipe.

Latest Ultima Handicap Chase odds *

*Best prices correct at time of writing

Corach Rambler 13/2

Into Overdrive 8/1

Nassalam 8/1

Oscar Elite 10/1

Monbeg Genius 10/1

Fastorslow 10/1

Fantastikas 14/1

Happygolucky 16/1

Cloudy Glen 16/1

The Goffer 16/1

The Big Breakaway 18/1

Threeunderthrufive 20/1

Remastered 20/1

Tea Clipper 25/1

Harpers Brook 25/1

Good Boy Bobby 33/1

Top Ville Ben 33/1

Fanion Destruval 

The Wolf 33/1

Laskalin 33/1

Iceo Madrik 40/1

Karl Philippe 40/1

Glamorgan Duke 66/1

Ultima Handicap Chase Odds and Entries 2023

The current favourite for this year’s Ultima is Corach Rambler, who won the race last year for trained Lucinda Russell. However, with all the recent rain and snow, the ground may have turned against Corach Rambler, and the same can be said for Into Overdrive, Oscar Elite and Threeunderthrfive, who all prefer good ground.

Despite Irish horses having a poor record in the Ultima, there will likely be plenty of support for the Gordon Elliott-trained The Goffer under jockey Davey Russell. He won a valuable handicap at the Dublin Racing Festival, and all of his wins have come on softer ground.

And Monbeg Genius is also likely to be a popular pick for the father and son combination of Jonjo O’Neill and Jonjo O’Neill Jr. He’s a horse that has won his last three races, all on soft ground, and if he can settle in this large field, he could run a big race.

Betting on the Ultima Handicap Chase

The Cheltenham Ultima Handicap Chase has been won by some famous names including Grand National winners West Tip, Seagram and Rough Quest. The race’s links with the Grand National go back to Royal Tan (1952) and Team Spirit (1963) but Seagram (1991) was the last horse to win both races in the same season.

Course form is key in the Ultima Handicap Chase with the last twelve winners all having raced at Cheltenham at least once previously. Seven of those had won at least once at the course. Eight-year-olds have the best recent record with six victories in the past twelve seasons including Corach Rambler in 2022. Lucinda Russell’s gelding is expected to attempt to repeat last year’s last gasp victory before running in the 2023 Grand National.

Coo Star Sivola (2018) is the only winning favourite in the last twelve seasons in a race which always attracts a large field. Five of the remaining winners were either second or third favourite. Bensalem (2011) and The Druids Nephew (2015) both started second favourite but there have been plenty of long-priced winners. The longest winning odds in recent years were Golden Chieftain (2013) and Vintage Clouds (2021) who both returned at 28-1.

Ultima Handicap Chase News

Corach Rambler has been declared an intended runner by the Lucinda Russell stable despite his recent mishap at Ascot. The gelding won at Cheltenham in December and then finished a creditable fourth under a big weight in the Warwick Classic Chase. He may not have caught Does He Know at Ascot but he certainly would have given him a race.

School Boy Hours, currently only 14-1 in the Ultima Handicap Chase odds, is thought more likely to be saved for either the English or Irish Grand National. There are no such distractions for Paddy Power Chase runner-up Ben Dundee who has run at three previous Cheltenham festivals, his best effort coming when third in the two and a half mile novices chase in 2019. Trainer Noel Meade also has Diol Ker entered, fourth to Longhouse Poet in the Thyestes Chase at Gowran Park.

Former King George and Ryanair Chase winner Frodon will top the weights here by some margin if allowed to take his chance. His surprise entry by Paul Nicholls could leave plenty of these out of the handicap proper. Henry Daly’s Fortescue will get a decent racing weight after being raised 4lbs for his battling victory over Fiddlerontheroof in Ascot’s Swinley Chase.

Fantastikas scraped home by a short-head in bottomless ground at Lingfield in January for Nigel Twiston-Davies. The seven-year-old races in the colours of Imperial Racing who also have Imperial Alcazar prominent in the Ultimate Handicap Chase betting odds. He was a very easy winner at Cheltenham over an extended two and a half miles in January and could stay at that trip for the Paddy Power Plate instead.