Ultima Handicap Chase betting tips

  • 15/03/2022
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Vintage Clouds ridden by Ryan Mania jumps the last to beat Happygolucky in the Ultima Handicap Chase during day one of the Cheltenham Festival.

The best Ultima Handicap Chase tips for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival can be found right here as our expert tipsters look in-depth at the Day 1 fixture. This Grade 3 contest was won by Vintage Clouds last year.

The veteran pulled out the win, having opened the Ultima Handicap Chase odds at big odds.

The list of participants for this year’s renewal is not out yet, but come closer to the start of the Cheltenham Festival 2023, watch for our racing tips for the Ultima handicap chase betting.

(Tips to follow)

Ultima Handicap Chase Tips – Overlooked Outsiders

There are few sights better in horse racing when an unexpected outsider is battling to win, especially in such a big race as the Ultima Handicap.

Our betting experts will consider the longer-priced options as part of our Ultima handicap chase betting tips preview.

That’s because no horse in the field can be ignored. History proves that, as overlooked outsiders have stormed the field at the Cheltenham Festival time and time again.

Looking back at the 2021 Ultima Handicap Chase, the winner, 11-year-old veteran Vintage Clouds, defied some long odds.

Sue Smith’s popular veteran had opened in the Ultima handicap chase betting market at 25/1 but then had drifted to a 28/1 SP. After a mid-way battle for the lead, he took control and smashed the field for a five and a half-length victory.

That was a stunning result in the Grade 3 contest, and our tipsters will dig through this year’s declarations to see if any dark horses catch the eye in Ultima handicap chase odds.

A look at this year’s underdogs will be available closer to the race.

Ultima handicap chase Runners – Tuesday 15th March 2:50

1 Frodon T: Paul Nicholls

J: Bryony Frost

2 Lostintranslation T: Colin Tizzard

J: Brendan Powell

3 Does He Know T: David Bass

J: Kim Bailey

4 Ben Dundee T: Andrew Lynch

J: Danny Mullins

5 Noble Yeats T: Emmet Mullins

J: Sam Waley-Cohen

6 Floueur T: Gordon Elliott

J: Jordan Gainford (3)

7 Foxy Jacks T: Mouse Morris

J: Jonathan Moore

8 Doctor Duffy T: Mouse Morris

J: Liam Quinlan (5)

9 Tea Clipper T: Tom Lacey

J: Stan Sheppard

10 Death Duty T: Gordon Elliott

J: Jack Kennedy

11 Fantastikas T: Nigel Twiston-Davies

J: Sam Twiston-Davies

12 Vintage Clouds T: Sue Smith

J: Sean Quinlan

13 Rapper T: Henry Daly

J: Tom O’Brien

14 Discordantly T: Jessica Harrington

J: Robbie Power

15 Grumpy Charley T: Chris Honour

J: Bryan Carver (3)

16 Kiltealy Briggs T: Jamie Snowden

J: Adrian Heskin

17 Full Back T: Gary Moore

J: Joshua Moore

18 Corach Rambler T: Lucinda Russell

J: Derek Fox

19 Run To Milan T: Victor Dartnall

J: Alan Johns

20 Our Power T: Sam Thomas

J: Charlie Deutsch

21 One More Fleurie T: Ian Williams

J: Charlie Todd (3)

22 Belargus T: Nick Gifford

J: Niall Houlihan (3)

23 Oscar Elite T: Colin Tizzard

J: Harry Cobden

24 Gericault Roque T: David Pipe

J: Tom Scudamore

Ultima Handicap Chase Odds 2023

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds
Death Duty


J:Jack Kennedy
T:Gordon Elliott
Does He Know


J:David Bass
T:Kim Bailey
Noble Yeats


J:Sam Waley-Cohen
T:Emmet Mullins


J:Sam Twiston-Davies
T:Nigel Twiston-Davies


J:Jordan Gainford (3)
T:Gordon Elliott
Corach Rambler


J:Derek Fox
T:Lucinda Russell


J:Bryony Frost
T:Paul Nicholls
Full Back


J:Joshua Moore
T:Gary Moore
Gericault Roque


J:Tom Scudamore
T:David Pipe
Our Power


J:Charlie Deutsch
T:Sam Thomas
Vintage Clouds


J:Sean Quinlan
T:Sue Smith

18/1 Bar

Ante-post racing odds for the fixture can be taken currently, and while we can’t fully assess the market until the final declarations, that doesn’t mean that the Ultima handicap chase betting odds can’t give us clues.

Horses are geared up for the fixture ahead of time, and it is worth looking early at the likes of Aye Right, who has shaped up well in the ante-post. The 9-year-old could potentially end up there or maybe the Gold Cup and closed 2021 in winning form with a score at Newcastle.

Shan Blue is another to watch as he could potentially make his Cheltenham return in the Ultima after taking on the Marsh Novices’ at last year’s Festival.

Taking on any Irish raiders in this one could be Does He Know, who will look to kick on in what has been a promising start to life over the fences. There was a win at Cheltenham from him earlier this season in a novices’ chase.

Ultimately for the Ultima handicap chase betting picture to unfold further, we have to wait until we are a little bit closer to the Festival. But stay tuned for the best Ultima handicap chase tips coming up for Tuesday, 15th March 2023.

How to pick an Ultima handicap chase winner

While we wait for the final list of runners heading into action at this year’s Ultima Handicap, we can look back at some past trends. One of the immediate trends is that there has been a preference for the stronger contenders at the head of the market.

It may not necessarily be the favourite that gets all the attention because there has only been two of those winning in the last 20 editions. The largest winning SP of the last ten renewals of the Ultima have all been no bigger than 28/1

Last 10 Ultima Winner Odds

  • 2021 Vintage Clouds 28/1
  • 2020 The Conditional 15/2
  • 2019 Beware The Bear 10/1
  • 2018 Coo Star Sivola 5/1F
  • 2018 Un Temps Pour Tout 9/1
  • 2016 Un Temps Pour Tout 11/1
  • 2015 The Druids Nephew 8/1
  • 2014 Holywell 10/1
  • 2013 Golden Chieftain 28/1
  • 2012 Alfie Sherrin 14/1 

This excellent test of stamina has some interesting stats to look through to try and decide the best way to go with horse racing betting. For example, the last 20 winners of the Ultima had all previously won at a distance of at least 21.5 furlongs.

Any horse that had had a run at Ascot or Newbury last time out has failed to win in the Ultima. The previous twenty winners arrived at Cheltenham on the back of a busy campaign, with each of them having had between 2 and 7 runs for the season.

Only one of the last twenty winners of the Ultima had won more than five times over the fences before landing the Ultima. As for the leading trainers in the Ultima at the Cheltenham Festival, that’s a tie between Jonjo O’Neill and David Pipe, who have trained three winners, with Alan King just behind on two.

Our tipsters will be releasing our Ultima handicap chase tips, so keep an eye out for those. 

All About The Ultima Handicap Chase: Past and Present

The Ultima Handicap Chase is a Grade 3 Chase and occupies a slot on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival. The race, formerly known as the National Hunt Handicap Chase, is a contest over a distance of 3m 1f. 

It’s formally the Festival Trophy Handicap Chase but gets a sponsor’s name included, currently the Ultima Group. There are 20 fences to be negotiated in the contest, which is open to five-year-olds and above. 

While a top fixture in its own right in the National Hunt calendar, the Ultima is seen as a primer to the Grand National. 

This handicap contest is run on the Old Course turf, and previous winners include the likes of Seagram and Rough Quest.

How Do Horses Qualify For the Ultimate Handicap Chase Race?

Only horses at least five years old can qualify for the Ultima Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival. The handicap controls the weights and allowances.

What is the Ultima handicap chase Prize Money in 2023?

The total purse for the 2021 Ultima handicap was £82,500. Out of that pot, the winner Vintage Clouds walked away with £46,423. The prize money was paid out to eight on the following scale: 2nd £17,490, 3rd £8,753.25, 4th £4,372.50, 5th £2,194.50, 6th £1,097.25, 7th £544.50, 8th £280.50. We await the prize monies for the 2023 Ultima.

Ultima handicap chase Past Winners 

Five runners throughout the Festival Trophy Handicap chase have won this and the Grand National during their careers. Along with Seagram and Rough Quest, Royal Tan, Team Spirit and West Tip also completed the double.

Un Temps Pour Tout pulled off a rare title defence in the Ultima with a second success in 2018. He became the first since Scot Lane in the early 1980s to achieve that feat.

Among other notable winners of the Ultima, 2018 champion Coo Star Sivola and 2009 winner Wichita Lineman – who produced one of the most noteworthy runs in the race, coming from 15 lengths back to land a fantastic win by a neck.

Year Horse Odds Jockey Trainer
2021 Vintage Clouds 28/1 Ryan Mania Sue Smith
2020 The Conditional 15/2 Brendan Powell David Bridgewater
2019 Beware The Bear 10/1 Jeremiah McGrath Nicky Henderson
2018 Coo Star Sivola 5/1F Lizzie Kelly Nick Williams
2017 Un Temps Pour Tout 9/1 Tom Scudamore David Pipe
2016 Un Temps Pour Tour 11/1 Tom Scudmore David Pipe
2015 The Druids Nephew 8/1 Barry Geraghty Neil Mulholland
2014 Holywell 10/1 Richie McLernon Jonjo O’Neill
2013 Golden Chieftain 28/1 Brendan Powell Colin Tizzard
2012 Alfie Sherrin 14/1 Richie McLernon Jonjo O’Neill
2011 Bensalem 5/1 Robert Thornton Alan King
2010 Chief Dan Geroge 33/1 Paddy Aspell James Moffatt

Other Races on Day 1 of the Cheltenham Festival

The Ultima Handicap is the third race of seven on the opening day of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. Here is the day’s whole card.

13:30 The Supreme Novices’ Hurdle

14:10 The Arkle Challenge Trophy

14:50 The Ultima Handicap Steeple Chase

15:30 The Champion Hurdle Challenge Trophy

16:10 The Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle

16:50 The Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle Race

17:30 The National Hunt Challenge Cup Novices’ Steeple Chase