Ultima Handicap Chase Tips

  • 12/03/2024
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The best Ultima Handicap Chase tips for the 2024 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 Corach Rambler last year, who went on to win the 2023 Grand National just a month later.

The 9YO pulled out the win, having been well supported and sent off as 6/1 joint-favourite. 

The list of participants for this year’s renewal is not out yet, but come closer to the start of the Cheltenham Festival 2024, watch for our racing tips for the Ultima handicap chase betting.

Ultima Handicap Chase Bettting 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 2023 Ultima Handicap Chase, the winner, Corach Rambler, became the fifth horse in the last ten years to win the race at single-figure odds. 

Lucinda Russell’s nine-year-old became just the fourth horse in the history of the race to win the race two times, having been triumphant in the 2022 renewal too. 

That was an impressive 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.

2024 Ultima handicap chase Runners + Odds – Tuesday 12th March 2:50

Horse/Form Silks Jockey/Trainer Odds
Corach Rambler


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Derek Fox
T: Lucinda Russell
Into Overdrive


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Jamie Hamilton
T: Mark Walford


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Jamie Moore
T: Gary Moore


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: J J Slevin
T: Martin Brassil
Oscar Elite


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Harry Cobden
T: Joe Tizzard
The Big Breakaway


J: Brendan Powell
T: Joe Tizzard


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: David Bass
T: Kim Bailey
The Goffer


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
Monbeg Genius


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Jonjo O’Neill Jr
T: Jonjo O’Neill


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: A P Heskin
T: Paul Nicholls


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: David Noonan
T: David Pipe
Tea Clipper


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Stan Sheppard
T: Tom Lacey
Cloudy Glen


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Charlie Deutsch
T: Venetia Williams
Harpers Brook


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Tom Cannon
T: Ben Pauling
Top Ville Ben


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Thomas Dowson
T: Philip Kirby
Fanion D’Estruval


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Lucy Turner (5)
T: Venetia Williams
Good Boy Bobby


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Daryl Jacob
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Sam Twiston-Davies
T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Karl Philippe


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Jack Hogan (5)
T: Fergal O’Brien
Iceo Madrik


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Jack Tudor
T: David Pipe
The Wolf


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Paddy Brennan
T: Olly Murphy


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Shane Quinlan (3)
T: Venetia Williams
Glamorgan Duke


Horse Profile - Jockey Colours J: Danny Gilligan (7)
T: Paul John Gilligan

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 Monbeg Genius, who has shaped up well in the ante-post. The 7-year-old finished third in the race last year and looks a good option for Jonjo O’Neill to send here and he looks sure to be prominent in the betting if so. 

Chianti Classico is another to watch, having only tasted defeat once over jumps to date, when pulling up in the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival. If he lines up in this, he’s sure to be well supported. 

Heading the chances of the Irish raiders could be Desertmore House, who has made a strong start to his chase career. He’s yet to travel outside of Ireland, so it will be interesting to see how the handicapper rates his chances. 

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, 12th March 2024.

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 10 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

  • 2023 Corach Rambler 6/1JF
  • 2022 Corach Rambler 10/1
  • 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

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.

Asides from 2022 winner Corach Rambler, 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 2024?

The total purse for the 2023 Ultima handicap was £122,962.50. Out of that pot, the winner Corach Rambler walked away with £70,337.50. The prize money was paid out to eight on the following scale: 2nd £26,500, 3rd £13,262.50, 4th £6,625, 5th £3,325, 6th £1,662.50, 7th £825 and 8th £425. We await the prize monies for the 2024 Ultima.

Ultima handicap chase Past Winners 

Six 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, whilst most recently last year’s winner Corach Rambler followed up at Aintree the following month.

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. Last year saw Corach Rambler add his name to the list, having won the 2022 renewal the previous year. 

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
2023 Corach Rambler 6/1JF Derek Fox Lucinda Russell
2022 Corach Rambler 10/1 Derek Fox Lucinda Russell
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 2024 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