• Hands Heels

Grand Annual Handicap Chase (Grade Three)

Updated: Mar 15, 2021

16:20 Cheltenham 17/03

Edit - As Diego Du Charmil is now a non runner I may have a replacement on the day once we know the extra places terms.

75% of the last twelve winners have been between the age of 7 and 9, course form is also a key stat with 10 of the last twelve having run at the course and 6 having won their previously

Qualifiers- Skypirate, Zanza, Ibleo, The Shunter, Embittered, Us and Them Umbrigado, Eldorado Allen, Not that Fuisse, Duc Des Genievres, Etc..

As you can see most of the field qualify chasers are generally in their prime between 7 and 9 and to be in with a chance here you’d expect the horses to have previously attempted one of the big races at Cheltenham. Therefore I think it’s safe to say we need to look past the stats in this one!

One who goes against the stats having never ran at the track before is Joseph O'Brien's Entoucas, for J P McManus. He has been incredibly consistent in his career and looks to have been targetted for a big race like this. With a second in behind Blackbow now rated 153, Entoucas has been rated 143 for this and think he will end up much higher in time. Despite being well found in this and generally a 9/1 shot, I still think that’s incredibly good value and expect a place here minimum!

Not that Fuisse, hits most of the stats and the Skeltons are in excellent form this season. Has recently had a couple of Jumpers Bumpers runs to keep him ticking over. Very confident rides both times he came second the first time but was the best horse in the race if you were to watch it you’d see. Next time out there was no mistakes under and equally confident ride that was timed better he won easily. His previous course form is good, with a 6th of 18 with Silver Streak and Verdana Blue ahead, but in front of Champion hurdle principal Nube Negra. He has a couple of seconds here as well as another decent 6th in the Caspian Caviar gold cup. Off a mark of 137 and having had two good runs since wind surgery I think 25/1 is far too big for a horse of his ability. I’ll be playing each way of course.

Selections -

Entoucas 9/1 1pt each way

Diego Du Charmil 33/1 0.5pts each way - Now a non runner.

Not That Fuisse - 25/1 0.5pts each way

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