• Hands Heels

Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase (Grade Three)

Updated: Mar 17, 2021

15:40 Cheltenham 18/03

A tricky contest but when we look at the stats, winners tend to be of a similar mould. Ignoring the last three years favourites typically had a poor record in this so may be worth bearing that in mind. Of the last twelve winners only two have carried over eleven stone. The Storyteller, who has since wont grade one level and Simply The Betts last year who is a very good horse and not been seen much since to confirm just how good. The average winning rating is pretty much bang on 140. Age tends to have little relation to winners with an average age of 8 as the winner, and most entries being between six and eight you would expect this anyway.

Head of the market is The Shunter for Emmet Mullins, in great form this year he actually won yesterday as I’m writing this the 6th of March in the Morebattle up in Kelso. Connections have been targetting the bonus this year and if he wins at Cheltenham he will pick up a £100,000 bonus. Because of this he is entered in nearly every possible race with connections looking for the one they have the best chance of winning! He will be bang there for whichever race he enters so worth a second look. I imagine it will more than likely be the Grand Annual or the County that he goes to as I feel his best form is over the two miles.

Next up we have Farclas and Samcro for Gordon Elliott, sorry Denise… Samcro will be going to the Ryanair and I don’t think 8/1 is a great price on Farclas, as although he has clearly been given an easy time of it this year and been not exactly put into the races. He was well backed last time out and I think just found a few too good that day as opposed to just not trying. Infact of that race I would rather back Livelovelaugh each way who finished ahead of Farclas that day and had some decent chase form at the back end of last year with a third to the Story teller and a second to Mengli Kahn. Last time out was his first race back after a six month break and should have him primed for this. At 20/1 he’s much better value than Farclas, especially being rated bang on 140 and carrying only ten stone four.

The other interesting runner who I think holds a decent each way shot at a price would be Beat The Judge for Gary Moore at 33/1. This unexposed six year old has some decent form since switching from flat to jumps. With seconds to Fusil Raffles in the grade two Adonis and Silver Streak in a listed race. He was eighth in last years Country Hurdle and since chasing this year hasn’t finished outside of the first three. Mainly running over two miles his win in September last year was over two miles two and I think the way he stayed on in last years county over two miles one shows that he will be suited by this extra distance. He lacks the turn of foot to be an out and out two miler and the extra distance will help him here. A recent run in an all weather bumper should have him fit and firing for this, and looks to me to outrun his odds. Stats wise he is rated 141 which is perfect and will only be carrying ten stone five.

Huntsman Son lightly raced chased, off a decent rating. Last time in a handicap he won a listed chase over Two For Gold who is a decent yard stick, Nietzche who is a reliable sort once beating silver streak, as well as others. He then contested a hot renewal of the Caspian Caviar being pulled up but travelling generally ok. 40/1 is too big with 6 or 7 places likely to be on offer and if bouncing back would have a decent chance here in an open race. I will have a small go each way in this with extra places.

Fils D’oudaries off of 145 could look silly considering he was 3.5 lengths behind Envoi Allen in January. His next race was a very strong contest with Monkfish, Latest Exhibition, Andy Dusfresne and Asterion Forlonge in front. He was eased that day having ran well for a long time and this drop in class should suit him much better. At 17/2 he is good value as one of the potential class angles in the race. I will play him each way.


Huntsman Son 40/1 0.5pts each way

Fils D'oudaries 17/2 0.5 pts each way

Disclaimer- as ever I will wait until the day for these in case of extra places on offer by the bookies. It may even be 6 or 7 places on the day.

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