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Cheltenham Festival: The Ultimate Guide - 2021-03-05

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Headgear a striking clue to success

TUESDAY 2.30 ULTIMA HANDICAP CHASE

JAMES HILL

As many as eight of the last nine winners had some form of headgear This is the same statistic I highlighted last year, but I’ve had to use it again because it really is striking. The Ultima is one of the more intriguing handicaps of the whole festival as plenty of the field tend to be quite exposed and the key is to side with those who you think have been laid out for it. Always a good indicator are runners with headgear fitted for the first time or reinstated. Also focus on runners who have had ten starts or fewer over fences. Try to cross off the more exposed types. Since the turn of the century, novices have fared pretty well with as many as eight successful. Another pointer is previous experience in big-field chases. That was certainly something last year’s victor The Conditional had on his CV, with his previous three starts coming in fields of 15, 24 and 13. Verdict The trio to pick out are Cloth Cap, Happygolucky and Lieutenant Rocco. Cloth Cap would be the most interesting were he to run, especially given he wore headgear last time. However, it’s all about the Grand National for him, which leaves the two novices, with Lieutenant Rocco the one more likely to show up.

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Cheltenham - The Ultimate Guide

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