The Biggest Cheltenham Festival Handicap Market Movers Over The Last Few Weeks

Cheltenham - March 16 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
6
David Bass

Happygolucky

J:
 
David Bass
T:
 
Kim Bailey
Age: 7
Weight: 11-1
OR: 147
Days: -25

The Ultima Handicap Chase has been a race over the last few years that the British have a superb record in and the market suggests this season that it will be staying with us.

Happygolucky for superstar trainer Kim Bailey has undergone some serious market support of late for the Grade Three event on the Tuesday of the meeting.

Having not ran since December, he looks to have been saved for this event with Bailey looking to keep him on a decent mark.

Last season the gelding was seen finishing a good fourth in the Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle at the Cheltenham festival, with him being hampered in the final stages and arguably could have finished much closer.

He has been sent over fences this term and has performed to a very high standard in all three of his events, showing a progressive nature and not finishing outside the top two on any run.

He made his first start over the bigger obstacles at Stratford when seeing off the likeable Paint The Dream for Fergal O'Brien.

He then went to Fakenham and was a close second behind Getaway Trump who has since franked the form and last time out he got back to winning ways at Cheltenham over the Utima course and distance.

He has plenty in his favour heading into the event and punters have latched onto this which has seen his odds slashed from 25/1 into 11/2.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
10/04/21AIN25GS11-71
16/03/21CHL25Sft11-12
11/12/20CHL25.5GS11-61
17/11/20FAK21Gd11-62
29/10/20STR21GS11-41
Cheltenham - March 16 2021
Cheltenham 16:15
13
Harry Cobden

Houx Gris

J:
 
Harry Cobden
T:
 
Paul Nicholls
Age: 4
Weight: 10-11
OR: 128
Days: -24

Houx gris has been a huge market mover in the Boodles Juvenile Hurdle Handicap on the first day of the festival with the French exploit looking to give Paul Nicholls his fourth win in the race.

The four year old ran in two bumpers in the middle of 2020 in France, winning on debut and then finishing second on his final start before being moved over hurdles.

He made his hurdles debut at Auteuil in September and finished a good third over 2m2f in soft conditions and then next time out over a similar trip he got off the mark.

He was bought and given to Nicholls, making his debut in January at Chepstow in the Grade One Finale Juvenile Hurdle and finishing a well beaten third behind Adagio and Nassalam.

That form does not look all that strong with the second and fourth since getting beat, but it has allowed him to be given a very nice mark of 128 for the race at Prestbury Park.

This has seen him undergo some serious market support throughout the last few weeks being backed into 6/1 from 25/1.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
09/04/21AIN16.5GS10-12UR
16/03/21CHL16.5GS10-114
09/01/21CHP16Sft11-03
22/10/20AUT17.5Hy10-101
26/09/20AUT18VSft10-63
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 14:30
2
Jack Kennedy

Grand Roi

J:
 
Jack Kennedy
T:
 
Mrs Denise Foster
Age: 5
Weight: 11-6
OR: 149

Moving onto the second day of the meeting and in the Coral Cup the Denise Foster trained Grand Roi is a horse that has been lumped on by punters and is now the 7/1 favourite.

Having been with Nicky Henderson last season, he moved over to Ireland this season and has been seen three times and looks to have a big chance off the back of some of those runs, in this event.

Having made his debut for Gordon Elliott at Galway in October finishing third in a good Grade Three event, he then used that to get off the mark at Limerick at Christmas in a decent Grade Two.

The five year old was last seen finishing second in January at Naas in the Grade Three Limestone Lad Hurdle behind Bachasson, who has since gone on to frank the form by landing a Grade Two over fences with ease.

His form looks extremely strong and only on a mark of 149, for what he has shown this season has seen him go from 20/1 into 7/1 favourite.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
18/04/22FAI20Y11-83
16/03/22CHL21Sft11-7PU
22/02/22NAV21Hy11-84
28/12/21LEO24Sft11-124
07/11/21NAV20Gd11-123
Cheltenham - March 17 2021
Cheltenham 16:15
12
Richard Johnson

Zanza

J:
 
Richard Johnson
T:
 
Philip Hobbs
Age: 7
Weight: 10-13
OR: 145
Days: -22

Towards the end of Wednesdays card, the Grand Annual Handicap Chase always sees a strong field of runners, with the Irish dominating over the last few years.

However, although horses like Entoucas and Embittered have undergone support, Zanza for Philip Hobbs is the one to take note of going from 40/1 in places to now 10/1.

The seven year old gelding has some stellar form this term, finishing fourth of eight on debut behind Eldorado Allen, who went on to land a Grade Two at Cheltenham.

Zanza then went to Warwick and improved for his run over fences to finish a good second behind Allmankind in a Novices' Chase and he also has franked the form taking Grade One and Two honours.

The gelding finally got off the mark for the season at Newbury when being heavily backed on the day and easily landing a Limited Handicap Chase.

Looking to back that up at Cheltenham over the Grand Annual course and distance he unfortunately fell when travelling well in behind Sky Pirate and Ibleo, who have both gone on and won races since that event.

Zanza has some serious form that stacks up and now at 10/1 still looks an attractive price, but was originally 40/1 just a few weeks back.

DateCourseDistanceTypeWeightPosition
19/03/22KEM21Gd11-58
26/02/22KEM24GS11-7PU
01/01/22CHL20.5Sft11-4PU
11/12/21CHL20.5GS11-02
13/11/21CHL20Gd11-26
Cheltenham - March 18 2021

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