Ultima Handicap Chase Trends

Ultima Handicap Chase Trends 2022

The third race of the festival and the opening handicap of the four day spectacle, The Ultima Handicap chase shifts the focus from the two milers to the stamina laden chasers. 

Open to five year olds and over the three mile and half a furlong trip calls on those with big engines to thoroughly see out the trip. 

Below, we have put together a collection of stats and trends hopefully to help build a profile to finding some value in the race this year.

Stat One

An ideal starting place for building your profile is the age of the winner. 11 of the last 15 winners were aged seven, eight or 10 years old.

Last year’s winner Vintage Clouds went against this stat being 11 years old but he is one of the very few at that age to win it and it is usually best to go for younger horses.

Stat Two

To further build your profile, 13 of the last 15 winners placed top five in their prep run for the Ultima. It might sound obvious but it appears to pay to be siding with those running well.

Vintage Clouds was along way back in third at Kelso and was dropped 2lb in the handicap off the back of it to make him an attractive bet in the race. Bear in mind those who are involved in finishes in their prep run.

The previously mentioned first five to finish last year all ticked this trend box.

Stat Three

Further narrowing the field down, there is an apparent class barrier to work with when finding the winner of the Ultima.

All of the last 15 winners were rated 129 or more. 10 of the last 15 winners were rated 142 or more and Five of the last eight winners were rated 145 or more.

Finding a group horse in a handicap is the way to go in this race.

Stat Four

Previous course form around Cheltenham proves to be important in Ultima winners.

14 of the last 15 winners had placed in a race around Cheltenham before.

Furthermore, 12 of the last 15 winners had run at Cheltenham three or more times and nine of those had four or more runs at the course.

Pay attention to those who had run well or often at Prestbury Park before. Dealing with the stiff hill finish is essential.

Stat Five

Further building our profile of a winner, being unexposed is a key ingredient to success here.

12 of the last 15 winners had ten or fewer runs over hurdles. Look for those who didn’t spend too long over timber and were quickly shifted to fences.

But, to further add to that, nine of the last 15 winners had nine or less runs over fences. Experience is important but being overexposed over the larger obstacles is a hindrance here.

Last year’s winner fit the hurdles trend but massively went against the chase trends, running frequently over the larger obstacles, but Vintage Clouds went against plenty of the trends.

Stat Six

A key race to pay attention to is the Ladbrokes Trophy at Newbury.

Four of the last 15 winners had run in the previous year’s renewal.



Stat Seven

Finally, all 14 of the previous winners had won over three miles.

Proven stamina is a must, having notched a win over a staying trip is essential, be ready to put lines through those entered who don’t have a win at 24 furlongs under their belt.

Stamina is the name of the game here, it’d wise to not go into this race guessing that your fancy will get the trip.

Value Angle

The value angle in this race is the Gordon Elliott trained Floueur who off a mark of 146 is weighted to go well and having shown clear form over staying trips this year hits many of the trends.

The Irish aren't known for dominating in this race but they have a big chance this year with this seven year old.

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