Festival Handicap Steeple Chase

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The Festival Handicap Steeple Chase is the first of the handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival, tough but rewarding puzzles for punters to solve.

Horses racing at Cheltenham in front of the main enclosure
DateTuesday, March 16, 2021
Start Time14:50
Distance3m 1f
TypeChase
Prize£110,000
Where to WatchCheltenham live stream at MansionBet
Horses’ Age5+ Years.
Cheltenham Festival Day 1: Festival Handicap Steeple Chase

The Cheltenham Festival handicaps are routinely tough puzzles for punters to solve, but they can be amongst the most rewarding of the week when successful.

The first opportunity is the Festival Handicap Steeple Chase, race three on day one, which is run over a trip of three-miles-and-one-furlong. This contest has been dominated by British-trained winners, stretching back to the Tony Martin-trained Dun Doire, the most recent Irish winner in 2006.

In 2009, this contest produced one of the all-time great Cheltenham Festival rides, as AP McCoy somehow got Wichita Lineman up to score in the shadows of the post for trainer Jonjo O’Neill.

The Jackdaws Castle handler and David Pipe are often trainers to follow in this contest, boasting three wins apiece since 2008.

Betting Odds

HorseLatest Odds*
Dickie Diver11/1
One For The Team14/1
Royale Pagaille16/1
*All odds correct at time of writing

Festival Handicap Steeple Chase: Tips, Predictions and Previews

One of the fiercest betting heats on day one of the Cheltenham Festival, the Festival Handicap Steeple Chase is the first handicap of the meeting. In recent times, following the front of the market in this race has been profitable. David Bridgwater struck in 2020 with The Conditional at 15/2, as three of the first four home were in the top three in the betting.

Beware The Bear was a well-touted 10/1 chance in 2019, while Coo Star Sivola just held on for Lizzie Kelly in 2018 to justify favouritism in this competitive contest.

Previous Cheltenham form and, indeed, previous form in this very race are sure positives when considering punting options, alongside following trainers with strong track records in the Festival handicaps.

Festival Handicap Steeple Chase: Recent Winners

YearHorseJockeyTrainer
2020The ConditionalBrendan PowellDavid Bridgwater
2019Beware The BearJerimiah McGrathNicky Henderson
2018Coo Star SivolaLizzie KellyNick Williams
2017Un Temps Pour ToutTom ScudamoreDavid Pipe
2016Un Temps Pour ToutTom ScudamoreDavid Pipe
Source: Wikipedia

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