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16:50 Cheltenham

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Premier Race Meeting Logo
All13:3014:1014:5015:3016:5017:30

Johnny Henderson Grand Annual Challenge Cup Handicap Chase (Premier Handicap) (GBB Race)

  • 5YO plus  |   Class 1  |   1m 7f 199y  |   Soft (Heavy in places)  |   16 Runners  |   Turf  |   Weighed In
  • Off time: 16:52  |   Winning time: 4m 12.76s
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2
Horse silk
Saint Roit38
Age: 9|  Weight: 11-10| J: M P Walsh| T: W P Mullins| OR:  152| C| D
13/2
Excellent record at this meeting, winning the County Hurdle in 2020 and placed in the Champion Hurdle (2022) and Arkle (2023). Patchy record this season but is high on the shortlist for this after his eye-catching fourth at Fairyhouse on his handicap debut in this sphere.
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Timeform
3
Horse silk
Maskada32
Age: 8|  Weight: 11-8| J: D J O'Keeffe| T: H De Bromhead| OR:  150| CD
10/1
Smart chaser who forged clear when winning this last year off 8 lb lower under this rider. Just the one decent effort from 3 starts this season but this has likely been the target again.
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Timeform
4
Horse silk
Solnesst39
Age: 6|  Weight: 11-7| J: J J Slevin| T: J P O'Brien| OR:  149| BF
12/1
Improved since switched to handicaps last 2 starts, winning at Fairyhouse (17f, soft, 7/1) in December before good 6½ lengths third of 11 to Madara at Leopardstown (17f, soft, 4/1) 39 days ago. 10 lb better off with the winner here so warrants respect.
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Timeform
5
Horse silk
Sa Fureur61
Age: 7|  Weight: 11-3| J: J W Kennedy| T: G Elliott| OR:  145| D
4/1
Useful winner over hurdles last season (ran poorly when well backed for Coral Cup). Fell on return/chase debut (in process of running well) and off the mark in fortuitous fashion at Fairyhouse, held when left clear last. Decent second at Naas since and remains with potential switched to a handicap.
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Timeform
6
Horse silk
Madarap,t39
Age: 5|  Weight: 11-1| J: J Reveley| T: Mrs S Leech| OR:  143| CD
11/2
Ex-French winner who's firmly on the upgrade for this yard, winning over C&D before following up in listed handicap at Leopardstown, beating Path d'Oroux and Solness. More to come and needs considering.
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Timeform
7
Horse silk
Calicop,t46
Age: 8|  Weight: 11-1| J: Tristan Durrell(3)| T: D Skelton| OR:  143| D
25/1
Good runner-up efforts on 2 of his 3 starts (including here) this season, seeing things out well considering how hard he went at Doncaster last time. Not taken lightly.
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Timeform
8
Horse silk
Path D'orouxp1,t39
Age: 7|  Weight: 11-0| J: K M Donoghue| T: G P Cromwell| OR:  142| D
10/1
Bumper/hurdles winner. Yet to score over fences but his last 2 runner-up efforts were his best yet, ¾ lengths behind Madara in handicap chase at Leopardstown (17f, soft) 39 days ago. 6 lb better off with Madara here so must be respected with headgear applied.
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Timeform
9
Horse silk
Harper's Brookv139
Age: 8|  Weight: 10-12| J: Kielan Woods| T: B Pauling| OR:  140
25/1
Looked as good as ever when scoring at Sandown last month but was possibly fortunate to do so and isn't an obvious type to follow up in a race such as this. Change of headgear.
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Timeform
10
Horse silk
Libberty Hunter72
Age: 8|  Weight: 10-11| J: H Cobden| T: Evan Williams| OR:  139| CD
6/1
Progressive sort who gained compensation for his reappearance/chase debut fall (looked likely winner) when running out a convincing winner at Wincanton (15.7f). Followed up in good style here (16.3f, soft) on New Year's Day so lots to like.
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Timeform
11
Horse silk
Unexpected Partyt46
Age: 9|  Weight: 10-10| J: Harry Skelton| T: D Skelton| OR:  138
12/1
Emerged with credit against some of the top-flight British novice chasers of 2022/23 and made a fine return when taking 4-runner listed novice at Chepstow (19.5f) in October. On a good mark on those efforts but has disappointed since, his last 2 starts particularly poor.
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Timeform
12
Horse silk
Triple Trade52
Age: 8|  Weight: 10-10| J: Brendan Powell| T: J Tizzard| OR:  138| CD
28/1
Really got his act together over fences since last spring, adding another win to his tally when seeing off 6 rivals over 19f at Ascot over Christmas. Ran poorly at Lingfield since but type to bounce back after a break with yard going well.
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Timeform
13
Horse silk
Gemirande11
Age: 8|  Weight: 10-6| J: Charlie Deutsch| T: Miss V Williams| OR:  134| D
40/1
Gained his second win of 2022/23 at Wetherby (19.4f). Shaped as if better for the run after 11 months off when fifth of 9 in handicap chase at Newbury (19.8f, soft, 12/1) but that was only 11 days ago.
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Timeform
14
Horse silk
The Folkes Tiarat39
Age: 8|  Weight: 10-5| J: Rachael Blackmore| T: H De Bromhead| OR:  133
33/1
Career best when winning 10-runner handicap chase at Leopardstown on Boxing Day but that was sandwiched in between 2 poor efforts, 20 lengths eighth of 11 to Madara in handicap chase at same track (17f, soft, 7/1) 39 days ago.
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Timeform
15
Horse silk
Frere d'Armesp,t46
Age: 7|  Weight: 10-5| J: C Gethings| T: D Skelton| OR:  133| D
25/1
Improved for switch to chasing last season, landing handicaps at Kempton/Newbury (at up to 18f). However, just the one good effort in defeat this term, making little impression here latest.
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Timeform
16
Horse silk
Hardy Du Seuilp27
Age: 7|  Weight: 10-4| J: G Sheehan| T: Jamie Snowden| OR:  132| D
12/1
Dual winner over fences in 2021/22 season and enjoyed a good spell campaigned over hurdles last term. Shaped as if retaining all his ability back over fences after 10 months off when third at Sandown and good chance he'll sharpen up for that with headgear refitted.
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Timeform
17
Horse silk
The King Of Prsp1,t20
Age: 6|  Weight: 10-4| J: S W Flanagan| T: G P Cromwell| OR:  132| BF| D
22/1
Made it 2 from 2 over fences in taking fashion in novice at Limerick on Boxing Day but has failed to build on that switched to handicaps next 2 starts. Headgear now applied.
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Timeform

Non-Runners

1
Horse silk
Dancing On My Own60
Weight: 12-0|  Age: 10
T: H De Bromhead  J: Rachael Blackmore
NR

Forecasts

Sa Fureur (4/1), Madara (11/2), Libberty Hunter (6/1), Saint Roi (13/2), Path D'oroux (10/1), Maskada (10/1), Unexpected Party (12/1), Solness (12/1), Hardy Du Seuil (12/1), Dancing On My Own (14/1), The King Of Prs (22/1), Calico (25/1), Harper's Brook (25/1), Frere d'Armes (25/1), Triple Trade (28/1), The Folkes Tiara (33/1), Gemirande (40/1)

Verdict

SAINT ROI caught the eye running in a handicap chase for the first time when fourth at Fairyhouse 2 starts back and the form he showed when third in the Arkle 12 months ago suggests he's on a good mark. Fast-improving novice Libberty Hunter could still be in front of the handicapper so is a must for the shortlist, while Madara is also on the upgrade and had a bit to spare when seeing off Path d'Oroux and Solness at Leopardstown.

Previous Winners

2023
Weight: 11-1  |Age: 7
22/1
2022
Weight: 10-6  |Age: 10
28/1
2021
Weight: 11-6  |Age: 8
14/1
2020
Weight: 11-4  |Age: 7
7/2
2019
Weight: 10-12  |Age: 12
66/1
2018
Weight: 11-8  |Age: 7
14/1
2017
Weight: 11-5  |Age: 9
10/1

Prize Money

1st: £70,338.002nd: £26,500.003rd: £13,262.004th: £6,625.005th: £3,325.006th: £1,662.007th: £825.008th: £425.00

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