Cheltenham’s Ultima Handicap Chase Tip: Yala Enki Ultima Value With Conditions To Suit
With the ground already riding soft – heavy in places, and more rain forecast in the foreseeable future, the opening day of the 2018 Cheltenham Festival is going to prove more testing than at any festival for over 20 years. Conditions which are sure to place an emphasis on stamina, especially those races taking place over three miles plus.
The 3m 1f Ultima Handicap Chase at 2.50pm has been the long-range target for many horses expecting the usual good to soft conditions on Tuesday but on this occasion that will not be the case, leaving the door open for a potential upset and at the 25-1 available with Paddy Power the Venetia Williams-trained Yala Enki looks sure to run a big race following the gelding’s recent stamina-sapping victory at Haydock.
A fifty four length win over Grand National fancy Blaklion over that extended 3m 4f trip on heavy ground showed the son of Nickname to be well suited by a severe test of stamina, something which is guaranteed for the third race on day one of the festival. Despite falling at the first on his penultimate start at Sandown the eight-year-old is normally a sound jumper and if able to get into the same kind of rhythm as was the case at the Lancashire venue has a decent chance of outstaying some better fancied rivals.
Set to carry 11st 9lb the mount of Charlie Deutsch may not be the best handicapped horse in the race but the winner may turn out to be the one most able to handle the conditions as opposed the the most favourably treated. One horse who should like the ground and is potentially well-in off 10st 13lb is the novice Coo Star Sivola but the value has gone about Lizzie Kelly’s mount who is now as short as 9-2 with bookmakers.
Top weight Gold Present is in excellent form and should go well if handling the ground while last year’s narrow runner-up Singlefarmpayment will be fancied to go one better this time but at a big price Yala Enki is the value bet of the race.
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