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St James's Place Hunters' Chase

16:10 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-18

Winner: £24445

Runners: 19

Going: Good To Soft

No. of hurdles: 22

Distance: 3m2f70y

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The St James's Place Hunters' Chase, on day four of the Cheltenham Festival, is run over the same course and distance as the Magners Cheltenham Gold Cup and is restricted to amateur jockeys. For this reason it is often referred to as the amateurs’ Gold Cup. Check the Foxhunters Chase runners and riders ahead of the race and place your bets by clicking the odds buttons.

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FORM
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3(0)
U1-122
silk
Bob And Co

-

J: Mr David Maxwell
T: Paul Nicholls
11
12-0
137
147
Moving as well as anything when unseating three out in this 12 months ago and went on to win his next two when facing a doddle assignment at Hexham and edging out Billaway at Punchestown; beaten by Cousin Pascal at Haydock but he got tired in the heavy ground after nine months off and, all things considered, it was a perfectly acceptable warm-up; bit surprising to see his regular hood left at home this time but he has a good chance.
9(0)
/4U7-5
silk
It Came To Pass

-

J: Miss M O'Sullivan
T: Eugene M O'Sullivan
12
12-0
139
144
Shock 10l winner of this two years ago, posting an RPR of 155 that towers above his next best figure; remote seventh in it last year and again well beaten next time at Punchestown in a race dominated by Bob And Co and Billaway; not wildly appealing.
14(0)
/P2-11
silk
Point The Way

-

J: Mr Joe Wright
T: G C Brewer
11
12-0
117
116
Won two hunter chases last May and has looked on good terms with himself in winning his recent points, though he was hammered by Overworkdunderpaid in another in January; it's all ordinary form in the context of this race.
12(0)
7/3-13
silk
Monbeg Chit Chat

-

J: Mr Christopher Furness
T: Mrs G B Walford
11
12-0
124
131
C&D winner last April and his only subsequent defeat came when posting a superior RPR in defeat at Stratford (3m3f); however, this is a different ball game altogether and he made heavy weather of winning his recent points; best RPRs on good ground.
11(0)
0360-3
silk
Mighty Stowaway

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J: Mr J J Codd
T: Gordon Elliott
11
12-0
125
126
33-1 when remote sixth in this 12 months ago and doesn't look in any better form this season despite winning some points back home in Ireland; headgear returns after he ran poorly last time.
1(0)
P8/P-1
silk
Back Bar

-

J: Miss Izzie Marshall
T: Alan Hill
10
12-0
116
112
Beat Cousin Pascal by 10l in a point earlier this season (on good to soft) but opposable on the balance of his form, with his latest Leicester win (soft) nothing to write home about.
4(0)
211-21
silk
Cousin Pascal

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J: Mr James King
T: J J O'Shea
10
12-0
133
138
Shock winner of last season's Aintree Foxhunters' (2m5f, good to soft) when Billaway was back in fifth; twice beaten since but he hasn't been doing a lot wrong and repelling a rusty Bob And Co at Haydock (2m6f, heavy) last month entitles him to further respect.
NR(0)
41-F27
silk
Zamparelli

-

T: Miss V Collins
10
12-0
115
121
The winner of five chases, the latest a 2m4f hunter chase at Ludlow last March; beaten five times since and he's an outsider in this company.
6(0)
/RR/R-
silk
Don Bersy

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J: Mr Tommie M O'Brien
T: Ryan Potter
9
12-0
131
128
The winner of four hurdle races and five points but has become a risky proposition having refused to race in three of his last four appearances.
13(0)
1147-3
silk
Overworkdunderpaid

-

J: Mr George Chatterton
T: L J Morgan
9
12-0
118
125
Better than ever last season when winning three handicap chases and has continued the good work this campaign, winning two 3m points before an improved third behind Cousin Pascal and Bob And Co at Haydock (2m6f, heavy); perhaps flattered to finish so close to them but that form offers hope.
10(0)
4-P051
silk
Lord Schnitzel

-

J: Mr M C O'Donovan
T: Declan Queally
9
12-0
127
122
Irish challenger who has been making hay in points and posted useful RPR of 122 when winning a Limerick hunter chase at Christmas (2m6f, heavy); could have a bold show in him if taking to a visor.
5(0)
6436P2
silk
Desire De Joie

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J: Mr Archie Wright
T: N R W Wright
9
12-0
123
122
His form in Irish handicap chases last summer is no great advertisement for his prospects and he was nabbed on the line when returning to rules action in a 3m2f hunter chase at Doncaster (soft); jumped well and that should stand him in good stead, but he doesn't look up to this.
18(0)
6/422-
silk
Senor Lombardy

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J: Mr Lyall Hodgins
T: Mrs K Harding
9
12-0
125
126
Got to within 3l of this season's big improver The Galloping Bear (Haydock's Grand National Trial winner) in a 3m hunter chase on soft at Carlisle last March and has been ticking along nicely in his recent points; could be a lively one at lengthy odds.
16(0)
1-3
silk
Premier Magic

-

J: Mr Bradley Gibbs
T: Bradley Gibbs
9
12-0
126
129
Closely matched with Fumet D'oudairies on their Stratford clash last May, which was only his second run in hunter chases; therefore, he lacks experience for a race like this, but he did beat last year's winner Porlock Bay in his penultimate point (soft) and bolted up in the next; certainly not discounted.
2(0)
25-221
silk
Billaway

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J: Mr P W Mullins
T: W P Mullins
10
12-0
140
147
Lightly raced for a 10yo and has been second in the last two runnings of this race, last year failing by a short head when well clear of the third; subsequently beaten in races won by three of today's rivals but all that might not count for much back here and he won his prep race well (in first-time cheekpieces, that are retained); big player once more.
17(0)
-1F370
silk
Rewritetherules

-

J: Mr David O'Brien
T: David O'Brien
8
12-0
120
119
Capable of holding his own at the right level as he's shown in winning three chases and four points, but his form is nowhere near good enough and he's looked off the pace in two defeats for this yard.
15(0)
-24P31
silk
Pont Aven

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J: Mr Alex Chadwick
T: J P Owen
9
12-0
139
143
Hit and miss for Willie Mullins but very useful on his day and only last year he recorded RPRs in the 140s when in the frame in four good handicaps (various ground); could very easily be unbeaten for his current connections and Ludlow (first-time cheekpieces) was very comfortable last time, albeit in a race he was entitled to win; only a 9yo and very much enters the reckoning.
19(0)
221-11
silk
Winged Leader

-

J: Mr B O'Neill
T: D M Christie
8
12-0
139
146
Has won a bucketload in the pointing scene and, although his strike-rate in hunter chases isn't quite so fancy, he did produce his best form yet in making light work of Billaway at Thurles last time (3m, good to yielding); the Mullins horse has had his measure before but it could be that this one is improving, as eight years old is nothing in this scene; handles various ground.
7(0)
1-1
silk
Dubai Quest

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J: Miss Gina Andrews
T: T Ellis
9
12-0
137
139
Made it seven wins on the spin (five points and two hunter chases, including on soft) when beating a former National Hunt Chase winner at Wetherby (3m, good) last month; confidence must be sky-high but debatable whether he jumps well enough for a test of this magnitude.
8(0)
5/1-12
silk
Fumet D'oudairies

-

J: Mr Zac Baker
T: T Ellis
7
12-0
127
130
Has won six of his seven starts in points and did well in hunter chases last season, winning over 2m4f on soft at Leicester and 2m on good here in April, after which he then finished runner-up over 3m3f at Stratford; faces his stiffest test yet but he's versatile and still improving.

RACING POST TIP

circle_v2
silk
Bob And Co
Paul Nicholls has won this four times and it could have been five had BOB AND CO not departed when travelling ominously well 12 months ago. He was returning from nine months off when second to Cousin Pascal at Haydock and can leave that form behind. Billaway is respected despite twice failing favourite backers in the race, though Winged Leader did beat him fair and square at Thurles and he is the younger horse. Pont Aven, with plenty of back-class and still useful by the looks of it, should also make his presence felt.

Verdict

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