Cheltenham tips: Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey’s Ultima Handicap Chase antepost bets

Ruby and Frank take a look at the Ultima

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*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

Ruby Walsh and Frank Hickey have taken a look at the Ultima Handicap Chase ahead of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival, where Paddy Power are offering non-runner money back on every single race.

That means that you won’t lose out in any of the 28 races at Prestbury Park if your selection withdraws before final declarations.

For the Ultima, Ruby has stuck to what he knows with the Irish contenders while Frank is very keen on one of Kim Bailey’s chargers set to compete in the Grade 3 contest over 3m1f on the Old Course.

Speaking on the latest episode of our From The Horse’s Mouth ‘Countdown to Cheltenham’ podcast, the dynamic duo talked through their tips.

Listen to the full show BELOW.

Ruby Walsh

I didn’t ride in this often but I did ride the last Irish-trained winner in this many moons ago – Dun Doire, in 2006. There are not that many spare rides at Cheltenham and rides aren’t as easy to get as people might think, so I didn’t ride in the Ultima in the last few years of my career because nobody offered me a ride!

I think it’s a fiercely competitive race this year. I think 2.5m was a bit sharp for FARCLAS at the Dublin Racing Festival, but Livelovelaugh, who was just in front of him, was placed at Leopardstown last Sunday. Farclas was third in the Paddy Power Chase and fourth in that Leopardstown Chase. Farclas is a former Triumph Hurdle winner and I think he has a really good chance.

However, Farclas might well go for the Paddy Power Plate so ESCARIA TEN would look the yard’s No 1. I think Coko Beach might stay at home for the Irish Grand National and outside of those, I don’t see an Irish horse I would be willing to take a chance on.

Escaria Ten Jack Kennedy Thurles December 20, 2020

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Frank Hickey

I would be worried that Farclas might go in the Paddy Power Plate, while ESCARIA TEN is in the National Hunt Chase and this and a mark of 147 looks alright. Escaria Ten might be more likely to run here but we don’t know for sure. Escaria Ten would definitely have a chance if he runs.

The profile I would be looking for is a horse that has some course form, is relatively unexposed and is a young up-and-comer. They need to be a decent jumper and have no stamina queries. The one I like is HAPPYGOLUCKY trained by Kim Bailey. I am very sweet on this one.

He was fourth in last year’s Martin Pipe off 137 and was hampered at the last by the fall of Column Of Fire, so he was value for finishing a little closer than three-and-a-half lengths. He wouldn’t have won but might have finished third. It was a cracking effort.

Happygolucky David Bass Cheltenham December 11, 2020

Cheltenham Festival: Our layman’s guide to everything happening at Prestbury Park

He won at Stratford on his chase debut over 2m5f and was second to Getaway Trump at Fakenham over the same trip. He was an easy winner at Cheltenham in a novice chase in December over 3m1f and better ground would be a plus for him. Kim Bailey is having a great season, this horse is well-handicapped and he has an ideal profile.

The market gets it right in the race more often than not, and the winner rarely comes from outside the first four or five. Happygolucky ticks every single box.

REMASTERED would want soft ground and might run in the National Hunt Chase. He’s a nice horse but I’m not sure the Reynoldstown Chase he won was the strongest edition of the race ever. He’s going the right way and is three out of three over fences, but Happygolucky has already been to Cheltenham and run well. Remastered might be more of a Welsh National Horse.

*All prices are bang up to date with our snazzy widget, while in-copy odds are accurate at the time of publication but subject to change

Ultima Handicap Chase bet summary – Tuesday, March 16

Ruby Walsh – Escaria Ten

Frank Hickey – Happygolucky

CHELTENHAM FESTIVAL‘S BIG RACES

March 16 – 13.20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 16 – 13.55 – Arkle Chase latest odds and tips

March 16 – 15.05 – Champion Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 16 – 15.40 – Mares’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 13.20 – Ballymore Novices’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 17 – 13.55 – Festival Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 17 – 15.05 – Queen Mother Champion Chase latest odds and tips

March 17 – 16.50 – Champion Bumper latest odds and tips

March 18 – 13.20 – Marsh Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 14.30 – Ryanair Chase latest odds and tips

March 18 – 15.05 – Paddy Power Stayers’ Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 13.20 – Triumph Hurdle latest odds and tips

March 19 – 14.30 – Albert Bartlett Novices’ Chase latest odds and tips

March 19 – 15.05 – Gold Cup latest odds and tips

March 19 – 16.15 – Mrs Paddy Power Mares’ Chase latest odds and tips

Cheltenham Festival Day One schedule

13:20 – Supreme Novices’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

13.55 – Arkle Chase (Grade 1) 1m 7f 199y

14.30 – Ultima Handicap Chase (Grade 3) 3m 1f

15.05 – Champion Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 87y

15.40 – Close Brothers Mares’ Hurdle (Grade 1) 2m 3f 200y

16.15 – Juvenile Handicap Hurdle (Grade 3) 2m 87y

16.50 – National Hunt Chase (Grade 2) 3m 5f 201y

*Paddy will be all over your telly box throughout the Cheltenham Festival sponsoring ITV’s live coverage from Prestbury Park – and you can get free and exclusive tipping columns EVERY DAY from Ruby Walsh, Matt Chapman and Mick Fitzgerald here on PP News.

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