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JLT Speciality Chase

Three mile handicaps are competitive at the best of times, but the first handicap of the Cheltenham is perhaps the toughest of the lot. You’ll need all the help you can get with this one, here’s our guide to the race.


What happened in 2013?

Altior has never been beaten over 2 miles in a hurdle or chase

Only one Irish trained winner in the last eight

This century 45 runners have been aged older than 9 yrs. Only 3 winners, two of whom were regaining crown

Sizing Europe only winner this century not to have won that season.

Finians Rainbow only winner this century to have been BF last time out.

Sprinter Sacre only winner this century not to have previous run after Jan 1st.

All winners going back to 2008 had already won a G1

15 of the last 19 placed horses were already G1 winners.

The last 21 had no more than 4 outings that season.

Only one winner returned bigger than 11s since 1993.

Only Badsworth Boy 1985 has won this three times.


Unlikely to be older than 9 unless previous winner.
If a ten year old or older is priced under 10/1, to be placed.
Will have won that season and should have been first, second, F or U last time.
Has won over at least 2 miles 1 furlong.
Has won a Grade 1 chase, is recently rated 160+ and had no more than 4 runs this season.
Won’t be wearing blinkers and won’t be a mare.
Will have won or been placed at the Festival before, a course winner or will never have been here before.
Should have won 40% of completed NH starts and ran at least 7 times over fences. Ran since Boxing Day.
If good ground race to be run in about 3 mins 51 secs.
Not a beaten favourite last time.
Last years Arkle winner to be placed.
The last 5 winners ran at Cheltenham that January.
Only one of the last seven winners aged older than eight.
10 of the last 12 won by either by novices or second season chasers.
The last five GB trained novices to win all had previously won a hurdle with a first prize of at least £10k.
All winners this century had recorded their best RPR over at least 3 miles.
9 of the last 10 had run at a previous Festival.
Only two winning favourites since 1994.
No Irish trained winner since 2006.
The last 6 winners all rated at least 142 and none bigger than 11/1.
W Mullins and P Nicholls have yet to win it.
Six of the last seven winners wore some sort of headgear.


Will be no older than 9 yrs.
Will have run before at the Festival or will be 7 or 8 yrs and improving i.e. with a rising handicap rating.
Winner’s handicap rating at least 142.
Will have recorded their best Racing Post Rating over at least 3 miles.
This rating will be at least 143.
Will have already won at least a Class 3 chase.
If a novice, will have won a hurdle worth at least £10k to the winner.
Has won over 3 miles or at least placed over 3 miles in two of last three runs.
Will have run between 3 and 12 times over fences in UK and/or Ireland.
Will have run at least twice this season.
Will have been 1st or 2nd sometime this season.
1st or 2nd in either of last two chase runs or at least 3rd last time.
Winners over 11st becoming a lot more frequent.
Not bigger than 12/1.
One of the top weights to be placed at least.
Wasn’t unplaced in this years 3m Kempton Chase on Adonis day.
If wins this after running in this season’s Newbury Hennessy back it in the Grand National.
Has run in the last 45 days.
P Nicholls W Mullins poor enough records.
Watch for D Pipe, Tony Martin and Jonjo trained.
Wears some type of headgear.
Irish trained don’t win but get placed.
No F, R, B or U as last form entry.
Not a claiming jockey.
Half a furlong longer in distance from 2014.

The contenders:

Vinndication – 164 – 7yo – 11st 12 – 6/1
– 1 run this season
– last run over 45 days ago
– fav
+ under 12/1
+ won over 3m lto
+ over 11st
+ previous festival run (5/10 JLT)
+ Best rpr over 3m (or 151)

Kildisart – 170 – 8yo – 11st 3 – 8/1
– Unplaced at Kempton
– Unplaced last 3 starts inc at 3m
– No win this season
+ Has run in the last 45 days.
+ over 11st
+ Best rpr over 3m (or 151)

Discorama – 167 – 7yo – 11st 3 – 8/1
– no win this season
– irish trained
– Has not run in the last 45 days.
+ Placed in 2 of last 3 chase starts
+ Ran more than twice this season
+ 3rd lto
+ over 11st

The Conditional – 167 – 8yo – 10st 6 – 9/1
– under 11st
– handicap under 11st
– no festival form
– Has not run in the last 45 days.
+ won this season

Mister Malarky – 166 – 7yo – 11st 4 – 12/1
+ Has run in the last 45 days.
+ Trainer profile (jonjo)
+ Best rpr over 3m (rpr 156)
+ won this season
+ At least 2 runs this season
+ Won over 3m
+ Best rpr over 3m (or 156)
+ Won lto
+ 4 outings this season

Who Dares Wins
+ Has run in the last 45 days.
+ won this season
– not run over 3m

Stats suggest:
Mister Malarky

My selection:
Mister Malarky , 0.5pts e/w 12/1
Difficult because there is no previous G1 winner here, at least not in the correct price bracket.
I’m not a huge fan of handicaps at the festival. Well, not ones this close anyway. So I’ll just take the horse that ‘has the best chance on paper’, Mister Malarkey. He’s just outside the typical price range being 12/1 (usually 11/1 or under), but here hoping money comes before the day and he goes under 12/1 to break that stat

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