Ultima Handicap Chase Odds: Into Overdrive favoured

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The Ultima Handicap Chase is the very first handicap race that is run during the Cheltenham Festival, and it is run on the opening Tuesday of the competition.

Latest Ultima Handicap Chase Ante-Post Odds

The Ultima, as it is more commonly known, is a challenging Grade 3 competition that takes place on the Old course and is run over a distance of 3 miles and 1 furlong. British trainers almost always emerge victorious in this race.

It should come as no surprise, then, to see a horse trained in the United Kingdom leading the market. Mark Walford’s Into Overdrive is the horse in question.

The fact that the eight-year-old is currently at the top of the betting has every right to be there. Off of a mark of 147, he appears to have plenty going for him with this race in mind, and he has form that ties in behind L’Homme Presse and in front of Sounds Russian, who went on to finish as the subsequent G1 runner-up and is headed to the Gold Cup this season.

Not far behind is Henry de Bromhead’s Ain’t That A Shame (11/1) and Mr Incredible (12/1) for Willie Mullins.

Both would have decent claims were they to line up here, but the Irish don’t send many to this race and the latter is currently favourite for the Kim Muir – and Mullins has never won a handicap chase at the Festival.

Also 12/1 is Paul Nicholls’ Threeunderthrufive, who looks to be in the grasp of the handicapper at present, and Remastered for David Pipe. The latter was a strong fancy of mine last season, but he unfortunately never lined up in the race. The 10-year-old has had a brilliant season and so has a lofty mark to contend with, but he’d be of interest again.

Thunder Rock (14/1) cannot be advised as trainer Olly Murphy has suggested he may skip the Cheltenham Festival – and likewise for Gordon Elliott’s Indigo Breeze at the same price, who looks more of a Kim Muir horse for Gordon Elliott.

One at a bit of a price that catches my eye is Ga Law at 18/1.

He’s also rated very highly, but that’s not a huge issue for this particular contest that often sees those carrying big weights run well.

The seven-year-old has been touted by trainer Jamie Snowden as a future Gold Cup type, and if he were to target the Ultima I suspect he would be at least half the price – and then some – on the day.

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