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TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase 2024 Trends For The Cheltenham Festival

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 12 mins

TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase 2024 Trends For The Cheltenham Festival

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The trends of each race can be really useful to follow when looking find winners at the Cheltenham Festival, especially in tricky handicap chases. So we've taken a look at the most important TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase 2024 trends from the last 10 years for you, and used them to find you the best horses to follow right now for the 2024 Festival Plate.

2024 TrustATrader Plate Handicap Chase Trends

The last 10 winners:

  • Were not topweight
  • Had won at least one chase but no more than five
  • Were running off a career-high handicap rating - or no more than 3lbs lower
  • Had an average chase handicap rating of 143; they were all rated more than 139
  • Had won on a course described as galloping
  • Finished first or second in at least one of their last three races (same is true for 40/40 horses that finished 1st-4th in the last 10 runnings)
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Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won no more than three handicap chases, three winning none (exception Siruh Du Lac)
  • Last ran in a novice chase or handicap chase on a galloping track - five at Cheltenham (exception The Shunter won handicap hurdle)
  • Had run at least three times that season, including last nine winners, who had also won at least once that term - five of them winning last time out 

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Were carrying less than 11st 3lb; seven carried less than 11st
  • Last ran no more than 70 days ago
  • Had never won a chase at Cheltenham before (exceptions won in 2019 and 2020 suggesting an emerging trend against this)

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Key Trials from the last 10 years

With Cheltenham's handicaps, it's often better to look down the field in the popular trials, rather than at the winner, but we've given you the winners below as a guide.

Any Grade 3 handicap chase at Cheltenham run over 2m4f-2m5f is a great trial for this race, here are some of the key examples:

  • The 2019 winner Siruh Du Lac won what is now the Grade 3 Trophy Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in late January before Festival Plate success. The 2019 second Janika also finished second in that race, along with many other placed finishers in the last 10 years. GA Law won this in 2024.
  • The Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November has also proven a useful trial, with one winner (Ballynagour PU) and several placed finishers in the past 10 years. These include winners Splash Of Ginge (2nd, 2017), Happy Diva (2nd, 2019) and Coole Cody (4th, 2020). Stage Star won this in 2023.
  • Another to watch is the Caspian Caviar Gold Cup in December with two winners (Salut Flo 13th, Coole Cody 1st) and several placed finishers in the past 10 years. Fugitif won this in 2023. He was second in the 2023 Festival Plate too.
  • 2015 winner Darna finished fifth in the BetVictor Gold Cup and then seventh in the New Year's Day Handicap Chase. The 2020 winner Oldgrangewood finished fourth in the next Festival Plate. Shakem Up'Arry won this trial in 2024.

Trainer Trends

  • Nicky Henderson has won this race four times in his career and leads the way among those still operating. However, the last of those came in 2006.
  • David Pipe has won it three times since 2010, which leaves him just one shy of his father Martin's record. David Pipe has also saddled four placed horses, most recently Eamon An Cnoic who was fourth in 2019.
  • Gordon Elliott has only had a handful of runners in the race but he won in 2018 and saddled the 2023 fourth.

Jockey Trends

  • No jockey currently riding has won the race more than once.

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How did the trends do last year?

Winner Seddon did fit the exposure and form trends, and backed up two emerging trends.

He became the fifth horse in five years with winning Cheltenham form to land the event, and also the ninth consecutive seasonal winner to win.

The one negative for this multiple course winner was that he was getting on at 10 years old, and facing an increasingly sprightly field of rivals, following the abolition of the 2m4f novices' handicap chase from the Festival schedule. But 11-year-old Coole Cody defied that in 2022 and so did Seddon.

Second Fugitif's handicap rating was a bit too high at 149, but there was a lot to like about third Shakem Up'Arry. The fourth Gevrey, had been off the track too long, wiht no run since November. He had a lot going for him bar that, but thats a large obstacle to overcome when there's no evidence in your form that you run well fresh.

 

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2024?

With the removal of the novices' handicap chase from the Festival line-up, we can expect to see more high-class novices taking part in this event, which is run over the same distance as that novices' event was.

Already the profile of winners has changed in recent years, moving away from a seasoned campaigner and towards an up-and-coming type with plenty of recent success, including at Cheltenham. However, the last two winners have been aged 10 and 11. Before them the last winner aged older than nine came in 2011.

Heading the betting is novice Crebilly, who won a novice chase last time out at Exeter on his third chase outing. His first two chase runs were in novice chases at Cheltenham, including a handicap, where he fell when challenging the leader two fences from home. Owned by JP McManus, he has obvious appeal and fits the trends very well. 

The Gordon Elliott-trained duo Saint Felicien and Sa Fureur are also high up in the betting and a good fit on trends, as is last year's third Shakem Up'Arry, who has only gone up 4lbs in the handicap, despite becoming a course and distance winner last time out.

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About the Author

Jessica Lamb is a multi-media journalist who specializes in horse racing, cycling and sports betting and has worked on desks at the Racing Post and Irish Sun newspapers.