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Craft Irish Whiskey Co Plate Handicap Chase 2023 Trends

Jessica Lamb for Bookies.com

Jessica Lamb  | 8 mins

Craft Irish Whiskey Co Plate Handicap Chase 2023 Trends

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2023 Craft Irish Whiskey Co Plate Handicap Chase Trends

The last 10 winners:

  • Were aged 6-9
  • 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 142
  • Were not topweight; only three finishing top four
  • 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 39/40 horses that finished 1st-4th in the last 10 runnings)

Nine of the last 10 winners:

  • Had won no more than three handicap chases, 3 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)

Eight of the last 10 winners:

  • Were carrying less than 11st
  • Last ran no more than 70 days ago, including last seven winners
  • Had run at least three times that season, including last seven winners, who had also won at least once that term - four of them winning last time out (including the last three)
  • Had never won a chase at Cheltenham before (exceptions won in 2019 and 2020 suggesting an emerging trend against this)

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 Paddy Power Trophy Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in late January before Festival Plate success. The 2019 second Janika also finished second in that race, along with three other placed finishers in the last 10 years. Torn And Frayed won this in 2022.
  • The Paddy Power Gold Cup at Cheltenham in November has also proven a useful trial, with one winner (Ballynagour PU) and five placed finishers in the past 10 years. Midnight Shadow won this in 2021.
  • Another to watch is the Racing Post Gold Cup in December with one winner (Salut Flo 13th) and four placed finishers in 10 years. Coole Cody won this in 2021.
  • 2015 winner Darna finished fifth in the BetVictor Gold Cup and then seventh in the Paddy Power New Year's Day Handicap Chase. That race has produced two other placed finishers in the last 10 years. Vienna Court won this race in 2022.

Trainer Trends

  • Nicky Henderson has won this race four times 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 4th in 2019.
  • Gordon Elliott has only had a handful of runners in the race but he’s registered a winner, a place and a fifth in 2020.

Jockey Trends

  • Bryan Cooper and Tom Scudamore have both won the race twice in the last decade.
  • Cooper’s victories have come in the last six editions and on both occasions, he was carrying the colours of major owners Gigginstown House Stud.
  • Scudamore was aboard two of David Pipe’s three winners, the last of which came in 2014.

How did the trends do last year?

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

He became the third horse in four years with winning Cheltenham chase form to land the event, and also the eighth consecutive seasonal winner to win.

The one negative for this multiple course winner was that he was getting on at 11 years old, and facing an increasingly sprightly field of rivals, following the abolition of the 2m4f novices' handicap chase from the Festival schedule.

Second Imperial Alcazar's handicap rating was just too high at 152, but both he and third Spiritofthegames were also course winners, showing the strength of that emerging trend.

Who Fits The Trends Best In 2023?

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.

Heading the betting is novice So Scottish, who was second on handicap chase debut at Ascot and comes from the same connections as 2021 winner The Shunter.

Also high up is second-season chaser Haut En Couleurs, who was sixth in last year's Arkle Chase at the Cheltenham Festival and third in the 2021 Triumph Hurdle. He has been struggling in Graded chases so far this season, but is entered for his handicap chase debut at the Dublin Racing Festival.

Perhaps the best fit to the trends at the head of the betting is Il Ridoto, who was well-beaten on his second handicap chase outing in the Grand Annual last year, but has since stepped up to 2m4f with great success.

His most recent win in first-time cheekpieces came over course and distance at Cheltenham this month. Here's hoping his handicap rating doesn't go too far over 140.

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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.