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4.10 Plate Handicap Chase
Thursday 17 March | Age: 4yo+| Prize: £59,084
Power Plate (formerly the Brown Advisory & Merriebelle Festival Plate) is a Grade 3 handicap run over two miles and five furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham.
As things have gone, I’ve done alright in the big field handicaps, so hopefully, I can find some value in this race as well.
I am instantly drawn to SPIRITOFTHEGAMES, trained by Dan Skelton. This horse has run in races similar to this most for of his career, and although he rarely wins them, he runs with credit each and every time. He has run twice in the race in the past, which has resulted in a 3rd (2019) and 6th (2020). He’s getting older, which makes life tougher for him, but as a result, his handicap mark has dropped significantly, and he is now looking extremely well handicapped off a mark of 136 when you consider he ran off 149 and 147 on his previous attempts in this race. The soft ground seems to be what he wants, but he’ll need a bit of luck in running, being a held-up horse. That was a concern for me for Corach Rambler on day one, but he managed to come from last to win, so that fills me with confidence. I think his run at Cheltenham on trials day over this C&D was a good indicator of what to expect, where he stayed on strongly up the Cheltenham hill, but got going too late on good ground. Definitely an EW player.
A horse to keep a lookout for, who could be a handicap plot is FANCY FOUNDATIONS for the Gordon Elliot stable. He comes into this race being a novice, and that isn’t something I’d be fond of, as I think you’d have to be well ahead of your mark to win this in a bumpy competitive handicap. He’s already had a few similar horses fail in the handicap hurdles who had similar profiles, so it is a risk backing him, but if he was to win, you can see why.
ADRIMEL might be popular in the betting with his progressive looking profile. He handles the soft ground, and has 1’s next to his form, so what’s not to like? Well, he is a bit quirky, and you either get one version of Adrimel, where he’ll win, or you’ll get the other side where he is pulled up. For me, he is a risky proposition and is worth staying clear of.
I’m sure CELEBRE D’ALLEN will also have his followers, as since he has come over from France, he has been a winning machine. His handicap mark has gone from 120 to 141 since joining, and there’s still potential for a slight bit more of improvement. He handles the ground well, but for me, he has to prove he’ll handle this kind of track. He has been kept to Haydock and Warwick, which are both flat and not exactly testing in the same way that Cheltenham is.
IMPERIAL ALCAZAR might be too heavy now after his emphatic win at this course just over a month ago, as he will have to carry 11st 9lbs. With that being said, I make him the one to beat, as he looked superb last time out. Fergal O’Brien shares the same view as me and doesn’t know if he’s overly well handicapped. He is vying for favouritism and it’s no great surprise.
Plate Handicap Chase Tips
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