Ultima Handicap Chase: A Guide to the Thrilling Race

Ultima Handicap Chase

At the first day of the Cheltenham Festival, the Ultima Handicap Chase is a long-distance handicap chase that takes place as the third race of the day. At the festival, this is the first of a total of five different handicap chases.

A handicap chase is more than just a race; it’s an adrenaline rush! A handicap chase involves intricate calculations of speed and distances, various locations and courses, and the challenge of being ahead of the pack. Sure, a handicap race might not be as action-packed as a typical horse race, but it’s one of the most thrilling events you can experience–which is why it’s so popular in horse racing circles!

This blog post will look at the ins and outs of the Ultima Handicap Chase. We’ll discuss what handicap races are, how to participate in them, the different types of handicap chases, and the betting strategies involved.

So strap in because we’ll take you on an exciting chase around the track!

What Is the Ultima Handicap Chase?

The Ultimate Handicap Chase, or UCH as it is commonly referred to, is a valuable handicap horse race that forms part of the prestigious Cheltenham Festival. The thrill and challenge of this thrilling race, which held its inaugural running in 1946 and carries prize money of £125,000, with the 1st place horse winning just over £70,000.

The race is a leading long distance hurdle race that takes place over nearly 3 miles in which 20 fences will be jumped. The race is open to horses 5 years and up, with the weight allowances being set by the handicappers. It has endured over the decades by combining the highest levels of skill and nerve with a diverse range of horses, trainers and owners.

With appeal to novice racegoers, who can immerse themselves in the excitement and atmosphere generated by this unique event, it also regularly draws some of the best horses in training to the great track.

It’s a centrepiece of the Cheltenham Festival and the National Hunt calendar.

  • The Ultima Handicap Chase was first run in 1946 at Cheltenham Racecourse in Gloucestershire, England.
  • Since its inception, the Ultima Handicap Chase has been sponsored by a variety of organisations. From 1981 to 196 it was sponsored by Ritz Club, William Hill from 1998 to 2010 and the current sponsor Ultima Business Solutions since 20115.
  • The most successful horses in the Ultima Handicap Chase are Sentina – 1957, 1958, Scot Lane – 1982, 1983, Un Temps Pour Tout – 2016, 2017 Corach Rambler- 2022, 2023

The Ultimate Handicap Chase remains an exciting centrepiece of the three-day festival – its exact positioning will continue to spark debates among racing enthusiasts and Cheltenham devotees alike.

Past Winners

The Ultimate Handicap Chase has a long history of thrilling wins for jockeys, trainers and horses alike. As the stakes and prize money involved with the race continually grow, so does the anticipation and excitement in the racing industry. Below are some of the notable winners of this unique and intense race through recent years.

2022Corach Rambler810/1Lucinda RussellDerek Fox
2021Vintage Clouds1128-1Sue SmithRyan Mania
2020The Conditional815-2David BridgwaterBredan Powell
2019Beware The Bear910-1Nicky HendersonJerry McGrath
2018Coo Star Sivola65-1FNick WilliamsLizzie Kelly
2017Un Temps Pour Tout89-1David PipeTom Scudamore
2016Un Temps Pour Tout711-1David PipeTom Scudamore
2015The Druids Nephew88-1Neil MulhollandBarry Geraghty
2014Holywell710-1Jonjo O’NeillRichie McLernon
2013Golden Chieftain828-1Colin TizzardBrendan Powell

The race’s winners frequently compete in the Grand National, though it’s not required that they do so in the same year. Royal Tan, Team Spirit, West Tip, Seagram, and Rough Quest are all horses that have won both of these races.