Course specialist Holywell the solution to Ultima Chase
David Metcalf | March 14, 2016
Holywell weighted to strike in Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase
Holywell has a tremendous record at the Cheltenham Festival and can take advantage of a drop in the weights to further enhance it with victory in the Ultima Business Solutions Handicap Chase (14.50).
The Jonjo O’Neill trained gelding is a dual scorer at the four-day spectacular, having landed the Pertemps Final in 2013 and this race the following year when beating Ma Filleule going away by 1 1/2 lengths off a mark of 145.
Holywell went on to slam Don Cossack by 10 lengths in a Grade 1 contest at Aintree off a revised rating of 157, and also ran an absolute blinder to finish fourth of 16 to Coneygree in last year’s Cheltenham Gold Cup off a rating of 163.
Handicapper lends a helping hand
The nine-year-old has not been at his best in three starts this season, but that has resulted in the handicapper cutting him plenty of slack.
Holywell is now able to race off just 153, and that makes him dangerously well-treated on the pick of his form.
The son of Gold Well is also a horse that comes alive in the spring, and the drying ground is massively in his favour.
Another plus is that O’Neill targets the race and has won three of the last seven renewals, and with regular jockey Richie McLernon back in the plate everything looks in place for a huge run.
Lots to like about Out Sam
Out Sam has has won his last two start over fences in impressive fashion and looks the main danger.
The gelding was rated as high as 142 over hurdles when under the care of Nicky Henderson and is currently able to race off 139.
That makes the seven-year-old, who is now trained by Warren Greatrez, look well-treated from a handicapping perspective – especially judged in his latest success at Newbury.
Newbury form reads well
Out Sam only had to be driven clear to easily beat Milansbar by 3 1/2 lengths, and that rival has since come out and won to give the form a boost and is now rated 145.
That suggests that Out Sam could have upwards of 10lb in hand on the assessor, and the son of Multiplex also remains unexposed after just three starts over the larger obstacles and open to stacks more improvement.