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Kim Muir Challenge Cup tips for March's Class 2 race. A staying handicap chase for amateur riders, this contest has tended to fall to one towards the top of the handicap, with a number of punts landed in recent years. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

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Should be plenty of pace on here despite the test of distance. Both Missed Approach and Very First Time should push this along from the front, both holding chances if they don’t go too quick. If they go off too fast they will set it up for the strong stayers like Final Nudge and Sugar Baron, but also more importantly for PENDRA. He was runner-up in this race last year from the same mark as this, kept fresh for today to replicate his arrival last year. He is a massive each way player in this staying handicap.

Heron Heights
J: Mr Liam Quinlan T: Henry de Bromhead, Ireland
Another for whom better ground would have seen his chances increase, a winner of a novice event at this track on good. Entitled to improve for a lacklustre return to action last month, but hard to give any kind of chance to.
J: Mr David Maxwell T: David Christie, Ireland
Promising novice but his form tailed off quickly, beaten the last twice in point to points. Better ground would suit him ideally and no claims to this prize on anything he has shown in the last year.
J: Mr Chester Williams T: Nick Williams
Never fulfilled the potential of a hurdling Grade 3 win at Haydock way back in 2014, he’s not come close to scaling those heights over fences. Not beaten far last time, though the winner idling on the run-in shortened the distance. Stays well and likes plenty of cut so has a squeak.
The Young Master
J: Mr Sam Waley-Cohen T: Neil Mulholland
Progressive in his younger years, he’s without a win since landing the bet365 Gold Cup at Sandown in 2016. Abject performance last time, given a wind op since so easy enough to excuse if breathing was an issue. Went on heavy in his youth and now thirteen pounds lower than that Sandown win. Dangerous if the wind op has helped.
J: Miss Lucy Turner T: Venetia Williams
All of his wins have come on heavy ground so should at least relish these conditions. Yet to win beyond two and a half so easy to have severe stamina concerns in a race that’s going to be run at a testing clip. Easy to dismiss.
Band Of Blood
J: Mr James King T: Dr Richard Newland
Another feather in the cap of his excellent trainer to bring him back from a long break to score twice this season. Deep ground is no concern to him but has struggled when his mark has got this high in the past, with this race far better than the pair he won.
West Wizard
J: Miss A. B. O'Connor T: Sophie Leech
Dropped seventeen pounds since the autumn, turned over in far lesser races than this. Would be a huge shock if he were capable of taking home this prize, with his best form all at shorter.
Millanisi Boy
J: Mr Michael Legg T: Kayley Woollacott
Stepped up well this season since fitted with cheekpieces. Heavy ground is a big plus for him, shaping as if he is capable of better now that he tries this far for the first time. This is considerably deeper than the races he has been running in so needs more.
Captain Buck's
J: Mr Lorcan Williams T: Paul Nicholls
Relatively lightly raced, he has looked as if a step up in trip would suit him well. Solid placed form this season over three miles on deep ground, just outsped late on. Needs more if he is to take this step up in class in his stride but by no means dismissed out of hand.
Arctic Gold
J: Miss Lilly Pinchin T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Relishes deep ground and stays three miles, his very best form coming at a little shorter however. Not as good over fences as he was over hurdles, this looks a stiff task for him to overcome.
J: Mr Derek O'Connor T: Charlie Longsdon
Runner-up in this contest from the same mark in 2017, he arrived fresh on that occasion as he does now. He sports the same blinkers as he did for the first time last year, with this clearly mapped out as the plan for the season. Huge each way player in this contest with an excellent amateur up.
Very First Time
J: Mr William Easterby T: Tim Easterby
Drop down in trip was against him last time when turned over at odds on. Likes to go from the front as a number of others do here, heavy ground his surface of choice. Rare runner at the Festival for Tim Easterby, though he did send out Hawk High in these colours to win the 2014 Fred Winter.
Double Ross
J: Mr Zac Baker T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Veteran has three wins and four places from ten visits to this track, including on deep ground. October 2016 was the last time he got his head in front, slipping back to a winnable mark now. Hasn’t shown enough this season to warrant consideration however.
Mall Dini
J: Mr P. W. Mullins T: Patrick G. Kelly, Ireland
Fifth in the race last year, having picked up the Pertemps Final in 2016, he always needs a second look at the Festival. Has first time blinkers this year in a bid to finally get his head in front in a chase, now 0/9 in this discipline. Each way chance but short enough at the prices.
Wild West Wind
J: Mr Noel George T: Tom George
Strong stayer at three miles, especially on heavy ground, he has been set some stiff tests already in 2018. He stopped to nothing up the straight at Haydock last time, less than four weeks to recover from that may not be enough in another brutally competitive contest.
J: Miss Gina Andrews T: Pam Sly
Progressive mare has the benefit of her usual race rider in the plate here. She produced a career best last time out when beating Aubusson at Ludlow, the two month break since a worry. “She needs to run every three weeks otherwise she boils over” said the trainer in the aftermath, a huge concern at such a big occasion.
J: Mr J. J. Codd T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Well supported favourite in both the 2016 Martin Pipe and this contest last year, leaving the money in bookies satchels both times. Was still going well when unseating two out last year, he has had a wind op since last seen. Will be popular once more for those not already twice bitten.
Final Nudge
J: Mr Barry O'Neill T: David Dennis
Looked a big threat halfway up the straight in the Welsh National before his stamina faltered close home. Perhaps his latest run at Sandown came close enough on the back of that so can be excused. Relishes a stamina test on deep ground, each way shout from two pounds lower than his Chepstow run.
Braqueur D'or
J: Mr William Biddick T: Paul Nicholls
Progressed stylishly through the summer, running a huge race when fourth in the Ladbrokes Trophy. Good to soft ground at Newbury will have been more cut than is ideal for him, this surface won’t be any help to his chances.
Tintern Theatre
J: Mr Jordan Nailor T: Nigel Twiston-Davies
Three failures to complete in his last six starts doesn’t make for pretty reading at a Festival. Two of those mishaps came at this track so despite the fact he has plenty of ability when he stands up, he is too risky a proposition.
Sugar Baron
J: Ms K. Walsh T: Nicky Henderson
Quirky type can drop himself out before finishing with a rattle. Found things happening too quickly for him in this race in 2017, the slower ground should help in that regard. Place chance once more if he can get into a rhythm early on.
Missed Approach
J: Mr N. McParlan T: Warren Greatrex
Dour front runner, he was just seen off late on in the Edinburgh National last time. Has had a wind op since and ran well at the 2017 Festival in the National Hunt Chase. Well treated on his best with conditions to suit, he needs consideration.
Non Runners
Racing Pulse
J: Non Runner T: Turlough O'Connor, Ireland

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