Conditionals To Follow In The Big Festival Handicaps

Cheltenham Racecourse

The Cheltenham Festival encompasses four days of the best National Hunt racing in the UK & Ireland. Most of the attention will be on the big graded races, such as the Champion Chase and Gold Cup, but some of the best stories can come from the handicap races. For younger jockeys, their first big chance of Festival success comes in the handicap races, with their claim invaluable in races where there is so little between all the horses. We’ve taken a look through the ranks of the up and coming stars of the future, to bring you a list of five conditionals who you should be following. Our Cheltenham Festival tips section is live now, so you can get an early look into the big handicap contests.

Rex Dingle

Based with trainer Anthony Honeyball in Dorset, Rex Dingle has acquired quite the reputation this season, with some fantastic rides and standout performances for a number of stables. Gaining his biggest success thus far when riding Morney Wing to land the London National, he’s shown himself to be a great reader of races, as well as a good judge of pace. In the hullabaloo of the big handicap races, his five-pound claim will prove invaluable.

Harry Reed

Winner of forty-three National Hunt races, three-pound claimer Harry Reed will be hoping to strike it big at this year’s Festival. Based with the Neil Mulholland team, he has already matched his career-best total in terms of winners in a season, with their still being months left this campaign. Able to ride a low-weight and with plenty of experience, he will be a valuable asset to any horse who is partnered with him.

Danny McMenamin

It’s still very early days for Danny, but he’s having a standout season and has ridden eleven winners this term for a variety of yards. He rose to prominence when his invaluable seven-pound claim helped him steer Nietzsche to a gutsy success in the Greatwood Hurdle at Cheltenham earlier this season. An extremely promising rider, the only way is up for him. With his seven-pound claim still intact (for now), we have no doubt that he’ll be utilised at this year’s Festival.

Donal McInerney

Crowned Ireland’s Champion Conditional in the 2017/18 season, Donal has already created quite the splash over the Irish Sea. Associated with some of the biggest Irish yards, he gained his biggest career success when landing the Paddy Power Chase on Auvergnat over the Festival period, giving that horse a masterful ride. Likely to have plenty of rides in the handicaps, including some good chances, he’s certainly one to keep on your side.

Adam Short

Winning a Grade A Handicap for Elizabeth Doyle just a few weeks ago, Adam Short currently sits second to Donal McInerney in the Irish Conditional Jockeys’ Championship. Although he doesn’t have the best strike-rate this season, he’s gotten a huge amount of his horses in the frame and retains a valuable three-pound claim. Also associated with the yard of Noel Meade, he’s one to discount at your peril, even at the bigger odds.

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