Foxhunter Chase Trends 2018

The Foxhunter Chase takes place on the final day of the Festival following the Gold Cup and is raced over the same course and distance as the feature race of the week. The race is for amateur riders and often produces a big field with some fine finishes, there are some helpful trends which we can study and analysis to help narrow down the possible winners and end up in profit. You can also view our Foxhunter Chase tips here.

Foxhunter Chase Trends

  • Old legs can struggle – 23 of the last 25 were aged ten or younger
  • Recent form is key – 23 of the 30 won on their last appearance before the Festival
  • Stamina is necessary – All of the last ten winners had won over a distance of 3 miles of further previously
  • Irish raiders do well – 8 of the last 10 renewals have been won by Irish trainers

Key Runners – Trends

Pacha Du Polder ❌❌✅❌

Burning Ambition ✅❌✅✅

Foxrock ✅❌✅✅

Virak ✅✅✅❌

Grand Vision ❌✅✅❌

A couple of runners do well in trends this year but it is current antepost favourite Burning Ambition who is just about shown in the most positive light. He has young legs on his side at the age of seven and would tick all the boxes but for bumping into the classy Gilgamboa, though the same can be said about Foxrock.

Trends Analysis

The obvious place to start is with last year’s winner Pacha Du Polder who was unlucky in 2016 under the very inexperienced Victoria Pendleton, but received a peach of a ride from rising star Bryony Frost last year to collar stablemate Wonderful Charm in an exciting finish. There had been many doubts about his stamina in 2016 but there will be no such fears here as he seemed to stay out the trip really well last time, he struggled on his seasonal debut but Paul Nicholls said he’d definitely improve for that run and he is one to consider. If you like the chances of Pacha Du Polder it is hard to disagree that Wonderful Charm has equally solid claims especially when taking into account he has been nominated by Paul Nicholls as the best chance he has of getting a winner on the board at this year’s Festival. He was denied by only a neck last time out and this classy campaigner has had a nice preparation. He reappeared off a long enough break last time to warm up for the Festival and hacked up by six lengths without breaking a sweat, that should have put him spot on for this and he’ll take some beating.

The Irish have done very well in this race in recent years and their leading chance this year is Burning Ambition who hails from the point-to-point scene where he won four of his five starts, winning like a classy horse on his rules debut. He tanked through the race jumping like an old-hand and won by thirteen lengths without being touched by the whip. He then took on the very classy Gilgamboa, who would certainly be favourite for this contest if qualified, only giving out in the final furlong to be beaten under three lengths. He doesn’t seem to face anything of the same class as Gilgamboa here and although this isn’t an easy race to win his excellent jumping technique and stamina should go a long way in helping him here.

On a similar form line to Burning Ambition through Gilmgamboa we can analyse the chances of Foxrock. He was once rated 160 over fences and was contesting plenty of Grade 1 prizes before being switched to hunter chasing where he has been extremely successful. His Cheltenham form is questionable however and he was a well beaten ten lengths second to Gilgamboa compared to Burning Ambition so he looks to have a little bit to find if he is going to be seriously involved here.

Paul Nicholls has another chance in a race he targets in the shape of Virak, who started hunter chasing in the middle of January and is two from two so far. He won by six lengths on his hunter chase debut when a shade of odds on and followed up in good style when staying on dourly to beat Shotavodka at Haydock in testing conditions. He will stay the trip with no problems and was once a classy horse who could’ve mixed it with the best of these so he is certainly not one to rule out despite not seeming to be the stable’s first string.

Grand Vision finished third in the 2012 running of the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and looks to have a chance of going one or two better for the Tizzard’s at this year’s Festival. He was second to Pacha Du Polder in a hunter chase last year but has looked revitalised this year, winning a handicap at Lingfield before jumping like a stag to finish second in a competitive handicap behind Daklondike at Newbury. He followed up by making it two from three this season when winning easily by seven lengths last time. He has been in fine fettle all season and will likely enjoy himself jumping around here if his recent performances are anything to go by.

With not long to go until the Festival, you can view all our antepost previews and tips on our Cheltenham Festival tips section now!

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