Winning a Cheltenham Festival handicap is no easy task and winning one twice is even harder. The connections of Global Citizen are aiming to do just that at next month’s festival. Ben Pauling’s gelding won the competitive Johnny Henderson Grand Annual handicap chase last March, beating a well-backed Gordon Elliott horse by three lengths. It’s fair to say that connections have been minding his mark ahead of a repeat bid.
Check out our free tips page for daily content across British and Irish racing. You can also take a look at our free bets page for sign up offers to boost your Cheltenham betting power.
Global Citizen (25-1, Paddy Power) seemingly came out of nowhere to win this prestigious handicap at last year’s festival. Having not won over fences since December 2019, very few expected a big run. Perhaps there was long term plan for that win, as he was dropped to a mark of 136, having been rated 151 when last seen over the larger obstacles.
His connections have been very careful with his handicap mark since and he’s been seen over fences just once this season. In fact, they’ve protected his mark as if it’s the crown jewels. The tactical nature of his campaigning suggests that his whole season has been geared towards another crack at this race.
He pulled up at Worcester on his sole chase start this season and the handicapper responded with a 1lb drop in the weights. Obviously connections were happy with that as we’ve only seen him over hurdles since. A trip to the States for their Grand National followed, before a mid-season break. Having had a prep run over hurdles at Wincanton earlier this month, he should be primed and ready to go at Cheltenham.
If you back any of our selections you can watch them live on the free Racing Post app or racingpost.com. Simply log in to one of your bookmaker accounts and click ‘Watch live’ on the racecards.