The Unicoin Group Handicap Chase (Friday 1.30) is a grade-3 handicap run over 26-furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham. It was first run in 2003, since when winners have been aged 6 to 11. Winners have carried between 9-9 and 11-9, though 4 of the last 7 winners have carried 10-0 or less. The Pipe Stable have been the most successful with 3 winners, whilst Tom Scudamore has ridden 2 winners.
12 Runners are set to line-up for the Unicoin Group Handicap Chase.
Potentially well-handicapped, as he’s 6lb lower than his highest mark, but still 7lb higher than last winning handicap mark. Proven at Cheltenham, and on the ground, but no top-weight has run this race so far in its 13-year history.
Another who is proven at Cheltenham on quick ground, and has some decent form at Grade-1 level. Suspicion that he may get outstayed over 3-miles 2-furlongs though, but no surprise if he outruns his big-odds.
The form of his second to Don Poli in the 2015 RSA didn’t really work out, but looked sure to win last time when falling. However, the handicapper raised him 7lb for that fall, and he’s probably handicapped about right now.
Run more poor races at Cheltenham than good races, but was second here behind Monbeg Dude off a 2lb lower mark. Can’t be discounted with stable in great form, but looks reasonably exposed.
Fifth and ninth in the last two Grand Nationals off 5lb and 4lb higher marks, but remains 6lb higher than when winning the Irish Grand National. Stable amongst the winners again, but getting a few more pounds off his back with one of the Nationals in mind may be a long-term plan.
Twice a course winner, and first-time cheek-pieces are an interesting addition in a bid to find the 5lb improvement needed to win off his current mark.
Ran well at last season’s Punchestown Festival, but is 5lb higher, and has run poorly here on all 3 starts over jumps, despite finishing second in the 2013 Festival Bumper.
Interesting off 140, especially as he now has a 7lb claimer on, and he can race with just 10-2 on his back here. Has some decent Cheltenham form too.
Won off a mark of 130 here, but has been struggling off today’s mark since.
Potentially very-well handicapped off 136, but his 4 wins have come in fields of 7 runners or less, and not really shown much in bigger fields. Not ruled out though.
Galway Festival winner over 18-furlongs, and has won over 2-furlongs, but not sure he’s crying out for this trip.
Not completed on last two runs, and a suspicion that he may finds a few of these too quick for him.
Unicoin Group Handicap Chase Tip
Un Ace isn’t the biggest of horses, and he may just appreciate the chance to carry a light-weight for the first-time in his career. His jockey’s 7lb claim also means he has bottom weight, and that claim means he is 11lb lower than his last win.
Tip: Un Ace – each way @ 25/1 with most bookies