2.40 JLT Speciality Steeple Chase (Handicap) 3m 1/2f

The first big handicap of the Cheltenham Festival was previously called the William Hill Trophy, then the Festival Handicap Chase, but is now known as the JLT Speciality Handicap Steeple Chase. Open to five-year-olds and up, the £75,000 added Class A Grade 3 chase is run over three miles and half a furlong and with a high quality field of staying handicappers, this race has always been a popular betting heat.

The race is guaranteed a large field of runners, competition to command a prominent position in the race means a strong gallop is set and demands the winner must be able to see out every inch of the trip. The stamina sapping nature of the race tests many horses to their extreme of their endurance and has thrown up a number of surprise results. Most recently the Cheltenham crowd have witnessed Chief Dan George win at 33/1 in 2010 and Joes Edge prevailed at 50/1 in 2007.

Horses that run well in the Festival Handicap Steeple Chase will be considered possible Grand National winners and while many William Hill Trophy winners have gone to Aintree with strong chances, only Rough Quest has managed to achieve the double in recent years.

FREE BETS FOR THE JLT SPECIALITY STEEPLE CHASE

Online bookmakers are giving away free bets to new customers which can be used to bet at Cheltenham Festival 2013. It is easy to collect free bets from online bookmakers; follow the links to the bookmaker’s website, register your details, make a deposit, place your first bet and in many cases, you will receive your free bet within 24 hours.


CHELTENHAM BETTING TIPS FOR THE JLT SPECIALITY STEEPLE CHASE

Favourites have a torrid record in this race with just two winning favourites since 1977.

Look out for improving horses working their way up the handicap ranks, 2011 winner Bensalem (153) was the first winner in 29 years going into the race rated 150 or higher.

Identify horses with staying power and those carrying lighter weights fare better on the uphill finish, 11 of the last 12 winners have carried less than 11 stone.

Winning form is a good pointer, 6 of the last 9 winners had won last time out and in 2010 only five of the field had won on their previous outing, three of those horses filled the first three places.

ENTRIES FOR THE JLT SPECIALITY STEEPLE CHASE
Final entries will appear here


RECENT WINNERS OF THE JLT SPECIALITY STEEPLE CHASE

2012 Alfie Sherrin trained by J O'Neill W14/1
2011 Bensalem trained by A King W5/1
2010 Chief Dan George trained by J Moffatt W33/1
2009 Wichita Lineman trained by J O'Neill W5/1F
2008 An Accordion trained by D E Pipe W7/1
2007 Joes Edge trained by F Murphy W50/1
2006 Dun Doire trained by A J Martin W7/1
2005 Kelami trained by F Doumen W8/1
2004 Fork Lightening trained by A King W7/1
2003 Youlneverwalkalone trained by C Roche W7/1
2002 Frenchman’s Creek trained by H Morrison W8/1
2000 Marlborough trained by N J Henderson W11/2

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