2016 Festival Handicap Chase

The Festival Handicap Chase (formerly known as the William Hill Trophy) dates back to the 1950s and has a record of producing future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners with five race winners going on to win the Cheltenham Festival’s top race. The race is a Grade 3 national hunt steeplechase run on the Cheltenham Racecourse Old Course.

The Festival Handicap Chase is open to horses aged 5 and over and is run over 3 miles and a ½ furlong. As a handicap event the race has a tendency to draw a large field and it is unusual for the pre-race favourite to win the race with only two favourites achieving this feat since 1969.

2016 Festival Handicap Betting Odds

Cheltenham - Cheltenham
Close Brothers Novices' Handicap Chase (Listed) (Class 1) - 17:30
Click red odds to strike a bet
Aloomomo 5 9/2 7/2 5 5
Willow's Saviour 9 8 9 9 9
Double Shuffle 9 9 8 9 10
Bouvreuil 14 14 14 14 14
Ballyalton 12 11 14 16 14
Thomas Brown 14 16 12 14 11
Mckinley 16 16 16 16 16
Javert 16 16 14 16 14
Killala Quay 16 20 16 18 20
Rezorbi 20 20 20 16 20
Amore Alato 14 16 16 16 16
Racing Pulse 25 25 25 25 25
Katgary 25 25 25 25 20
Five In A Row 25 20 20 20 20
On Tour 25 22 25 25 25
Twelve Roses 28 28 28 28 28
Bridgets Pet 25 33 25 33 28
Domesday Book 25 25 25 25 22
Fourth Act 33 33 28 28 28
Jayo Time 40 40 40 40 40

Festival Handicap Chase Winners

Like the other handicap events at the Cheltenham Festival, the Festival Handicap Chase sees few racehorses win more than once. Only two horses have won the race twice; Sentina doing so in 1957 and 1958, with Scot Lane the last to do so in 1982 and 1983.

The Festival Handicap Chase also seems to be a slippery title for jockeys, as only Robert Thornton has managed to hold the Festival Handicap Chase winner’s title for two years in the last decade. Thornton achieved his wins on Fork Lightning and Kelami in 2004 and 2005.

In recent years Nicky Henderson has been the trainer to make the biggest impact on the Festival Handicap Chase. Although no trainer has managed to train more than one William Hill Trophy Handicap chase winner in the last decade, Henderson has seen five entries finish placed during this period.