St James’ Palace Foxhunters Chase Tips – Preview, Odds & Trends (Cheltenham Day 4)

The St. James’s Place Foxhunters Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase is run over 3 miles 2½ furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham or, in other words, the same course and distance as the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Traditionally restricted to amateur riders, the race is often known, colloquially, as the ‘Amateurs’ Gold Cup’. However, with amateur riders currently excluded from riding in hunter chases and point-to-point racing cancelled, on both sides of the Irish Sea, because of Covid-19 restrictions, the historic contest may take on an entirely different complexion this year.

 

Foxhunters Chase Odds

 

 

Foxhunters Chase Preview

  • Billaway
  • It Came To Pass
  • Worlds End
  • Red Indian
  • Hazel Hill

 

Billaway

In any event, last year’s second, Billaway (10/3), trained by Willie Mullins, is a strong favourite after winning two of his three starts this season.  He beat last year’s fourth, Staker Wallace (11/1), in the Naas Hunters Chase, for the second year running, on his latest outing in late January and should confirm that form on identical terms. His odds are plenty short enough, but he seemingly holds Shantou Flyer (16/1) and Minella Rocco (25/1), as well as Staker Wallace, on their running in this race last year and has bright prospects of going one better this time around.

 

It Came to Pass

Last year’s shock winner It Came To Pass (10/1) finished 20 lengths behind Billaway when they both made their seasonal reappearance at Fairyhouse in November so, at first glance, looks to have his work cut out to reverse that form. Of course, he may have needed that outing more than his younger rival, but has been absent since and heading into a race of this calibre off the back of a 129-day break would be a major cause for concern.

 

Worlds End

Worlds End (16/1) is an interesting contender insofar that, while better known as a Grade One winning staying hurdler at his best, he did win twice from five starts, jumping well on both occasions, in an abortive spell over regulation fences in 2018/19. He was transferred to Olly Murphy from Tom George in November and, at the time of writing, is due to make his hunter chase debut at Warwick in the near future. He could prove a force to be reckoned with in this division.

 

Red Indian

Red Indian (16/1) won a run-of-the-mill novices’ chase at Ayr on his debut for Kelly Morgan in November, 2018 and, although failing to add to his winning tally in five subsequent starts over regulation fences, was quite highly tried in 2018/19 and 2019/20. The switch to point-to-point racing has yielded two facile wins, by an aggregate of 45 lengths, so while his form is difficult to quantify, he merits respect.

 

Hazel Hill

So, too, does Hazel Hill (20/1), who has been a prolific winner ‘between the sticks’ and won this race in 2019, when officially rated 147. Now a 13-year-old, he may not be quite the force of old, but is still officially rated 143 and proved he was no back number when winning at Ludlow in January. That said, he was beaten 25 lengths by Bradley Gibbs’ up-and-coming pointer Highway Jewel (25/1), who is still only a 7-year-old, on his previous start at Chaddesley Corbett in December. Even on 7lb better terms, Hazel Hill may struggle to confirm that form if Highway Jewel proves anywhere near as effective over regulation fences.

 

Foxhunters Chase Betting Tips

Plenty in with chances, or so it seems, but Billaway has fewer questions to answer than most and, consequently, looks a worthy favourite. Remarkably, Willie Mullins has never won the St. James’s Place Challenge Cup Open Hunters’ Chase, but there is, as they say, a first time for everything!

Selection: Billaway – 10/3 with William Hill.

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St James’ Palace Foxhunters Trends

Age – 10 of the last 12 winners were aged 8 or older.

Price – 4 of the last 12 winners were favourites/joint favourites, 7/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.

Last Run – 7/12 winners won on their last run before the Foxhunters Chase, 9/12 winners won or placed on their last run before Cheltenham, 9/12 winners had their last run within the last 41 days.

Previous Course Form – 8/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 3/12 winners had at least 1 previous win at Cheltenham.

Previous Distance Form – 7/12 winners had at least 1 previous run over 26/27 furlongs, 3 of the 7 had at least 1 win over 26/27 furlongs.

Previous Chase Form – 10/12 winners had at least 6 previous chase runs, 11/12 winners had at least 1 previous chase win
Rating – 9/12 winners had a rating of 134 or higher.

Season Form – 11/12 winners had at least 1 previous run that season, 8/12 winners had at least 1 previous win that season.

 

St James’ Palace Foxhunters Recent Winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Cappa Bleu R Burton Sheila Crow
2010 Baby Run Sam Twiston-Davies Nigel Twiston-Davies
2011 Zemsky Derek O’Connor I R Ferguson
2012 Salsify C J Sweeney Rodger Sweeney
2013 Salsify C J Sweeney Rodger Sweeney
2014 Tammys Hill J J Smyth Liam Lennon
2015 On The Fringe N Carberry E Bolger
2016 On The Fringe N Carberry E Bolger
2017 Pacha Du Polder Bryony Frost Paul Nicholls
2018 Pacha Du Polder Harriet Tucker Paul Nicholls
2019 Hazel Hill Alex Edwards Philip Rowley
2020 It Came To Pass M O’Sullivan Eugene O’Sullivan

 

Foxhunters Chase 2020 Result

1st – It Came To Pass (66/1)

2nd – Billaway (11/4)

3rd – Shantou Flyer (3/1)

4th – Staker Wallace (15/2)

 

Cheltenham Day 4 Tips

The last day of the 2021 Cheltenham Festival includes the Gold Cup on Friday 19th March 2021.

TimeRaceCurrent Odds
1.20pmJCB Triumph Hurdle10/1
1.55pmCounty Hurdle16/1
2.30pmAlbert Bartlett Novices' Hurdle25/1
3.05pmCheltenham Gold Cup7/2
3.40pmFoxhunter Steeplechase10/3
4.15pmMares Steeplechase10/1
4.50pm Martin Pipe Handicap11/1