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12.03.21 11:24

Handicap Movers & Shakers – The Road to the Cheltenham Festival 2021


The Cheltenham Festival may still be four days away but this week has seen plenty of money around after the release of the handicap weights.

With punters battling to grab some ante-post value before the Festival, we’ve taken a closer look at three horses that have been smashed up in the betting in recent days.

Houx Gris – Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle – 25/1 into 5/1

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Houx Gris to win the Boodles

Paul Nicholls has won this race three times previously – he loves to target it with French-bred horses and 2021 looks no exception.

Houx Gris arrived at the Nicholls yard in December on the back of some excellent French form but was a well-beaten 3rd at Chepstow on his UK debut in January.

He’s been given a low handicap mark on the back of that performance though and punters seem to feel it’s a weight he can exploit in the Boodles. 

Happygolucky – Ultima Handicap Chase – 25/1 into 11/2

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Happygolucky to win the Ultima

Trained by Kim Bailey, Happygolucky hasn’t been seen since winning at Cheltenham at the start of December, his third win in just seven races.

His form around Cheltenham reads 3-4-1 and he’s also won twice after returning from a break, so his absence shouldn’t be an issue come the Festival.

He looks to have been laid out for this race and punters clearly think he’s set to run a big one on Tuesday.

Zanza – Grand Annual Handicap Chase – 40/1 into 8/1

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Zanza to win the Grand Annual

Zanza is another horse that hasn’t been seen since December when he took a fall at Cheltenham when bang in contention for the win.

Earlier in the season he ran 2nd behind the Dan Skelton trained Allmankind who himself has only gone from strength to strength – a repeat of that form would see Zanza go very close in the Grand Annual.

Can he reward punters who have backed him in from 40/1 though – we’ll find out on Wednesday.

Please note that all odds are correct at time of publication and are subject to change.

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