Festival Plate Cheltenham Festival
A race which has been referred to as The Racing Post Plate and The Mildmay of Flete, takes place on the third day of the prestigious and legendary Cheltenham Festival. Run over two and a half miles, this competitive handicap is one of the highest rated handicaps run over the entire season
In terms of quality, the Festival Plate is on a par with the Paddy Power Gold Cup which takes place over course and distance at the Open Meeting in November. The race usually brings together horses that have either run won or run well in previous handicaps over the course and distance.
Owing to its big prize fund it is seen as a perfect springboard for well handicapped horses to attain a big-race win to their CV and maybe go onto big and better things in the future.
Although the Grade Three handicap has been won by some big stables in the past, most namely David Pipe (four wins) and Nicky Henderson (four wins) the race has produced some real shocks in terms of winners over the last few years and is regarded by punters as one of the toughest betting heats of the Festival. Perhaps the biggest shock came in 1990 when 66/1 shot New Halen won by eight lengths.
Many pundits believe the reason for regular shocks in this race is that the most lowly-rated horses of all the handicap chases at the Festival can squeak into the race - all but two of the last 24 winners were rated no higher than 141.
Salut Flo won the 2012 renewal for the Pipe yard and could in theory come back in 2013 and defend his crown. But the horse that could well be targeted at the race is Nicky Henderson's Quantitiveeasing, who looks very well handicapped and capable of progressing up the weights.
Of course, there are plenty of Cheltenham free bets to pick up on the races at Prestbury Park, and Freebetshere.com will bring you all the latest Cheltenham cashbacks and promotions on all of the races.