They don’t come much tougher than this tricky handicap on St Patrick’s Day at the Cheltenham Festival…
Who won the Festival Plate in 2016?
As always this was an ultra-competitive affair and was run at a solid clip, which saw plenty of drama as horses got into all sorts of bother at various stages.
That didn’t stop Empire Of Dirt, who announced himself as a potential top-class stayer. The way in which he travelled up to challenge before asserting was most taking.
He could make his mark somewhere at the top level this season.
How to pick the winner of the Festival Plate?
If flushing money down the toilet is a favourite past time of yours, then following horses rated above 141 should be a tactic that you enjoy. The record they hold is simply terrible in this race as low weighted runners always perform above expectations.
Trainers are a creature of habit and it’s unsurprising that the same faces continually send their best handicapped horses to this race, and more often than not win it too. Venetia Williams has three wins in this race and usually targets her best handicapped chaser at it. David Pipe also is a trainer to follow with this race in mind.
His stable are the masters at plotting a well handicapped horse to Festival glory.
Ante-post tip for the 2017 Festival Plate?
It might be worth keeping an eye on the old boy Fingal Bay this season with this race in mind.
He went off 8/1 for last season’s renewal and was going OK until he was severely hampered five from the finish, which ended his chances.
Fingal Bay is a former Festival winner over hurdles and has always been fancied to have a big handicap chase in him.
This could be his year if he can find his best form.