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2019 Foxhunters Chase tips - Two against the field for the amateur riders' Gold Cup contest at Cheltenham

The Foxhunters Challenge Cup follows on from the Gold Cup.

Brian Healy looks through the entries for the Foxhunters Chase on Friday at the Cheltenham Festival and he picks out his two against the field for the amateur riders' Gold Cup.

Punters will barely be able to draw breath following another exhilarating Cheltenham Gold Cup when the amateur riders take centre-stage for their own Gold Cup as the Foxhunters Challenge Cup goes to post at 4.10pm following the final Grade One of the Cheltenham Festival.

The Foxhunters Chase is a Hunters’ Chase contest run over the same trip as the preceding Gold Cup - 3m 2f - and the race is always fierecely contested. A maximum field of 24 runners will go to post for this contest which carries a first-prize in excess of £25,000 and the race has a history of dual-winners with Pacha Du Polder, On The Fringe and Salsify all recent two-time winners of the race.

No horse has won the race more than twice, but Paul Nicholls’ Pacha Du Polder could bid to become the first, and the Ditcheat handler has saddled four winners of this race.

Brian Healy looks through the entries list of possible runners in this historic contest, and he picks out his two against the field who could go well in what promises to be a competitive renewal.


HAYMOUNT (25/1, William Hill) was a very useful performer for Willie Mullins, and the Presenting gelding contested at Graded level as a novice over fences, beating Coney Island and then making the frame behind the likes of Bellshill, Anibale Fly and Acapella Bourgeois prior to finishing third to Tiger Roll in the 2017 National Hunt Chase.

Only seventh to Our Duke in the Irish Grand National, he was disappointing in the Galway Plate that season but may have been amiss given he was absent subsequently for a year prior to returning to action in the same race where he again ran poorly.

Third back there behind Sub Lieutenant on his next start, he left Willie Mullins in the wake of another disappointing run at Listowel behind Snow Falcon, and he joined Tom Ellis where he has won both starts in point to points, latterly beating William Money at Chaddesley Corbett.

He has the services of Gina Andrews for this assignment, and if he were to recapture his old form from his novice days then it wouldn’t be a huge surprise to see a big run from the Presenting gelding.

Shantou Flyer has won twice in hunter chases, goes well at Cheltenham and has conditions in his favour.



SHANTOU FLYER (8/1, Boylesport) struggled to get his head in front over fences, with his last win under Rules coming here back on New Years’ Day 2017 when the Shantou gelding scored for then-handler Rebecca Curtis with a defeat of Village Vic.

Subsequently fourth back here under a big weight behind Foxtail HIll, he chased home Cue Card for second in the 2017 Ascot Chase before pulling up in the Grand National behind One For Arthur. He moved to Richard Hobson soon after, and following a slow start he developed a very consistent profile with four consecutive runner-up efforts which include behind Coo Star Sivola in last season’s Ultima Handicap Chase.

He again failed to fire at Aintree in the Grand National behind Tiger Roll, but since being sent hunting he has made plenty of hay, winning the last twice in starts at Kelso and Fontwell having looked in need of the run on his reappearance at Warwick in January.

He latterly ran out a wide-margin victor over Southfield Vic, winning readily although a tendency there to jump out to his right was a slight concern. It is possible that the quicker ground wasn’t ideal, and while both wins in the hunter chase sphere have come on good going he is sure to appreciate the likely softer surface this week given his best form under Rules came in the mud.

He ought to continue to give a good account of himself, and it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see him posting a big run with conditions ideal and boasting a good record around this venue.

2019 FOXHUNTERS CHALLENGE CUP TIPS - TWO AGAINST THE FIELD


HAYMOUNT (25/1, William Hill), SHANTOU FLYER (8/1, Boylesport)

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2019 Foxhunters Chase tips - Two against the field for the amateur riders' Gold Cup contest at Cheltenham

Brian Healy looks through the entries for the Foxhunters Chase on Friday at the Cheltenham Festival and he picks out his two against the field for the amateur riders' Gold Cup.

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