Formerly known as the Festival Plate, this is a handicap chase over an intermediate trip.
It is open to horses aged four years or older and is run over approximately two-and-a-half miles. There are seventeen fences to be jumped.
After having a stranglehold on the race, the home based trainers gave way to the Irish for a three-year period between 2017 and 2019.
The British have subsequently regained the winning habit and the likes of Nick Williams and Harry Whittington have proven successful more recently in it.
Statistics wise eight of the last twelve winners were aged between six and eight, whilst favourites have a mere three wins from the last twelve attempts.
It often pays to carry a lower weight in this race as ten of the last twelve winners carried less that eleven stone.
Previous Winners of the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase 2021.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Farclas – Denise Foster
Farclas has generally been running well without winning and has been placed on each of his last two runs at Leopardstown.
He enjoyed a prolific campaign in novice chases last year winning three races in a row between May and June.
He is a previous winner of the Triumph Hurdle so has previous Cheltenham winning form.
May well have just been warming up for this with his three previous outings this year and this grey would be a popular winner.
Caribean Boy – Nicky Henderson
Caribean Boy has been disappointing on his last two starts at Sandown and Ascot.
He just seems out of sorts at the minute and it is difficult to see how a race like this would bring out the best in him.
A return to two-and-a-half miles is certainly a help for him, but Daryl Jacob who usually rides him will need to be at his supreme best in order to coax him home.
Nicky Henderson doesn’t have a particularly good recent record in this race and Caribean Boy is unlikely to do anything other than add to his long list of losers that have tried.
A Wave Of The Sea – Jospeh O’Brien
A Wave Of The Sea is very much a mixed bag. You never know what you are going to get with him.
What is clear is that he thrives on his racing as this will be his ninth run of the campaign.
He was beaten half a dozen lengths by Burning Victory in the Triumph last year.
He will have more weight to carry this afternoon than he did last time and that may be enough to anchor him before he even starts.
Looks to have a lot on his plate off a career high mark.
Mister Whitaker – Mick Channon
Mister Whitaker has been without a win since scoring over this course and distance in April 2019.
His opportunities have been limited by injury and this will be only his third run of the current campaign.
This multiple course and winner won the Close Brothers Handicap Chase at this meeting back in 2018.
His most recent run behind Two For Gold at Warwick was a fair attempt following three months off and in an open handicap he would have place claims.
The Shunter – Emmett Mullins
The Shunter comes to Cheltenham and will win a £100,000 bonus should he land any race at the meeting for his connections.
He handled the course and distance well enough when winning the Greatwood here back in November.
Emmett Mullins has obviously treated him with kid gloves and gave him a nice mid-season break.
Provided this run doesn’t come too soon, he looks well capable of playing a part.
It has only been a little over a fortnight since his last run.
Paddys Poem – Nick Gifford
Paddy’s Poem looks to have progressed with each run this campaign and was rewarded with a win having stepped up to two-and-a-half miles at Wincanton last month.
He is a talented handicapper and this sort of trip looks to have unlocked some further improvement.
Any further drying out of the ground is in his favour and a live each way contender.
Fils D’Oudairies – Joseph O’Brien
Fils D’Oudairies was stepped up into Grade One company at Leopardstown last month and was beaten out of sight by a very much in form Monkfish.
Prior to that run she was placed in a Grade Three chase and had won a novice handicap at Navan.
She is lightly raced and will appreciate the return to handicapping company, but she loves to get her hooves into the ground and needs the taps to be turned on to be seen at her best.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2021 Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase Tips
This is a wide open renewal of a competitive handicap and Farclas may well be good enough to win it.
His yard won this back in 2018 with The Storyteller and this former winner of the Triumph Hurdle looks to have had this on his agenda all year.
The popular grey always tends to run his race and he can go well in the colours of Gigginstown House Stud.
Paddy’s Poem is on the upgrade and cannot be entirely dismissed whilst Mister Whitaker also loves it around here and could sneak a place.
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 10/3 The Shunter
- 5/1 Farclas
- 8/1 Caribean Boy
- 12/1 Fils D’Oudairies
- 12/1 A Wave of The Sea
- 14/1 Mister Whitaker
- 22/1 Paddy’s Poem