Grimthorpe Handicap Chase

One of the top handicap contests in the build up to the Cheltenham Festival comes at Doncaster racecourse as the Town Moor track plays host to the 888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase . Read on for betting tips, offers and the best odds on this key Grand National trial.

3m2f is the trip for this Class 2 Handicap Chase contest with nineteen obstacles standing between the competitors and the winning post. First run in something like its current form in 1988 the race now offers in £55,000 in guaranteed prize money.

888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase Tips

The 2019 renewal looks to be as competitive as ever, with a decent case to be made for a whole host of these. Rocky’s Treasure and Dingo Dollar in particular make obvious appeal at the head of the market. That duo are also at the head of the weights here though, meaning they have a pretty strong trend to defy – only once in the past decade has the winner been saddled with more than eleven stone on the day. Focussing on that lower weight category will be our way into the race here.

Beau To Steal The Show

Top of our list comes the youngest runner in the line-up; the Philip Hobbs trained Beau Du Brizais. This one always looked to have the potential to progress beyond a mark of 124 and he has duly delivered on that promise this season. The Kapgarde gelding arrives here seeking a hat-trick following back to back wins at Ludlow which have now taken him up to a mark of 135. He did pretty well to win at all last time out having been hampered and not done any favours at all by a loose horse and may not be done improving just yet. We make this sound stayer with a touch of class our main bet in the race.

Consistent Carole To Place Again

We also can’t resist an each way play on the admirably tough Carole’s Destrier. Ignore his effort when pulled up at Haydock last time out as his race was effectively ended when badly hampered at the fourteenth. A repeat of either of his two previous runs – a win off 135 and a rock solid fourth in a Grade 3 – would give him every chance of making the frame here. A winner off as high as 146 in his prime, his current rating of 137 may not prevent a bold show, even at eleven years of age. Expect this one to be doing all his best work late.

888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase Previous Winners

  • 2018 – Race Abandoned
  • 2017 – Definitely Red – jockey Danny Cook, trainer Brian Ellison
  • 2016 – The Last Samuri – jockey David Bass, trainer Kim Bailey
  • 2015 – Wayward Prince – jockey Robert Dunne, trainer Hilary Parrott
  • 2014 – Night In Milan – jockey James Reveley, trainer Keith Reveley
  • 2013 – Quentin Collonges – jockey Andrew Tinkler, trainer Henry Daly
  • 2012 – Ikorodu Road – jockey Charlie Poste, trainer Matt Sheppard
  • 2011 – Always Right – jockey James Reveley, trainer John Wade
  • 2010 – Wogan – jockey Andrew Tinkler, trainer Nicky Henderson
  • 2009 – Out The Black – jockey Tom O’Brien, trainer Philip Hobbs

888Sport Grimthorpe Handicap Chase History

Now one of the key trial races for the Grand National, this race initially came into being as a more speed emphasising 2m contest. It is only really since 1988 that the event has really become a target for those chasers with aspirations of success in the biggest race of them all.

That 1988 edition wasn’t too far off the stamina sapping demands of the Aintree showpiece itself, being held as it was over a marathon 4m trip. Reduced to a distance 3m2f in 1989, the trip has remained the same ever since.

The “Grimthorpe” of the races title refers to the blue-blooded Grimthorpe family who have been big supporters of the sport over the decades. This support has been lent in a variety of form s including horse ownership and racecourse directorship.

To date there has been just the one runner to have landed this prize on more than one occasion. Richard Lee was a trainer long associated with stamina laden performers – a mantle which has now been ably taken up his daughter Kerry Lee – and he sent out Damers Cavalry to claim top spot in 1990. The horse missed the race in 1991, but returned to the winner’s enclosure in 1992. Still not done with Damers Cavalry returned to slam the opposition one last time when coming home 15 lengths clear in 1993.

Other than Richard Lee, the only trainer to send out the winner on more than one occasion (as of 2018) is Kim Bailey. Andrew Tinkler, James Reveley and Norman Williamson lead the way amongst the riders with two wins apiece, again up to 2018.