Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tips: Whacker Clan the one to beat

 | March 13 | 

7 mins read

kim muir tips

The second of the major handicap chases for the amateur riders is the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup, a three-and-a-quarter-mile test that brings down the curtain on day three of the Cheltenham Festival.

The last 12 years in this contest have witnessed an even split between British and Irish winners and a field of 26 contenders are engaged this time. Below you can find all the runners, and our Kim Muir Challenge Cup tips.

Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tips:

Runners

  1. Inothewayurthinkin (Gavin Cromwell/Derek O'Connor) @ 7/2

Twice run with credit behind emphatic Arkle winner Gaelic Warrior this season over 2m3f and appeared to need more of a stamina-test when midfield at the Dublin Racing Festival over 2m5½f. Gets that now for leading trainer and a rider seeking big-race amateur double after Corbetts Cross on Tuesday.

  1. Annual Invictus (Chris Gordon/Gina Andrews) @ 25/1

Beaten 29-lengths off this mark in this race last year but returns for another go after gamely winning a big pot at Doncaster in January over 3m on good ground. Conditions are a worry.

  1. Fakir D'alene (Gordon Elliott/Rob James) @ 20/1

Massive run when third in the Troytown at Navan (3m, soft to heavy) in November but was well beaten when pulled up in the Thyestes at Gowran Park in January. Plenty on his plate from this mark.

  1. Angels Dawn (Sam Curling/Pa King) @ 8/1

Yeats mare travelled like a dream and defied a late mistake to win this narrowly last year. She's rated 11lb higher now but her close third in Thyestes at Gowran Park in January signalled her well-being.

  1. Amirite (Henry de Bromhead/Noel McParlan) @ 10/1

Showed an aptitude for this place when fourth over 3m1 in October and solid fifth behind Meetingofthewaters at Leopardstown in major Christmas handicap since. That rival did the form no harm here on Tuesday.

  1. Cloudy Glen (Venetia Williams/Lucy Turner) @ 25/1

Yet to win here (0-5), but has run some excellent races in defeat including twice this season already. Veteran is on a fair mark and should give a good account.

  1. Whistleinthedark (Laura Morgan/Joe Wright) @ 66/1

Rattled up a four-timer over fences last spring but an inflated mark and competing in stronger contests this season has blunted progress. Long way behind Annual Invictus at Doncaster last time.

  1. Cepage (Venetia Williams/Zac Baker) @ 50/1

Lots of experience around here and fourth in the Ultima in 2021 off a mark of 158. Took out a 2m4½f veterans' chase here in December but pulled up in both starts since.

  1. Celebre D'allen (Philip Hobbs & Johnson White/Callum Pritchard) @ 50/1

Twice ran well in the Plate here in 2022/2023 and won an Aintree veterans' contest over this sort of trip in October by a wide margin. Handicap mark went up as a consequence, but rider can at least take 7lb off.

  1. Rapper (Henry Daly/Anthony O'Neill) @ 16/1

Winner here over a similar trip on New Year's Day 2023 but was pulled up in this race last term. Disappointing this season until a cracking effort in the Swinley Handicap Chase at Ascot (3m, good to soft) last month and repeat of that would have him in the mix from 1lb higher.

  1. City Chief (Nicky Henderson/James King) @ 25/1

Quite promising last season, winning twice over fences at up to 3m1f, but mixed signals this term. Has twice been competitive in valuable handicaps and could fare well in first-time cheekpieces from a reduced mark.

  1. Chavez (Willie Mullins/Patrick Mullins) @ 22/1

Wide-margin winner of a beginners' chase at Fairyhouse last season and promising return from an absence at Leopardstown (2m1f, yielding) at Christmas. Front-running tactics didn't pay off back there at the DRF and fell when held at the last. Stamina an unknown in one of the few races Patrick and Willie Mullins have not won here.

  1. A Wave To The Sea (Ben Haslam/Declan Lavery) @ 33/1

Three-time chase winner but became inconsistent for Joseph O'Brien and nothing in three runs for this handler to suggest he'll land a prize like this.

  1. Cool Survivor (Gordon Elliott/Harry Swan) @ 7/1

Lots to like about his runs behind the likes of Quilixios and Gaelic Warrior early this season for one with little experience chasing and sound run at the Dublin Racing Festival in a 2m5½f Graded 3 handicap chase last month. Unexposed and likely to fare better at this sort of trip for top team.

  1. Where It All Began (Gordon Elliott/Barry O'Neill) @ 14/1

Making solid if unspectacular progress as a chaser over the last 12 months and duly won last month's Grand National Trial at Punchestown (3m3f, heavy) in good style. Up 12lb in the ratings for that.

  1. Bowtogreatness (Ben Pauling/Jack Andrews) @ 11/1

Came up shy as a graded novice chaser last term but promising final run at Aintree over this sort of trip and arrives here after a smashing third in a major handicap chase at Kempton (3m, soft) last month. Runs off the same mark now and a player if jumping well.

  1. Flash De Touzaine (Liz Doyle/John Barry) @ 50/1

Excellent effort to be third in last year's Scottish National at Ayr (4m, good) but a couple of non-completions in Ireland this term hardly inspire confidence.

  1. Demnat (Venetia Williams/Aine O'Connor) @ 33/1

French import won at Ludlow (2m4f, soft) in fine style last month after a mammoth 961-day absence. Was retreating when making a bad mistake at Newbury 13 days ago over shorter. Untested over this far and three quick runs after a long absence is a concern.

  1. Git Maker (Jamie Snowden/Will Biddick) @ 22/1

Won trio of minor events at Catterick/Lingfield in 2023 at trips around 3m but found wanting in the Silver Cup Handicap Chase at Ascot (3m, good) before Christmas when upped in class. More demanded.

  1. Grozni (James Owen/Alex Chadwick) @ 33/1

Ended his time with Charles Byrnes in Ireland by landing a beginners' contest at Downpatrick in August over 2m3f (good) and shaped with promise in three runs for this stable, albeit nothing to suggest he's up to winning this.

  1. Whacker Clan (Henry de Bromhead/John Gleeson) @ 14/1

Wins at Tramore in August and here (3m1f) in October were promising and displayed pleasing attitude in latter race to hold off Twig, with that rival running a blinder to be second in the Ultima on Tuesday. Nicely treated off 131 on that basis and stable going well this week already.

  1. Back On The Lash (Martin Keighley/Sean O'Connor) @ 40/1

Hurdles and dual Cross-Country winner at this venue but was off-colour in two runs earlier in the season. Back from a break and the handicapper has offered a glimmer of hope.

  1. Daily Present (Paul Nolan/Jack Hendrick) @ 14/1

Given three tough assignments earlier in the season and duly well beaten, but justified market support on handicap bow to win at Down Royal (3m, soft) and this mark looks fair even before accounting for riders' 5lb claim.

  1. Dom Of Mary (David Bridgewater/Finian Maguire) @ 18/1

Stamina is a forte, as evidenced with Sussex National win at Plumpton (3m4½f, soft) in January and ran well in a decent contest since at Sandown 3m, good). Could be staying on late in the piece.

Tips

Whacker Clan @ 14/1  

Bowtogreatness @ 11/1

Inothewayurthinkin could prove very popular as Derek O'Connor bids for big amateur handicap chase double and he's capable of better granted a stiffer test of stamina. The price, though, is plenty short in a field such as this.

The likes of Daily Present, Cool Survivor, Rapper and even Chavez for the Mullins are considered but, at decent prices two against the field are preferred.

Henry de Bromhead's horses started the week in super fettle and he's got both Amirite and WHACKER CLAN in contention. The handicapper might have nailed the former, but a mark of 131 looks lenient for the latter.

He beat Twig over 3m1f here in October, showing a willing attitude when asked, and that rival only found one too good in Tuesday's Ultima Handicap Chase off a 3lb higher mark of his own.

Rested since, this lightly-race 8YO had a spin over hurdles last month to take the edge off and in John Gleeson he's got a partner that already knows how to win here.

Ben Pauling's BOWTOGREATNESS was disappointing in the Plate last season but ran well in a quality novices' handicap chase over shorter here in January, form that has been advertised since.

He then ran third in a Premier Handicap over 3m at Kempton last time and, based on his Aintree run last spring, this is a trip he may well enjoy.

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