The Mandarin Handicap Chase (Saturday 29 December) is run over 3 miles and 2½ furlongs at Newbury Racecourse. It was first run in 1963, with the inaugural running being won by the legendary Mill House. Since then, it has been won by other notable horses such as Night Nurse, Maori Legend, Party Politics, Jodami, and Carruthers.
Mandarin Handicap Chase 2018 Trends
- The last 10 winners have been aged between five and nine
- Three of the last 10 favourites have won
- SPs of the last 10 winners have ranged from 5/4 to 6/1
- Charlie Longsdon has trained two of the last seven winners
Mandarin Handicap Chase 2018 Major Contenders
Champion Jockey Richard Johnson hasn’t ridden a winner of this race since 2003, whilst trainer Philipp Hobbs has yet to trainer a winner. However, this lightly-raced five-year-old should relish the trip after winning with any amount in hand a Wincanton last time. Could have significant improvement to come and looks a young stayer on the up.
Trainer Kim Bailey won the 2014 renewal with Knockanrawley and there’s a good chance that Station Master is even classier than that horse. He was sent straight into handicap chases this season and has run well in second both times, especially last time at Cheltenham where he finished behind the well-handicapped Young Master and in front of subsequent Becher Chase winner Walk In The Mill. In both of those races, he also looked like he wanted a longer trip and gets it here at a course that should bring his stamina into play.
Looked useful when winning a couple of novice chases last season but was outclassed when stepped up into graded company afterwards. Looked on a potentially handy mark when unseating in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on his seasonal debut and showed his turn probably isn’t far away when subsequently third at Chepstow since. Not without a chance dropped in class, but others look better handicapped.
Runs in the same colours as Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Native River, but he’s nowhere near as good as his stablemate. However, he did take advantage of a falling handicap mark when winning at Uttoxeter last time. Potentially still well-handicapped on some of his earlier form but may be unsuited by taking what looks a step back up in class against unexposed rivals.
Mandarin Handicap Chase 2018 Summary
This year’s renewal looks sure to have plenty of runners but, with many of those runners looking exposed, it may pay to side with the chances of the more unexposed runners at the head of the market, especially considering that most recent winners have been well-fancied. Ami Debois drops in class but could struggle to repel Reikers Island and Station Master who both look sure to relish the trip. Of the two, Station Master is just preferred after finishing in front of the subsequent Becher Chase winner on his last run.
Mandarin Handicap Chase 2018 Tip