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2023 Thyestes Handicap Tips - Odds and predictions for Thurles' main event

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  • Tips and odds for the 2023 Thyestes Handicap Chase
  • This huge handicap takes place at Thurles on Thursday 26th January
  • Gordon Elliott will saddle nine of the 18 runners
  • Pencilfulloflead is our sole selection at 7/1
thyestes handicap
Darragh O'Keeffe riding Longhouse Poet (red cap) clear the last to win The Goffs Thyestes Handicap Chase. (Getty)

Midweek racing fans are in for a treat on Thursday, as Thurles hosts its popular Thyestes Chase meeting. The main event on the card is the Thyestes Handicap, a lucrative staying handicap chase that has been won by great names like Hedgehunter, On His Own and Djakadam.

We've taken a look through the betting for this year's Thyestes chase and picked out our best betting tips.

2023 Thyestes Handicap Chase Odds

Espanito Bello8/1
Escaria Ten8/1
Carefully Selected9/1
Darrens Hope

*Odds taken on 25/1/23*

2023 Thyestes Handicap Chase Runners

Gordon Elliott and Willie Mullins have won seven of the last 11 renewals of the Thyestes between them, and they account for three-quarters of this field. Willie Mullins' challenge is spearheaded by 11-year-old Carefully Selected. Gordon Elliott runs nine in total, with Pencilfulloflead and Escaria Ten currently sitting first and third in the market.

The springer in the betting in recent days has been Barry Connell's Espanito Bello, who was a well-beaten fifth on his only start of the season so far over hurdles. Robert Murphy runs Grade Two winning mare Darrens Hope against the geldings. Emmet McNamara and Henry De Bromhead will be represented by Donkey Years and Gabbys Cross respectively.

2023 Thyestes Handicap Chase Tip - Pencilfulloflead

Gordon Elliott has won this handicap twice in the last four years and he's clearly had the Thyestes in mind for PENCILFULLOFLEAD, who was one of the best novice chasers in Ireland back in 2020/21.

Following a narrow victory over Coko Beach - who won this handicap the following year - at Galway, Pencilfulloflead thrashed the classy Latest Exhibition to win a Grade Two at Punchestown, before a narrow defeat to future Cheltenham Festival and Punchestown heroine, Colreevy in the Grade One at Limerick. On his final novice start, Elliott's charge stayed on well to finish third over the Thyestes distance at Naas, when giving eight pounds to the classy pair of Eklat De Rire and Escaria Ten.

Pencilfulloflead ran just once last season, falling at the half-way stage as L'Homme Presse won a graduation chase at Ascot. Despite a lengthy absence, Elliott pitched his nine-year-old into the Clonmel Oil Chase on his return to action in November and - although he got outpaced in the closing stages of that two-and-a-half-mile trip and made a bad error at the second-last - Rachael Blackmore's mount plugged on right through the line to finish just eight lengths adrift of Blue Lord and Tornado Flyer.

Elliott's gelding has had two months to get over that return run and cheek-pieces will go on for the first time on Thursday. Top amateur rider, Rob James has also been booked for the ride, meaning Pencilfulloflead - who clocked RPRs of 159 three times as a novice - will effectively be running off 143 on what will be his handicap debut. 


Pencilfulloflead has clearly been laid out for a tilt at the Thyestes and Rob James' mount looks exceptionally well-treated. He'll be my sole selection.

2023 Thyestes Handicap Chase Tip: Pencilfulloflead Straight Win @7/1 at BetUK - 20 Units
Straight Win
@7/1 - 20 Units
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