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Cheltenham 2023 Handicap Weights - Assessing The Irish Entrants

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Last updated: 01 Mar 2023
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Jon Vine 01 Mar 2023
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  • The handicap weights have been revealed for the 2023 Cheltenham Festival
  • The Irish entrants have been given ratings by the British handicapper
  • We look at how the Irish runners have been treated in all nine handicaps at Cheltenham
Cheltenham 2023 Handicap Weights Irish Runners
Irish runners finishing first, second and third in last year's Coral Cup. (Getty)
    Irish Handicap Runners
  • 2023 Boodles Handicap Hurdle Runners
  • 2023 County Hurdle Runners
  • 2023 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Runners
  • 2023 Coral Cup Runners
  • 2023 Pertemps Final Runners
  • 2023 Grand Annual Runners
  • 2023 Plate Handicap Chase Runners
  • 2023 Ultima Handicap Chase Runners
  • 2023 Kim Muir Handicap Chase Runners

The weights and ratings have been unveiled for all nine handicap races at the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.

The entries for each of the handicaps were revealed last month and the British handicapper has had a couple of weeks to assess the Irish runners. In this article, we take a look at each of the nine handicaps at the Cheltenham Festival and assess how the key Irish runners have been treated.

Cheltenham Festival Handicaps - Assessing The Irish Hurdlers


2023 Boodles Handicap Hurdle Runners


Name
Irish Rating
English Rating
Difference
Common Practice 129 131 2
Cougar 127 129 2
Nusret 128 131 3
Byker 124 128 4
Risk Belle 123 127 4
Sir Allen 127 131 4
Morning Soldier 121 125 4
Jazzy Matty 121 125 4
Metamorpheus 121 125 4
Mctigue 136 142 6
Tekao 128 135 7
Action Motion 118 125 7
The hot-favourite for this year's Boodles, Tekao (135) has been treated rather harshly by the British handicapper, who rated Willie Mullins' juvenile seven pounds higher than his Irish counterpart.

The first five home in the informative Rated Hurdle at Naas, Sir Allen (131), Morning Soldier (125), Byker (128), Jazzy Matty (125) and Metamorpheus (125) have all been handed four-pound higher marks. Emmet Mullins Mctigue (142), who holds several Cheltenham handicap entries, has been slapped with a six-pound higher rating.

2023 County Hurdle Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Sharjah 155 155 0
Colonel Mustard 143 143 0
Pied Piper 153 154 1
Path D'oroux 138 141 3
The Model Kingdom 131 134 3
Filey Bay 137 141 4
Hunters Yarn 143 147 4
Fil Dor 147 151 4
Ballyadam 144 148 4
Anna Bunina 139 143 4
Pinkerton 136 141 5
Il Etait Temps 148 155 7

Multiple Grade One winner, Sharjah (155) would carry 11-12 into the County Hurdle, after the British handicapper refused to alter his Irish rating. Supreme Novices Hurdle-bound Il Etait Temps (155), on the other hand, was rated seven pounds better than his offical mark in Ireland.

Both Filey Bay (141) and Hunters Yarn (147) will run off four-pound higher marks if they run in the County Hurdle. Like Sharjah, Colonel Mustard (143) remains on the same mark, with Gordon Elliott's Pied Piper (154) receiving just a one-pound rise.

2023 Martin Pipe Handicap Hurdle Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Fennor Cross 130 ? ?
American Mike 138 ? ?
Landrake 135 ? ?
Favori De Champdou 141 141 0
Imagine 135 139 3
Three Card Brag 138 142 4
San Salvador 134 138 4
Firm Footings 130 134 4
Spanish Harlem 131 135 4
Cool Survivor 135 140 5
Riaan 130 135 5
Mctigue 136 142 6
Hauturiere 129 136 7
Sa Fureur 130 137 7
Seddon 134 141 7

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Spanish Harlem (135) has been pushed to the head of the Martin Pipe betting in recent weeks and Willie Mullins' novice will be forced to run off a four-pound higher mark if he was to run in this handicap.

Of Gordon Elliott's battalion of entrants, Favori De Champdou (141) has been treated most kindly, after the British assessor refused to alter his rating. Cool Survivor (140) has been handed a five-pound higher mark, while Imagine (139), Three Card Brag (142) and Sa Fureur (137) have also been given higher ratings. American Mike and Landrake are yet to be assessed.

2023 Coral Cup Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Zanahiyr 157 157 0
Summerville Boy 143 143 0
Grand Roi 143 144 1
Beacon Edge 145 147 2
Saint Sam 150 152 2
Run For Oscar 145 147 2
Winter Fog 149 152 3
Brandy Love 146 149 3
HMS Seahorse 139 143 4
Haut En Couleurs 145 151 6
Captain Conby 137 143 6

Zanahiyr (157) will have to shoulder top-weight in either the Coral Cup or the County Hurdle, should he take up either of those handicap entries. Haut En Couleurs (151), meanwhile, has been handed a six-pound higher hurdles rating by the British handicapper.

Stablemate, Brandy Love (149) would run off just a three-pound higher rating. Paul Nolan's HMS Seahorse (143) has been judged four pounds better than his revised Irish mark. Saint Sam (152) and Winter Fog (152) are two and three pounds higher respectively.

2023 Pertemps Final Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Shewearsitwell 147 148 1
Shoot First 137 139 2
Salvador Ziggy 145 147 2
The Bosses Oscar 142 145 3
Good Time Jonny 138 142 4
Perceval Legallois 135 140 5
Maxxum 138 145 7

If Shewearsitwell (148) runs in the Pertemps Final over the Mares' Hurdle, then Willie Mullins's mare will only have to carry one pound more than she would in an Irish handicap. 

Shoot First (139) and Salvador Ziggy (147) have been handed two-pound higher marks. Perceval Legallois (140) is rated five pounds higher in England, while Gordon Elliott's Maxxum (145) would be forced to run off a seven-pound higher rating.

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Riviere D'etel (right) is the only Irish handicap entrant who's been rated lower by the British handicapper. (Getty)

Cheltenham Festival Handicaps - Assessing The Irish Chasers


2023 Grand Annual Runners


Name
Irish Rating
English Rating
Difference
Riviere D'etel 150 149 -1
Epson Du Houx 146 147 1
Coeur Sublime 152 152 1
Saint Roi 152 153 1
Final Orders 149 150 1
Dinoblue 138 140 2
Andy Dufresne 152 155 3
Magic Daze 145 148 3
A Wave Of The Sea 145 148 3
Call Me Lyreen 141 145 4
Dads Lad 140 145 5
Midnight Run 141 146 5
Fils D'Oudairies 137 142 5

Of all the horses mentioned in this article, the only Irish runner who has been handed a lower mark by the British handicapper is Gordon Elliott's mare Riviere D'etel (149), who has been deemed one pound worse on British soil.

Andy Dufresne (155) will run off the same mark he finished second off in last year's Grand Annual. Final Order (153), Saint Roi (153) and Coeur Sublime (152) have only been upped a pound. Dads Lad (145), Midnight Run (146) and Fils D'Oudairies (142) will have to run off five-pound higher marks.

2023 Plate Handicap Chase Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Escaria Ten 150 151 1
I Am Maximus 150 151 1
Haut En Couleurs 156 157 1
Percy Warner 130 133 3
Fastorslow 147 150 3
French Dynamite 152 155 3
Embittered 141 145 4
Champagne Gold 138 142 4
Adamantly Chosen 149 153 4
So Scottish 138 143 5
Seddon 137 143 6
Mars Harper 131 138 7

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Emmet Mullins' So Scottish has been rated 143 by the British handicapper, five pounds better than his mark in Ireland. Unlike over hurdles, Haut En Couleurs (157) has only been judged one pound superior to his Irish rating.

Escaria Ten (151) and I Am Maximus (151) have also been handed one-pound higher marks. Fastorslow (150) and French Dynamite (155) have been upped by three pounds, while Adamantly Chosen (153) has received a four-pound rise.

2023 Ultima Handicap Chase Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Punitive 137 137 0
Recite A Prayer 141 142 1
Kilcruit 148 149 1
Death Duty 138 139 1
Coko Beach 153 155 2
The Goffer 147 149 2
Irascible 132 138 6
Folcano 130 138 8

The Goffer (149) has had his Irish rating upped by just two pounds. As has stablemate Coko Beach (155), who could run in the Ultima before heading onto the Grand National.

Punitive (137) will run off his Irish rating if he joins The Goffer and Coko Beach in the field. Recite A Prayer (142), Kilcruit (149) and Death Duty (139) have only received one pound rises.

2023 Kim Muir Handicap Chase Runners


Name
Irish R
English R
Diff
Mr Incredible 144 145 1
Angels Dawn 129 131 2
Stumptown 133 135 2
Defi Bleu 136 139 3
Fakeira 132 135 3
Dunboyne 138 141 3
Amirite 138 142 4
Royal Thief 133 138 5
Stumptown (135) has been the biggest Cheltenham handicap market mover over the past week and Gavin Cromwell will have been pleased to see the British handicapper hand his raider just a two-pound higher mark on Wednesday.

A mere one-pound rise means Mr Incredible (145) gets in right at the top of the Kim Muir weights. Fakeira (135) and Dunboyne (141) will have to run off three-pound higher marks.

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