The curtain closer on St Patrick’s Day at the Cheltenham Festival is the Kim Muir Challenge Cup. This grueling handicap chase was first run at the Festival back in 1946. Winners of the Kim Muir often go on to run in the Grand National, with Nicolaus Silver and Ballabriggs completing that famous double during their careers.
I’ve taken a look through the latest Kim Muir Challenge Cup
betting, listed some key recurring ten-year trends and picked out my top Cheltenham Festival tips.
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Odds
|Ain't That A Shame||10/1|
|School Boy Hours||10/1|
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Trends
- All 10 of the last 10 winners weighed 11-4 or more
- All 10 of the last 10 winners had run in at least two Graded races
- All 10 of the last 10 winners had run in a Listed or Graded race that season
- 9 of the last 10 winners had run at least five times over fences
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Runners
Frontal Assault E/W2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup FavouriteGET 9/2 HERE
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It’s been 13 years since a horse carried less than 11-4 to victory in the Kim Muir. Given how strong this trend is, I would rule out any horse rated below 137. They probably won’t get into the final 24-horse field anyway.
Frontal Assault has scraped in under the ceiling for the Kim Muir, having been handed a mark of 145. Gordon Elliott’s charge is yet to win over fences, but boasts plenty of strong placed form and won a Grade Three over three miles as a novice hurdler last season. Four-time winning rider, Jamie Codd or leading amateur Rob James will likely take the ride. You can see why Frontal Assault has been backed into 9/2 favouritism.
is another dangerous runner for Gordon Elliott, having run well in major handicap chases in Ireland throughout the season. After Kevin Blake put up Ain't That A Shame
during a recent preview evening, his odds have been slashed and Henry De Bromhead's novice could run a big race.
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tip 1 - Frontal Assault
The more I look at this year's Kim Muir, the more I fancy FRONTAL ASSAULT.
Gordon Elliott's seven-year-old won a three-mile Grade Three as a novice hurdler last season, before gaining some valuable Cheltenham experience when finishing eighth in the Martin Pipe.
Frontal Assault has run three times over fences this season, with all of those runs coming over two-and-a-half-miles. Elliott's mount was narrowly beaten by Busselton on his chase debut, finished fourth behind the impressive Ciel De Neige at Navan and split stablemates Floeur and Grand Paradis when second at Fairyhouse last time out.
Milan Native and Mount Ida were both campaigned over two-and-a-half-miles before winning the Kim Muir for Gordon Elliott. Rob James took seven pounds off Milan Native's back and gave the winner a cracking ride in 2020. Elliott confirmed - before the weights were even announced - that James would ride Frontal Assault in this year's Kim Muir, and the market leader clearly has a fantastic chance.
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tip 2 – Mister Fogpatches
With a large field expected, I might add a couple of each way tips to my Cheltenham Festival
selections. The first being MISTER FOGPATCHES
, who justified favouritism by winning the four-mile Colm Quinn Handicap Chase at the Punchestown Festival in the spring.
Peter Fahey had his star chaser out early this season, as Mister Fogpatches finished fourth in a valuable handicap chase at the Listowel Harvest Festival. After a 22-length defeat on unsuitably heavy ground in the Cork National, Richie Deegan’s mount ran well in the Troytown Handicap Chase, where he tried in vain to hang onto Run Wild Fred’s coattails and was relegated to third by Farclas on the run to the line.
Fahey then gave his charge a first taste of Cheltenham in the Grade Three Handicap Chase during the International Meeting. Commodore made all and slipped the field turning in to win easily. Mister Fogpatches was held up off the pace and his late challenge was only good enough to claim a distant second.
Richie Deegan’s claimer then reduced Mister Fogpatches' burden to 9-11 in the Thyestes. Fahey’s grey made the most of that featherweight and ran a cracking race, losing out to two classy rivals in Longhouse Poet and Franco De Port.
The British handicapper has only upped Mister Fogpatches’ rating by two pounds to 140. Deegan, who finished eighth on Cloth Cap in the 2020 Kim Muir, will almost certainly partner Fahy’s chaser for the fourth time this season. They’ve clearly got a very good chance.
2022 Kim Muir Challenge Cup Tip 2 – Rapper or Come On Teddy
I’ve already put up RAPPER
as an outside fancy for the Ultima Handicap Chase
. Henry Daly’s eight-year-old comes into Cheltenham on the back of two impressive 25-furlong victories. Off his mark of 143, the Kim Muir could end up being the better option. However, when the weights were announced, Daly seemed keener on going for the Ultima – providing top-weight Frodon was declared.
If Rapper doesn’t feature in the Ultima when the fields are confirmed on Sunday, I’ll back him NRNB in the Kim Muir market. COME ON TEDDY
is also entered in the Ultima, but off his current mark of 137, a run on day one seems unlikely and he ticks plenty of boxes for the Kim Muir.
Come On Teddy was one of my each way selections in last year’s Pertemps Final and George’s eight-year-old did well just to finish third, seeing as he was still out the back coming down the hill. Jonny Burke then gave Come On Teddy a cracking ride to win on his chase debut at Uttoxeter, beating talented novices like Fern Hill, Gustavian and Call Me Lord over a two-and-a-half mile trip which should have suited his rivals better. George then rolled the dice and threw Come On Teddy into the Dipper, where he got outpaced as L’Homme Presse turned on the gas and he could only stay on to finish fifth.
Burke’s mount then attempted to give eight-pounds to another possible Kim Muir runner, Omar Maretti in a three-mile handicap at Newcastle. Come On Teddy lost out narrowly, thanks mainly to a couple of dodgy jumps at the third and second-last flights. That four-length defeat can still be regarded as a solid effort, though, especially after Omar Maretti bolted up at Catterick on his next outing.
Come On Teddy’s form over fences this season stacks up well. He boasts winning form around Cheltenham and has a placed effort at the Festival on his CV. If George can book an experienced amateur rider, then I’d give him a decent chance of challenging on day three of the Cheltenham Festival