Formerly known as the Festival Plate, the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate is a handicap chase over an intermediate trip.
It is open to horses aged four years or older and is run over approximately two-and-a-half miles. There are seventeen fences to be jumped.
After having a stranglehold on the race, the home based trainers gave way to the Irish for a three-year period between 2017 and 2019 and again last season.
Statistics wise eight of the last eleven winners were aged between six and eight, whilst favourites have a mere four wins from the last thirteen attempts.
It often pays to carry a lower weight in this race as eleven of the last thirteen winners carried less that eleven stone.
Previous Winners of the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase 2022.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
CELEBRE D’ALLEN – PHILIP HOBBS
Celebre D’Allen is unbeaten since he moved from France to Philip Hobbs’s stable.
He has won twice over hurdles at Haydock then cosily justifying favouritism at Warwick on the return to chasing.
He could well have more to offer and looks a big player for owner who targets this race having win it in with Salut Flo in 2012 and Ballynagour in 2014
THE GLANCING QUEEN – ALAN KING
The Glancing Queen is a talented mare who has taken well to fences this season, winning Listed events at Bangor and Warwick and was then a creditable second in the Dipper over this course and distance.
Her form reads well and she’s open to further improvement in this sphere.
Very likely to put in a good run.
IMPERIAL ALCAZAR – FERGAL O’BRIEN
Imperial Alcazar looks a strong contender who has form figures of 221 since he has been switched to chasing.
The most recent of those saw him drawing clear for a ten length success in notable novice handicap over this course and distance on good ground.
There should be plenty more in the locker and he cannot be dismissed.
GRAND PARADIS – GORDON ELLIOTT
Grand Paradis is a Grade 3 winner over hurdles last term.
His chase form figures have been heading in the right direction this year and he has finished runner-up in big fields at Fairyhouse and Gowran Park the last twice.
This race could well have come at the right time and he may well be ready to peak today despite it being his handicap debut.
FUSIL RAFFLES – NICKY HENDERSON
Fusil Raffles was somewhat gifted the Charlie Hall at Wetherby in October and his return to three miles was unconvincing last time.
He has some useful form at about two-and-a-half miles here, notably second in the Grade 1 novice chase on this card last year and fourth in the Racing Post Gold Cup two starts ago.
A case can be made but only a slim one.
SIMPLY THE BETTS – PAUL NICHOLLS
Simply The Betts was under par in the Cotswold Chase over an extended three miles here last time.
He has form figures of 112 over this course and distance though including a success in this contest two years ago (for his previous yard) and was a good second in similar event on penultimate start.
First-time headgear is now applied but it would need to have a positive impact to give him possibilities back in this race.
FANCY FOUNDATIONS – GORDON ELLIOTT
Fancy Foundations had a good start to his chasing career, with wins at Down Royal and Sligo.
He came to grief in what was a hat-trick attempt and his jumping has been far from perfect in two runs since.
Beginning to look like he has some serious questions to answer and needs to improve.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2022 Craft Irish Whiskey Co. Plate Handicap Chase Tips & Key Trends
IMPERIAL ALCAZAR coasted to a ten length victory over this course and distance when last seen out in January and he just keeps improving.
The invaluable experience around here should see him be competitive once again in a field where plenty of his rivals are beginning to looks a little exposed.
Grand Paradis is beginning to peak at just the right time, but it is Simply The Betts who if back on song could give the selection the most to think about.
Selection: IMPERIAL ALCAZAR
Likely E/W player: Simply The Betts
- The past six winners had contested a Graded novice hurdle or novice chase
- 13 of the last 17 runners ran on or after mid-January
- The past 4 winners were sent off at 4/1 or shorter
Odds With Paddy Power – correct at time of publication
- 9/2 The Glancing Queen
- 5/1 Celebre D’Allen
- 11/2 Imperial Alcazar
- 9/1 Grand Paradis
- 10/1 Fancy Foundations
- 11/1 Fusil Raffles
- 11/1 Simply The Betts