Festival Plate

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The Festival Plate is currently known as the Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase.

The Festival Plate will run on the 14th of March 2024.

The Festival Plate is a Grade 3 Handicap Chase at the Cheltenham Festival in March. It is over an extended two and a half miles and is currently scheduled for day 3 of the meeting.

There have been two dual winners in The Tsarevich (1985, 1986) and Elfast (1992, 1994). Other notable past winners include Blowing Wind (2002), Liberthine (2005), Siruh Du Lac (2019) and The Shunter (2021).

Find out more about The Festival Plate:

Festival Plate

Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase Race Overview

The Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase is available to horses aged five and up.

This Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase is run over a distance of roughly 2 miles and 412 furlongs on the New Course at Cheltenham, and there are seventeen obstacles to jump during the race.

It is a handicap race that takes place on the third day of the Cheltenham Festival every year.

Many Paddy Power Plate horses will race in more races throughout the years. Stay updated on the horses and place ante-post bets if you want to wager on them.

If you are looking for more racing tips for events taking place at Cheltenham then check out our Cheltenham horse racing tips page.

For all Cheltenham races, our finest racing tipsters give free horse racing tips!

Paddy Power Plate Handicap Chase Previous Winners

Check out the previous winners for this race:

2013Carrickboy910-05Liam TreadwellVenetia Williams
2014Ballynagour810-09Tom ScudamoreDavid Pipe
2015Darna910–11David BassKim Bailey
2016Empire of Dirt910–11Bryan CooperColm Murphy
2017Road to Respect610–13Bryan CooperNoel Meade
2018The Storyteller711–04Davy RussellGordon Elliott
2019Siruh Du Lac610-08Lizzie KellyNick Williams
2020Simply The Betts711-4Gavin SheehanHarry Whittington
2021The Shunter810-05Jordan GainfordEmmet Mullins
2022Coole Cody1111-2Adam WedgeEvan Williams
2023Seddon1010-09Ben HarveyJohn McConnell

Famous Festival Plate Winners

The Festival Plate, formerly known as the Mildmay of Flete Handicap Chase, was first held in 1951.

The first dual winner was Nicky Henderson’s The Tsarevich in 1985 and 1986. He was a very high-class chaser who would go on to place in the Grand National at Aintree.

Elfast (1992, 1994) is the only other horse to win the race twice. He was beaten in all nine races between those victories and was also off the track for 369 days. He beat Dublin Flyer when recording his second victory but fell at the first in the Grand National on his next start.

2002 winner Blowing Wind sprang a 25-1 surprise for Martin Pipe, catching stable companion and favourite Lady Cricket in the final fifty yards. He is best known for having finished third in the 2001 Grand National after refusing and being remounted by Tony McCoy.

Liberthine also won here at 25-1 in 2005, ridden by Sam Waley-Cohen. Liberthine was also Aintree-bound, winning the Topham Trophy in 2006 and finishing fifth to Silver Birch in the 2007 Grand National. Her rider famously signed off his riding career about 2024 Grand National winner Noble Yeats.

Siruh Du Lac landed a famous victory under an inspired ride by Lizzie Kelly in 2019. The combination were completing a fourth successive victory but the horse lost his form afterwards. The Shunter was another progressive chaser to win this race. He was landing a bonus for winning at Kelso over hurdles on his previous start and was heavily supported down to 9-4 favourite.

It used to be called the Racing Post Plate.

Key Festival Plate Trials

Winners of the Festival Plate have come from a wide variety of races.

Four of the last twelve winners had a previous victory at Cheltenham to their credit.

There are a series of top-quality two-and-a-half-mile handicap chases at Cheltenham during the winter and these are the best races in which to search for Festival Plate clues.

Seven of the last eleven winners returned to the Cheltenham Festival the following season but all were beaten.

Three of them ran in this race again, two falling and Holmwood Legend (2011) finishing sixth.

The Festival Plate has produced a mixed bag of results from well-backed favourites to rank outsiders.

Favourites to oblige in recent years were Salut Flo (2012) 9-2, The Storyteller (2018) 5-1, Simply The Betts (2020) 100-30 and The Shunter (2021) 9-4.

The biggest shock during the same period was the 50-1 victory of Carrickboy in 2013, trained by Venetia Williams and ridden by Liam Treadwell. Darna (2015) returned at 33-1, Holmwood Legend (2011) at 25-1 and Coole Cody (2024) at 22-1.

Coole Cody was also notable for being the oldest winner since 2008 at the age of eleven.

There does not appear to be any particular age bias with Road To Respect (2017) and Siruh Du Lac (2019) winning at the age of six.

Nine of the last twelve winners had an official rating of 146 or higher.

The highest-rated winner was Simply The Betts (2020) who won off a mark of 149.

Festival Plate – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Three trainers share top honours with four wins in the Festival Plate; Bobby Renton, Martin Pipe and Nicky Henderson. The latter won twice with The Tsarevich (1985, 1986) and also with Liberthine (2005) and Non So (2006).

David Pipe won the race three times between 2010 and 2014 with Great Endeavour (2010), Salut Flo (2012) and Ballynagour (2014).

No jockey has been able to equal Fred Winter’s record of three wins in this race, set between 1951 and 1958. His first winner was Slender who dead-heated with Canford. Bryan Cooper won it in successive seasons with Empire Of Dirt (2016) and Road To Respect (2017).

W P Mullins should always be feared.

Popular Questions

What distance is the Festival Plate?

The Festival Plate is 2 miles and 4 furlongs long.

Who sponsors the Festival Plate?

Paddy Power is the sponsor of the Festival Plate.

Summary of the Festival Plate

The Festival Plate is one of the most hotly contested races at Cheltenham and one we always look forward to.

A tricky handicap its always a good idea to look for value and each way bets!


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