Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase

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The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is a Grade 3 race over three miles at Wetherby on Boxing Day.

Venture into the heart of winter racing as the Rowland Meyrick Chase takes centre stage at Wetherby Racecourse. This annual event, steeped in history and named in honour of the revered Rowland Meyrick, promises a thrilling display of jumps, fierce competition, and a festive spirit that sets it apart.

Join us as we explore the rich heritage of the Rowland Meyrick Chase, shedding light on its notable winners and the unique elements that define this exhilarating race. Discover why it stands as a beacon of glory in the National Hunt calendar. In 1984 and 1986 the race was won by subsequent Cheltenham Gold Cup winners Forgive ‘n Forget and The Thinker which shows the quality.

Other notable winners include Yahoo (1987), Durham Edition (1989) and Definitely Red (2016).

Race Overview – The Rowland Meyrick Chase

Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase

Horses must be four years old or older to compete in the Grade 3 National Hunt steeplechase, the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase.

There are 19 fences to jump during the race, which is run at Wetherby over a distance of around 3 miles (3 miles and 45 yards, or 4,869 metres). It will take place on Boxing Day every year and is a handicap race.

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Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase Previous Result

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Famous Rowland Meyrick Chase Winners

1960 Aintree Grand National winner Merryman II won this race in the same season, defying a record weight of 12st 6lbs in the process. The victories which really put this race on the map were those of Gold Cup winners Forgive ‘n Forget and The Thinker.

Forgive ‘n Forget won this race for Jimmy Fitzgerald and Mark Dwyer. The horse had landed a gamble in the Coral Golden Hurdle in 1983 and was runner-up in the Sun Alliance Chase the following season. He won this race in 1984 on his way to a famous Cheltenham Gold Victory, beating Righthand Man and Earls Brig.

The Thinker won a memorable Gold Cup in 1987 after the start was delayed for an hour by blizzard conditions. Trainer Arthur Stephenson chose to attend the meeting at Hexham on the same day where he had seven runners. Punters latched on to the horse who was proven in testing conditions and he justified the support, staying on dourly to beat Cybrandian and Door Latch.

The race almost produced a third Gold Cup winner in Yahoo, the winner here in 1987. He went agonisingly close to winning the 1989 Cheltenham Gold Cup. After being kicked into a clear lead, only the sheer determination of Desert Orchid denied him victory in one of the most memorable jumps races of all time. Yahoo would gain consolation at Aintree the following month in the Martell Cup.

Durham Edition (1989) finished runner-up twice in the Aintree Grand National. He was second to Rhyme ‘N Reason in 1988 and filled the same spot behind Mr Frisk in 1990. He also finished fifth in 1989 and sixth in 1991 when aged thirteen.

2016 winner Definitely Red won 14 of his 38 career races for Trainer Brian Ellison. He earned nearly £430,000 in prize money with 8 of his victories coming over fences. His successes included the Cotswold Chase, the Charlie Hall Chase and the Many Clouds Chase.

Key Rowland Meyrick Chase Trials

Three of the last ten winners of the Rowland Meyrick had run in the Rehearsal Chase at Newcastle on their most recent outing. One of them had won and two had been placed. Two of the last ten winners ran in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham next time with Cape Tribulation winning both races in 2012-13.

Two winners also contested the Peter Marsh Chase at Haydock; According To Pete winning in 2011-12 and Definitely Red unseating his rider in 2016-17. Only two of the last ten Rowland Meyrick winners ran in the Cheltenham Gold Cup that season but both were well beaten.

There have been two winning favourites in the last ten renewals of this race; Get On The Yager 100-30 in 2017 and Top Ville Ben 3-1 in 2019.

Considering the competitive nature of this handicap chase, it is worth noting that eight of the last ten winners featured in the first three in the betting. The exceptions were 33-1 outsider According To Pete (2011) and 14-1 chance Dolatulo (2014).

Seven-year-olds have the best recent record with six winners in the past eight renewals.

Three eleven-year-olds have been successful in this race; Durham Edition (1989), Strath Royal (1997) and Gunner Welburn (2003).

Five of the last ten winners had won at least once previously at Wetherby.

Weight is no bar to success in this race. Since According To Pete won off a lightweight in 2011, all nine winners carried 11st or higher. Top Ville Ben won with 11st 11lbs on his back in 2019, the largest weight carried to victory since Merryman II (12st 6lb) in 1960.

Rowland Meyrick Chase – Top Trainers and Jockeys

Legendary Yorkshire Trainers Neville Crump and Arthur Stephenson dominate the statistics here. Crump won it a record seven times; Merryman II (1960), Tudor Fort (1966), Chesapeake Bay (1969), Glen Owen (1974), Irish Tony (1976), Ballet Lord (1979) and Richdee (1982).

Stephenson won it six times; Tartan Ace (1973), The Gent (1975), Fortina’s Express (1985), The Thinker (1986), Durham Edition (1989) and Stay On Tracks (1991).

Jockey Henry Brooke completed a hat-trick of wins in this race aboard Definitly Red (2016), Get On The Yager (2017) and Lake View Lad (2018).

Popular Questions

When is the Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase?

The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase takes place on Monday 26th December 2024 at Wetherby Racecourse.

What are important facts about Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase?

Here are some important facts about Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase:

  • The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is run at Wetherby Racecourse, Great Britain
  • The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is for horses aged 4 and over
  • The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase is a National Hunt Steeplechase in Great Britain
  • The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase distance is about 3 miles

Summary The Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase

Thank you for reading our Rowland Meyrick Handicap Chase guide.

There are more races in December that you might enjoy, so make sure you check them out.

We have looked at form, previous winners, history, betting and tips, so you can enjoy the race whether you are placing a bet or watching it live or on TV.

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