Incredibly, across the last six Cheltenham Festivals, only two horses have won races having fallen on their final start and this may be a good statistic for narrowing down entrants this year.
Arvika Ligeonniere is among the front-runners in the betting for the Arkle, Sizing Australia will have supporters in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap and Pateese has each-way claims in his chosen Festival contest, which is most likely to be the Pertemps Final.
However, it is Our Mick that arguably has a stronger chance than any other Festival combatant of improving this miserable trend and he is 8/1 to land the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase.
Our Mick ran more than credibly to take third in the same race last year, where he was potentially impacted by running a wide line virtually throughout and being the youngest in the field.
Now a year older and a year more experienced, he should theoretically have stronger claims than 12 months ago off just a 1lb higher mark.
The grey has only lined up once since, which was also at Cheltenham in January, when unseating Jason Maguire three fences from home when still bang in contention.
This performance should have shaken off any rust and it should be noted that Katenko went on to win, who is being considered as a possible livewire outsider for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Given the strength of Our Mick’s race to this point, the handicapper has perhaps been lenient not to hike his mark slightly and trainer Donald McCain has been determined to keep the horse as fresh as possible.
Another tick in the box of Our Mick is that nine of the last dozen winners of the JLT Speciality Handicap Chase were sent off at a starting price of no bigger than 8/1.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.