Cross Country Chase Tips - 4:10pm Cheltenham

2019 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase Preview

The Cross Country Chase brings something different to the Festival and has proved very popular amongst the spectators each year who flock the middle of the main course to close to unique fences.

It was originally run as a handicap but since 2016 it has been a Conditions race and is a very competitive contest indeed.

It’s a good race for the Irish historically with 12 victories in 14 renewals, the English did win the race in 2016 but Any Currency was later disqualified and the race awarded to Josies Orders.

Trainer Gordon Elliott seems to have found the key to this race and has won if for the last two years. He took it with Cause of Causes and then twelve months ago with Tiger Roll who famously went on to win the Aintree Grand National.

Tiger Roll will be well fancied to follow up his win and has a remarkable record at the Festival already. In 2014 he won the Triumph Hurdle, three years later he came home first in the four-mile National Hunt Chase and last year completed the Festival hat-trick by winning this race. 

He is still only a 9yo and when you think 10 of the 14 winners of this race have been 9 or older you can see why connections are confident of another big run. His last run here at the track back in November when he was a fair 4th under a big weight, he will be much better off under these conditions and has to be the one to beat.

He has since came out and won over hurdles showing his true class and he looks in tip top condition for his attempt at defending his crown.

The runner-up last year was Urgent De Gregaine, he went down by two lengths. It was a very creditable performance and if he turns up in the same mood he will be thereabouts once again.

Owner J.P.McManus has a terrific record in this race, he has won it six times and had no less than nine other placed runners. 2016 winner Josies Orders is a regular around here and showed his well-being with a win here in November from Fact Of The Matter.

He came back again in December but this time had to settle for third but he remains a very useful sort around this course and comes here after winning his prep race at Punchestown.

Stablemate Auvergnat could be the number one runner from the Enda Bolger yard, he has finished 4th for the last two years but showed he was in terrific form at Leopardstown last time out. He won the Paddy Power Chase by 6 ½ lengths wearing first time blinkers and that extra bit of help could make all the difference here.

Bless The Wings has ran over this course more times than any horse in the field and despite his advancing years he still runs with plenty of credit. He won over C/D in December 2017 and surprisingly fell in this race twelve months ago. He has been back here twice since without mishap and could sneak a place if everything drops right.

Willie Mullins has never won this race and I’m sure given half the chance he would love to add this to the list. He has Ballycasey in the line-up and he came over here in December to see if he fancied the job of jumping these obstacles and staying 3m6f. Most people didn’t think he would stay but they do go steadily in Cross Country races and tend to sprint from 2 out. He was a fair 5th behind Fact Of The Matter and gave connections enough encouragement to come here again.

Fact Of The Matter leads the home challenge and is trained by Jamie Snowden, he won over course and distance in December and although he may have a few pounds to find on the official figures I always think if you take to this course it can count for a lot.

He has won five times in 16 starts over fences and has got better as he went further; his last two races have been over these fences and it seems to bring out the best in him. 

Michael Scudamore saddles Kingswell Theatre who surprised a few people when winning here over this course last season. He was a 14/1 shot that day and beat the two French horses Vicomte Du Seuil and Urgent De Gregaine. That form is decent and if he is no worse for his long absence he could go well again.

Ultragold is a first timer in the Cross Country race and will use this as a prep for the Grand National. He has won the Topham for the last two years and also ran here at the Festival before so he's a very versatile sort who could just take to these fences and run a big race. Harry Cobden takes the ride and it will be interestig to see how they get on.

The other debuatnt in this type of race is Tea For Two trained by Jane Williams. This one has lined up in the Gold Cup for the last two years and this should prove a little easier although the 10yo has been out of form this year. You never know this quirky race could rekindle his flames and there is no doubt he's pretty useful on his day.


Punters Lounge Tip: Tiger Roll 5/2 at Betfair - Click Here To Bet
 

Cross Country Chase Trends
Cross Country Chase Previous Winners
Year Winner AgeJockeyTrainerSP
2019Tiger Roll9Keith DonoghueGordon Elliott5/4
2018Tiger Roll8Keith DonoghueGordon Elliott7/1
2017Cause Of Causes9Jamie CoddGordon Elliott4/1
2016Josies Orders8MissNina CarberryEnda Bolger15/8
2015Rivage d'Or10Davy RussellTony Martin16/1
2014Balthazar King10Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs4/1
2013Big Shu8Barry CashPeter Maher14/1
2012Balthazar King8Richard JohnsonPhilip Hobbs11/2
2011Sizing Australia9Andrew LynchHenry De Bromhead13/2
2010A New Story12Adrian HeskinMichael Hourigan25/1
2009Garde Champetre10Miss Nina CarberryEnda Bolger7/2

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