Cross Country Chase Tips - 4:10pm Cheltenham

2020 Glenfarclas Chase – Cross Country Chase

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase was first run in 2005 and the Irish horses have won an amazing twelve of the fifteen races so far. This year history could be made when Tiger Roll lines up in an attempt to win for the third year running.

Trainer Gordon Elliott has already bagged his hat-trick as he won it with Cause Of Causes the season before Tiger Roll decided to try his hand at the Cross Country circuit.

Tiger Roll is a one off, he first ran at the Cheltenham Festival back in 2014 when winning the Triumph Hurdle as a 4yo. The following year he was beaten in the Stayers Hurdle but then bounced back to win the National Hunt Chase over 4 miles in 2017.

The following year he began his love affair with this race, at first it was a prep run for a tilt at the Grand National the following month, he ended up winning both and as they say the rest is history. He did the double again last year and if he could possibly do it one more time he surely would go down in history as one of the best national hunt chasers of all time.

A slight injury scare had put preparations on hold this season but even if he came here without a prep run he should be good enough to land the hat-trick. He is rated 172 these days and no horse anywhere near that mark has ran in this race before so he should have plenty in hand.

The only danger on current form looks to be the French trained Easysland. He’s a very young horse at the age of just 6 to be contesting such a big race but they do start them early in France and this will be his 13th run over fences and has won six of them.

He came over to have his first look at the Cross Country course back in December and ran out an easy winner by 7 lengths from stablemate Amazing Comedy. That was also the first time he had been over a trip this far it didn’t seem to pose any problems. On bare figures he is miles behind Tiger Roll but this race tends to ignore such things and he could still have plenty of improvement in him.

Another French raider with a chance is Urgent De Gregaine, he’s a 12yo now and just specialises in Cross Country races these days. He has ran in this race for the last two seasons and you would have to think his best chance has gone.

He was beaten two lengths by Tiger Roll in 2018 and last year came home a well beaten third, some 23 lengths behind the winner. He came over in November and was second behind Diesel D’Allier giving him lumps of weight, he will fancy turning the tables on that rival here at least.

Diesel D’Allier is only a 7yo but has plenty of experience of Cross Country races in France and was second last time out at Pau on Christmas Day. He will no doubt run his usual game race but doesn’t look good enough of level weights in this company.

The home team is pretty limited this season, the likes of Kingswell Theatre and Tea For Two have tried their hand at the Cross Country races before but have yet to deliver anything that would make you think they can trouble the principles.

Owner J.P.McManus has a terrific record in this race and his main hopes lie with Yanworth who was a very useful hurdler not that long ago and has ran in both the Champion Hurdle and the Stayers Hurdle. This season he has been guided by the Cross Country specialist Enda Bolger and made a decent start to his new career when landing the Risk Of Thunder Chase at Punchestown in November.

Next time out he came over to Cheltenham for his first look at this circuit but unfortunately failed to complete having come down at the 20thfence. I have to admit he never looked a natural jumper of fences when he tried Novice Chasing a while back but there is no doubting his raw ability if he can put it all together.

JP also has the experienced pair of Auvergnat and Josies Orders and while both are probably past their best they always give you a good run for your money. Josies Orders was second in this race last season but has been a beaten favourite at Punchestown twice since and will need to bounce back to his best to figure here.

One interesting addition to the race is former useful chaser Might Bite trained by Nicky Henderson. A rare runner in this race for the yard but the enigmatic 11yo has lost his way a bit this season and connections thought something like this will take his fancy. If he goes well early on he could be thereabouts.

Punters Lounge Tip: Tiger Roll 6/4 at Coral - Click Here To Bet
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