Cross Country Chase Tips and Betting

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Cross Country Chase Preview

We have now had eleven Cross Country Chases at the Festival since its introduction in 2005. The race is run over three miles and seven furlongs and there are thirty-two obstacles to be cleared.

Perhaps the most famous previous winner is Spot Thedifference who won the first running of the cross country, finished runner up in 2006 and finished fourth in 2007. Upon his retirement he had won on seven occasions over the cross country fences at Cheltenham!

Cheltenham Scene

Partial view of the Cross Country course at Cheltenham

Cross Country Chase Trends

8/10were aged 9 or older
8/10carried 10-13 or less
7/10were rated 134 or higher
7/10finished 1st or 2nd on their last completed start
7/10had run at least 3 times since November 1st
7/10had won a race since November 1st
6/10had their last run that year

Cross Country Analysis

The Cross Country Chase was run for the first time in 2016 as a level weights event after eleven years as a handicap. With the likes of top trainers Willie Mullins and Philip Hobbs now targeting this race we are seeing a different type of chaser take on the demands of this most unusual course and with the change in the race conditions we may now see even higher rated horses going down the cross country route.

Cross Country Chase Last Ten Winners

Table below shows the last ten winners of the race, their age/weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).

2016Any Currency13-11-4M KeighleyA Coleman11/1
2015Rivage DOr10-10-10A MartinD Russell16/1
2014Balthazar King10-11-12P HobbsR Johnson4/1
2013Big Shu8-10-5P MaherB Cash14/1
2012Balthazar King8-10-9P HobbsR Johnson11/2
2011Sizing Australia9-10-9H De BromheadA E Lynch13/2
2010A New Story12-9-7M HouriganAP Heskin25/1
2009Garde Champetre10-11-12E BolgerMiss N Carberry7/2
2008Garde Champetre9-10-13E BolgerMiss N Carberry4/1
2007Heads On The Ground10-10-2E BolgerMiss N Carberry5/2F

Cross Country Chase Preview

Enda Bolger and JP McManus' early domination of this race could now be under threat as the masters of the Cross Country race have not won this race since 2009 after winning four of the first five renewals.

Philip Hobbs is still the only English trainer to have won the Cross Country Chase with his two victories with Balthazar King in 2012 and 2014 so the score in this race is currently Ireland 9 England 2!

Cross Country Tips From The OLBG Forum

The change in the conditions of this race from a handicap to a level weights event has caught the eye of OLBG tipster The Shark who highlights the claims of a cross country veteran:

"Uncle Junior is building up most of the alphabet after his name but if you go back to last years race he was only beaten 3 1/4 lengths and will get a pull of around a stone with Rivage D'Or. He went on to win the banks race at Punchestown in April, was travelling well behind Josies Orders when slipping up at Cheltenham in November at the 28th (20lb odd better off for this) and still had every chance when unseating last time. Has always had to give bundles of weight away and could be a big price at around 25/1 off level weights this year."

Pompey Jim believes that the infuriatingly named Quantitativeeasing is due a change of luck in this race:

"I think Quantitativeeasing deserves a little compensation in this race after last year's renewal. Was still going very well and yet to make it's move when carried out through the rail two out. Like with many it looks primed for this with it's prep over hurdles last month and interestingly the cheekpieces were left off for that race when all it's best performances in the last season or two have been with them on. As already touched on by another member jockey bookings will be interesting and the pecking order etc .. but if allowed to take it's chance I believe he must be there or thereabouts."

Next up on Day 2 will be the Fred Winter Hurdle, another race that Champion Trainer Paul Nicholls has done well in having found the winner last year and in 2010. Check out the tips and race preview for that race here.