Cross Country Chase Tips and Betting

Selection Bookie Odds

Cause Of Causes

10.00

Josies Orders

11.00

Foxrock

15.00

More Of That

21.00

Cross Country Chase Preview

We have now had twelve 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

12/12were either French or Irish bred
12/12were within 4 years of the youngest in the race (0-40 the rest)
12/12ran at an Undulating track last time out (0-71 those at flat tracks)
11/12had previous ran over a minimum of 3m5f and won over 2m6f+
11/12had run 2-6 times that season
10/12had held a 134+ rating over fences including 8 of the last 9


OLBG blogger Micko70 has written a blog on the Cross Country. His blog can be found here.

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).

YearHorseAge/WgtTrainerJockeyPrice
2017Cause Of Causes9-11-4G ElliottMr JJ Codd5/2F
2016Josies Orders*8-11-4E BolgerMiss N Carberry15/8F
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


*Martin Keighley's Any Currency was first past the post last year but was subsequently disqualified after a banned substance was detected in a post-race urine test.

Cross Country Chase Top Trainers
TrainerRunnersWinsPlacesWin LSPEach Way LSP
E Bolger2847-12.12-5.84
W Mullins1203-12.00-3.00
P Nicholls1001-10.00-8.50
P Hobbs9222.506.57
M Hourigan71419.0019.88
H De Bromhead5112.501.19
AJ Martin51012.006.00
G Elliott402-4.002.88
M Keighley402-4.00-0.87
K Bailey401-4.000.63
P Maher31112.007.63


Enda Bolger has dominated this race with four winners in the last ten years and five wins overall. Bolger has had an amazing 28 runners in this race in the last decade!

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 10 England 2!

This hasn't been a good race for Paul Nicholls with just one placed horse from ten runners since 2007.

Cross Country Chase Preview

The Cross Country Chase was run for the first time in 2016 as a level weights event after eleven years as a handicap.

This is very much a specialists race with old favourites running here on multiple occasions. A New Story ran in the race on six consecutive occasions and other frequent runners included Garde Champetre, Sizing Australia and Any Currency.

The Cross Country tends not to be everyone's cup of tea and some high profile trainers tend to give this race a miss. David Pipe, Jonjo ONeill and Alan King have had just one runner each in the last ten years whilst Nicky Henderson is yet to have a runner at all.

Cross Country Tips From The OLBG Forum

OLBG member Nicoista believes that Enda Bolger can win this race yet again:

Trained by the king of the banks Enda Bolger, Auvergnat has shown that he's in good form winning over the banks in the P P Hogan cross country chase at Punchestown in February, which has traditionally been a good trial in the past with 4 winners completing the double in the last 12 years. He had his first taste of the course in January, when he was travelling as well as anything until unseating at the 26th fence. He will be a lot worse off a at the weights in this race but the horses are just hacking around in circles for the majority of the race until they rejoin the main racecourse when it turns into a sprint for the line. Because of the way the race is run I don't feel weight makes as much difference as in a normal race. The way he's ridden is also a big positive for this race as he likes to sit just behind the leaders so he's in the perfect place when the pace increases as it not easy to make ground up late in these races as the leader don't usually stop. Also being a 7 year old he may also have the turn of foot for his older rivals.

See the latest news on the Cross Country Chase here via the OLBG forum.

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.