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Also known as the Glenfarclas Cross Country chase, this is another monster of a race at 3 miles 7 furlongs. Famed for its confusing layout and with 32 obstacles to be cleared, it’s a gruelling encounter for horse and jockey. The Cross Country Chase is a Conditions race, meaning horses are handicapped based on the conditions of the race. Often an open affair, previous winners have included Cause of Causes, Josies Orders, Balthazar King and the now infamous Tiger Roll (twice).
The Cross Country Chase is one of those races that goes all over the course, with a wide variety of fences jumped. The last 2 years it’s been won comprehensively by Tiger Roll, a definite favourite amongst the punters. The top 3 in the betting have won this race 8/12 times.
Tiger Roll came out of his prep race looking very comfortable with Elliot saying he was very happy with his performance. It was the same race that he bolted up in last year at 25-1 before going on to win the Cross Country Chase a few weeks after. Although history wasn’t repeated this time around (he came 5th), I’d have to say that if he stays on his feet, he will win this. Even money still looks like an ok price and I can only see one challenger in the 2nd fav Easysland and at 3-1 best price for him, it’s not big enough for me to take on Tiger Roll. He’s certainly in the “banker” category for me and is one I’d be happy to have a bigger bet on, even at even money.
- Ladbrokes Ireland Boyne Hurdle - 16th Feb Watch
The fact that JP McManus has purchased this horse in time for Cheltenham, shows that he must have something about him. He won the Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham in December, before winning again in France in February. When he was 6-1 for the Cross Country Chase antepost, he looked like a decent EW option, but 3-1 just seems too short against Tiger Roll at even money. I do have Tiger Roll in a few antepost multiples and if they are doing well, I may have a bit on Easysland as a bit of insurance. If there are any 2nd place refunds available from bookmakers for this race, that may be an option for backing him if you want to be against Tiger Roll. He’s unbeaten in his last 6 outings, but all bar 1 of these have been in France. His jumping can be a bit suspect at times, so fallers insurance could be a worthwhile option too.
- 18 of the last 22 winners were in the top 3 of the betting
- 8 of the previous 15 winners were 10 years or older
- Irish horses have won this race 13 out of the last 15
- Willie Mullins trained horses are 0 from 15 in this race