Cross Country Chaseby Darren Brett
Spot Thedifference won the first running of the cross country at the 2005 meeting, 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!
Partial view of the Cross Country course on Cheltenham Festival Day One 2012
Cross Country Chase Trends
|7/8||were trained in Ireland (and 23 of the last 28 placed horses!)|
|7/8||were aged nine or older|
|7/8||had won over at least three miles|
|6/8|| carried no more than 10st 13lbs|
|5/8|| had won one of its last two starts|
|5/8||had previously won a cross country race|
Cross Country Analysis
The Cross Country Chase is approaching its tenth year at the Festival and the race could be hitting a turning point with an apparent improvement in the quality of horse now taking its chance in the race.
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 as such some of the previous trends are starting to come under question.
For the first five years it appeared that coming into the race in good form was an essential criteria as was winning form in a cross country race. However, the last three winners have all gone against the grain in these areas but it must still be preferable to side with a horse with proven cross country form.
Watch out for the winner of the PP Hogan Cross Country Chase at Punchestown in February as the winner there has gone on to win this race at Cheltenham in three of the last eight years.
Cross Country Chase Last Nine Winners
Table below shows the last nine winners of the race, their age/weight at the time of winning, trainer, jockey and odds (starting price).
|2013||Big Shu||8-10-5||P Maher||B Cash||14/1|
|2012||Balthazar King||8-10-9||P Hobbs||R Johnson||11/2|
|2011||Sizing Australia||9-10-9||H De Bromhead||A E Lynch||13/2|
|2010||A New Story||12-9-7||M Hourigan||AP Heskin||25/1|
|2009||Garde Champetre||10-11-12||E Bolger||Miss N Carberry||7/2|
|2008||Garde Champetre||9-10-13||E Bolger||Miss N Carberry||4/1|
|2007||Heads On The Ground||10-10-2||E Bolger||Miss N Carberry||5/2F|
|2006||Native Jack||12-10-8||P Rothwell||D Russell||7/2F|
|2005||Spot Thedifference||12-11-12||E Bolger||Mr J T McNamara||4/1|
Cross Country Chase Preview
Enda Bolger’s early domination of this race could now be under threat as the master of the Cross Country race has not won this race since 2009 after winning four of the first five renewals.
More of the high profile trainers are now actively targeting this race so it will be interesting to see if Bolger can regain the winning thread.
Cross Country Chase Tips
JP McManus owned horses have won 50% of all the runnings of this race and the cross country is undoubtedly one of the races that the legendary owner targets at the Festival.
Watch out for our tip for the 2014 Cross Country Chase nearer the race
Cross Country Odds
Click the bookmaker logo next to the horse you want to back to get the best odds.