Cross Country Chase Antepost Betting Tips
The Cheltenham Festival is looming large on the horizon once more with the mid-March bonanza already creating plenty of debate and talking points.
Cheltenham is the centrepiece of the jumps season and it's always worth paying close interest to those making some noise in the markets.
The Cross Country Chase is the most unique of the Festival races and here we assess the state of play for the March 10th contest.
Cross Country Chase Betting Odds
Winner of this unique test in 2018 and 2019, the dual Aintree Grand National hero Tiger Roll had no answer to Easysland last March, with 17-lengths splitting the pair up the hill.
The abandoned Grand National a month later meant Gordon Elliott's superstar missed a date with destiny and a potential Merseyside hat-trick. The question now looms heavy, has the Tiger Roll ship sailed?
He was ill at ease on his Flat return in Ireland in October and was then pulled up in the Cross Country race at Cheltenham's November Meeting, leaving a cloud over his desire for the game.
He has, of course, silenced the doubters before and his love of the Cheltenham Festival (four-time winner) is always to be respected but, now aged 11, he's got to quell the doubters yet again.
That said, he remains high in the betting market to win a third Cross Country Chase.
Cross Country Chase Best Bets
David Cottin's French raider blitzed the field in this race last spring as a six-year-old, finishing well clear of Tiger Roll in second and a yawning gap back to the remainder. He appeared to have domination of the discipline as his future given the majesty of that win.
However, a chink in his armour was revealed here in November when he was only fourth in a race won by Kingswell Theatre for Michael Scudamore. That was Easysland's first run since March and he was entitled to come on for it. He never appeared totally at ease and, in the end, it wasn't a shock to see him beat.
That was of course a handicap and he was giving a stone and a half to the three that finished in front of him.
Connections opted not to return in December having taken a dim view of the handicapper's assessment of the November race. Come March, they'll all race off level weights and, make no mistake, Easysland is still very much the one they all have to worry about. He started 8/11fav in November and his current price may come to look generous by the spring.
The John McConnell-trained Some Neck got up in dying strides to land a thrilling Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham's December meeting and his trainer suggested post-race he'd be 'entitled' to return to the Cotswolds in March following that success.
Some Neck was a useful if slightly frustrating chaser in the care of Willie Mullins, talented but prone to the odd jumping error that cost him. McConnell admits that he always had an eye on him but that he was still 'taking a chance' in securing the ex-Rich Ricci-owned inmate.
He was tailed off in Grade 2 over hurdles on his first start for his new connections, leading to a decision to try him on the Cross Country Course at Punchestown in November where he duly perked up before showcasing his talent a few weeks later in Cheltenham.
He did well to reel in the front-running Defi Des Carres while he had the likes of Out Sam and Kingswell Theatre well behind - useful yardsticks in this sphere - with the first-time cheekpieces seemingly aiding his cause. At nine-years-old, he's the perfect type to excel as a Cross Country horse and so the odds on him running well if he makes it back to Cheltenham in March look generous.
Cross Country Chase Tips
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Cross Country Chase Antepost Frequently Asked Questions
What is our recommended bet?
What day at Cheltenham is the Cross Country Chase on?
Wednesday, March 10th 2021.A
What is the distance for the Cross Country Chase?
3m 6f 37y.A
What is the prize purse for Cross Country Chase?
£65,000 in 2020.A
Who won the Cross Country Chase last year?
Who is the favourite?
Easyland is the 2/1 favourite.A