• Hands Heels

Cross Country Chase

Updated: Mar 9, 2021

15:40 Cheltenham 17/03

A gruelling nearly four mile race over the cross country races, last years winner Easysland and winner of the previous two renewals and double Grand National winner Tiger roll head the betting.

We already know that the Tiger has been taken out of this years Grand National, so this may be the last we see of him now. Nostalgia makes me hopefully he can win, but the brain says no. I was actually impressed enough by his return recently in the Boyne hurdle, an inadequate trip with younger horses he kept on with them showing decent tactical speed, and was unsurprisingly caught for pace on the run in and eased down. He will be fitter and expect a better run here, I just can’t see him winning this.

Easysland won convincingly last year and would have been odds on to repeat this year, until has run next time out where he was beaten back in fourth on the same course by Kingswell Theatre, with Beau Du Brizais and Potters Corner in second and third. I do expect him to overturn that form, especially at level weights now and giving away lots of weight last tome. If coming on for that first run of the season and on official ratings he will be very difficult to beat.

My main fancy in the race is John McConell's Some Neck, having left Willie Mullins he had a few races over shorter distances before stepping up in a cross country on the Cheltenham course in December winning a short head from Defi Des Carres, those two were a long way clear of the rest with Kingswell Theatre, who beat Easysland a disappointing 7th some 52 lengths behind. After being off since, he has recently come out for a pipe opener back down to 3 miles where he was given an easy time of it. That should have him primed and ready for this and 20/1 with Betfair or 16s elsewhere I’d rate him as having an excellent chance. Additionally I will be taking the 50/1 behind the close second that day Defi Des Carres as an each way bet as there is that disparity in the price between the two despite being closely matched.


Some Neck 16/1 0.5pts each way

Defi Des Carres 50/1 0.5pts each way

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