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Cross Country Chase

16:10 Cheltenham Festival

2022-03-16

Winner: £39022.5

Runners: 16

Going: Heavy

No. of hurdles: 32

Distance: 3m6f37y

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The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, run over 3m6f on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, is a one-of-a-kind race at the festival as the runners face a series of unique fences and obstacles on the cross-country course before rejoining the main track for the stamina-sapping closing stages.

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FORM
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15(0)
614-P0
silk
Tiger Roll

-

J: Davy Russell
T: Gordon Elliott
12
11-4
161
176
12yo who has something to prove regarding current form having been pulled up/tailed off on his two runs this term; however, he arrived with similar doubts last year before bolting up by 18l to win this race for a third time (a remarkable fifth Festival victory to go with his two Grand Nationals); effective on various ground; will reportedly be retired after today and he'll be very tough to beat if anywhere close to his best.
1(0)
P89U80
silk
Alpha Des Obeaux

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J: Jody McGarvey
T: Gordon Elliott
12
11-4
130
148
Classy in his prime and he was a fair fourth in this race last year, but this 12yo is without a win since November 2018 and has struggled to get competitive this season; cheekpieces replace blinkers.
11(0)
76P2P0
silk
Potters Corner

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J: Jack Tudor
T: Christian Williams
12
11-4
135
148
2019 Welsh National winner (heavy) who went very close behind Diesel D'Allier in a C&D handicap (good to soft) in December this season; pulled up/tailed off over regulation fences since and he's not favoured by today's level weights, but cross-country seems to be his preferred discipline nowadays and he's no forlorn hope to run into a place.
3(0)
02333P
silk
Brahma Bull

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J: Brian Hayes
T: W P Mullins
11
11-4
157
168
Pulled up in first-time cheekpieces (retained today) at Gowran in January last time out (reportedly burst blood vessel) and today is his first cross-country race; however, he's been running well in defeat in some hot staying chases this season (peak RPR 158) and if he takes to this new discipline he has the ability to be a serious force today; versatile ground-wise.
14(0)
116-73
silk
Step Back

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J: Nico de Boinville
T: Mark Bradstock
12
11-4
137
148
Won the big 3m5f handicap at Sandown in April 2018 and also scored there in November 2020; however, following an absence, he's been soundly beaten on both starts this winter and this 12yo would be a surprise winner today.
10(0)
143/00
silk
Poker Party

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J: Rachael Blackmore
T: Henry De Bromhead
10
11-4
145
159
Won the Kerry National (3m, yielding) in September 2019 and good fourth in the Paddy Power Chase that December (3m, soft); however, following a long absence, this 10yo has been tailed off on his two starts this winter (chase/hurdle) and there's a big doubt about how much ability he retains.
7(0)
-42091
silk
Midnight Maestro

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J: L P Dempsey
T: E Bolger
10
11-4
140
156
Tailed off in December on his sole run over C&D but he's effective around the Punchestown cross-country course and narrowly beat stablemate Shady Operator to win the P.P. Hogan Memorial last month; he's an each-way contender if transferring that form to today's course; versatile ground-wise.
8(0)
13-P00
silk
Mitchouka

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J: Keith Donoghue
T: J T R Dreaper
8
11-4
145
158
Won a competitive 2m5f handicap chase at Leopardstown last March but struggled in July on final two runs for Gearoid O'Loughlin and it was the same story at Punchestown last month on his cross-country and stable debut; plenty to prove today, including his stamina.
16(0)
P-5903
silk
Tout Est Permis

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J: Sean Flanagan
T: Noel Meade
9
11-4
147
155
Career highlight is Grade 2 win in 2019; however, his form took a downturn last year and he was about 8l behind Midnight Maestro and Shady Operator in Punchestown cross-country race last month; needs to raise his game.
4(0)
U3-466
silk
Delta Work

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J: Jack Kennedy
T: Gordon Elliott
9
11-4
160
175
Won the Irish Gold Cup in February 2020 and fifth in the Gold Cup here that March; hasn't hit the same heights since but, in today's context, he's a major player if able to reproduce this season's best form on his cross-country debut; effective on various ground; same connections as Tiger Roll.
9(0)
F7-043
silk
Plan Of Attack

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J: Darragh O'Keeffe
T: Henry De Bromhead
9
11-4
138
153
Fourth in the Kim Muir (3m2f, soft) at the 2020 Festival and he's run well to finish in the frame in two C&D handicaps this season (good/good to soft); however, faces a more difficult assignment off level weights today and he needs to find something extra if he's to reward each-way backers.
13(0)
609102
silk
Shady Operator

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J: Mr Derek O'Connor
T: E Bolger
9
11-4
140
156
Made it 2-2 in cross-country races when readily landing the Risk Of Thunder Chase at Punchestown (3m, good to yielding) in November, and he ran another cracker when beaten a neck by stablemate Midnight Maestro there (heavy) last month, the front two well clear; can give another good account today and could pick up the pieces if higher-rated rivals fail to fire.
6(0)
/42-PP
silk
Easysland

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J: Jonjo O'Neill Jr
T: Jonjo O'Neill
8
11-4
157
171
Easily beat Tiger Roll to win this race two years ago; very lightly raced since and unable to recapture that level, finishing a well-beaten second to Tiger Roll 12 months ago (final run for David Cottin), and he was pulled up over hurdles last month on his first two runs for this yard; however, he's only eight and could stage a revival now back over C&D; watch the betting.
2(0)
171515
silk
Back On The Lash

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J: Sean Bowen
T: Martin Keighley
8
11-4
141
153
Improved when sent back over fences at the start of this season and he scored on his cross-country debut in a C&D handicap (good) in November; below par over C&D in December (good to soft) but he's had a break since and has each-way claims if returning to peak form; has won on good-soft.
5(0)
236-31
silk
Diesel D'Allier

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J: Harry Bannister
T: Richard J Bandey
9
11-4
141
153
Won C&D handicap (soft) in 2019 when trained in France and has run really well in C&D handicaps this season on his first two starts for a new yard, posting a close third (good) and a win (good to soft); has a tougher task off level weights today but this C&D specialist is an each-way possible.
12(0)
114110
silk
Prengarde

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J: Mark Walsh
T: E Bolger
6
11-4
-
140
Tailed off over hurdles on his stable debut at Naas 17 days ago but there can be considerable optimism that he'll be an entirely different proposition now back over cross-country fences and back up in trip; made most to win a Listed cross-country chase (3m3f) at Compiegne in November on his final French outing and it will be no surprise if this 6yo plays a leading role today; all of his racing over jumps has been on testing ground.

RACING POST TIP

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silk
Tiger Roll
Brahma Bull and Delta Work are classy contenders who can play leading roles if transferring their ability to the cross-country sphere at the first attempt, while the 6yo Prengarde could be a serious force having convincingly won a Listed cross-country chase in France in November. However, they'll all struggle to cope with TIGER ROLL if he reproduces anything like the same form as when bolting up in this race last year. He's failed to shine on his two starts this season but he answered a similar question in fine style 12 months ago and this remarkable 12yo can win today's contest for a fourth time. Delta Work is feared most, ahead of Prengarde, although the highest-rated horses aren't guaranteed to run their races and Shady Operator could be the one to benefit if they don't.

Verdict

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CROSS COUNTRY CHASE PREVIOUS WINNERS

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CROSS COUNTRY CHASE KEY TRENDS AND STATS

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WHAT HAPPENED LAST YEAR - CROSS COUNTRY CHASE 2021

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