Cheltenham Cross Country Chase Preview – Cheltenham Festival 2023
We have a Cheltenham Cross Country Chase preview for you as we look ahead to a big race on day two of the 2023 Cheltenham Festival.
Cross Country Chase 2023 Preview
Delta Work – Cross Country Chase Favourite EVS
Our favourite entering the 2023 Cheltenham Cross Country Chase is Gordan Elliot trained, Gigginstown Stud owned ten-year-old gelding Delta Work. He is the defending champion after winning the previous edition of this race during the 2021 Cheltenham Festival. However, in recent times this horse has flattered to deceive on the track.
Last time out on the 12th of February in Navan he was disappointing as he came sixth in an eight-horse-field over a 2-mile 5 furlong trip. In the end he finished behind winner Blazing Khal by 13.5 lengths.
The race prior he came off slightly better with a third place finish in a fifteen-horse-field at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day over the 3-mile 6-furlong trip, being beaten to the finish line by 4.75 lengths.
The Elliot trained gelding’s most recent victory came on the 20th of November in Punchestown, winning a seventeen-horse-field over a 3-mile 1 furlong trip by a short-head. Delta Work is EVS to return to form and defend his Cross Country Chase crown.
Galvin – Cross Country Chase Second Favourite 2/1
Another Gordan Elliot trained contender, this time owned by R.A. Barrett. The nine-year-old gelding is another horse who comes into this event not in the best form.
In his second most recent performance this horse came fourth in a five-horse race on the 5th of November 2022 over 3-miles. He was beaten on that day by 15.5 lengths by winner Envoi Allen.
Most recently the horse ran over the 3-mile trip in Leopardstown where he came sixth out of seven horses. The gap between Galvin and the winner Conflated in that race was a whopping 49 lengths.
The nine-year-old’s last line of winning form was over 3-miles in Punchestown on the 12th of October when he topped a five-horse-field by 5.5 lengths.
Galvin is 2/1 to return to form again and win this event.
Franco De Port – 7/1
The W-P Mullins trained eight-year-old gelding has not been the most prolific on the racetrack in terms of recording victories in his career to date.
In fact, the horse is without a win in his last fifteen races with his last victory coming over two-years-ago on the 26th of December 2020 at Leopardstown. On that occasion came out on top over a 2-mile 1 furlong trip by 4.5 lengths.
It would take an impressive training and rider performance to return this horse to winning ways but if anyone can do it it’s the WP Mullins team. Franco De Port is currently a 7/1 chance for the Cross Country Chase at this year’s festival.
Back On The Lash – 14/1
The nine-year-old, Martin Keighley trained gelding is owned by a syndicate that includes former Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp.
He is now a regular of the Cross Country circuit in Cheltenham. Last time out at Prestbury Park this horse won on the 28th of January over the same cross-country trip at Cheltenham Festival Trials Day, winning against a fifteen-horse-field by 0.75 lengths. This was his return to the track after a 56 day lay-off.
That January victory was this gelding’s first victory since he won on the 12th of November 2021 over the same circuit in Cheltenham again, that time by a neck.
He is an experienced campaigner around Cheltenham with plenty of success at this place. So Back On The Lash could prove value at 14/1 for the Cross Country Chase.
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*Prices subject to fluctuation