Cross Country Chase Tips – Day 2 – Cheltenham 2015
Cross Country Chase
Despite the numbers, the fact remains punters have a decent chance of finding the winner of this competitive handicap based on recent history, with eight of the last 10 winners having returned 8/1 or shorter.
Punters Counting On Currency
It’s a fact that adds substance to those at the head of this year’s betting, including the 12yo, Any Currency, who heads the market at 5/1.
Martin Keighley’s evergreen performer returns for his fourth crack at the Cheltenham Festival, having gone close with a short head second in this race 12 months ago. However, he did finally win here when returning in December to land a similar Cross Country over C&D, beating Quantitativeeasing (8/1) by a whopping 12l.
The problem facing Any Currency is the margin of that victory has seen his handicap mark go up 9lb, meaning he’ll have to improve to defy the weight. As a 12yo, that seems unlikely, but his liking for this C&D should see him thereabouts once more, and he did win last time out, which has been a good sign down the years…
Of the last 10 Cross Country Chase winners…
10 were 8-12yo’s – others were 0-23
8 winners were Irish-bred
8 returned 8/1 or shorter – others were 2-126
8 made the top four last time out – others were 2-85
7 arrived via Punchestown (4) or Cheltenham (3)
E Bolger won it four times
Lucca To Get Closer?
Also amongst the leading protagonists is Philip Hobbs’ 10yo, Duke Of Lucca, who was beaten 8l into fourth in this race 12 months ago, before landing a decent handicap at Aintree in April (3m1f, good). The concern is his current form, as he has failed to be placed in four outings since September, but market support pre-race would be a positive.
One who has shown more this season is Paul Nicholls’ Sire Collonges (7/1), who was beaten only 3l into third when last seen in the Cross Country Chase over C&D in November, where Uncle Junior (16/1) was around 2l in front.
The 9yo races almost exclusively at Cheltenham these days, including when eighth in this race last year, and can be relied upon to put in another solid round of jumping.
French To Raid Pot?
One of the most interesting runners is the French 8yo, Toutancarmont (6/1), who is a multiple Cross Country winner in France, including over 3m6f. Having already won twice this winter, he surprisingly fell last month when odds-on, which he won’t be able to afford around here, while the better ground will also be an unknown (won once on good to soft in 2013).
If the market proves correct once more, then Enda Bolger’s, Quantitativeeasing has to be considered at 8/1, especially after finishing a 12l second to Any Currency over C&D in December. Although proven over the conditions, he managed only thirteenth in this last year, is up 5lb for that second last time, and has a losing run that goes back to December 2011 – some 20 races ago.
Of the bigger-priced runners, then Tony Martin’s new recruit from the David Pipe yard, Guess Again, has to be off interest. A dual winner over 3m in the summer, he was last seen running on late in the Summer Plate 235 days ago, and will be of serious interest if the money arrives.
Plenty of these have been there and done it, including Sire Collonges, who beat Any Currency in a similar Cross Country Chase 15 months ago. Now 16lb better with that rival, he showed when third last time that he retains his form and will be staying on when others have had enough.