Josies The Order Of The Day In Cross Country Chase
Wednesday’s Cross Country Chase over a marathon 3m6f (4.10pm) is always a fantastic spectacle, but it could prove even more fantastic for punters who find the winner.
Bolger’s Big Shots
Historically, the Irish have done very well in this event, winning nine of the 11 renewals, which bodes well for Enda Bolger’s, Josies Orders (5/2).
Bolger won this race four times up until 2009, and could be on the scoresheet once more with an 8yo who has already landed two Cross Country chases over the C&D at Cheltenham this season. The first of those wins in November was when beating Any Currency (8/1) over 1l, before an even more convincing victory in beating Sire Collonges (8/1) by 2l in December.
Although beaten at Navan in February, it’s likely that outing was needed after a break (went unbacked at 10/1), but he’ll be spot-on for this main assignment.
Bolger is also responsible for the second favourite in Quantitativeeasing (5/1), who was running a big race in this 12 months ago before being carried out. Previously a runner-up over the same C&D earlier that season, he showed his wellbeing with victory at Punchestown in November, before being given a spin last month (went unbacked at 14/1).
Both Josies Orders and Quantitativeeasing are sure to be cherry-ripe come the festival, where they look sure to run big races, while Bolger also has the 12/1 shot, Cantlow, who will need to step up on this season’s form.
Balthazar Back For More
The only Brit to have disrupted the Irish domination of this race is Philip Hobbs, who twice sent out the popular, Balthazar King (6/1) to victory in 2012 and 2014. He may have fallen when last seen in the Grand National, but he’ll be as fresh as paint for this race, which may well bring out the best in him once more.
One who has a bit more to prove at this venue is Ted Walsh’s 8yo, Foxrock (7/1), having been well beaten on his two previous visits to the festival. If he does produce his Irish form, then he could go well as a previous Grade 2 winner, but better each-way value may come in the shape of Ballyboker Bridge (12/1).
A Bridge Too Far For Ballyboker?
This 9yo arrives here having won a 3m chase at Punchestown in late-January (soft), having previously finished 11l behind Josies Orders over this C&D in December. While he has a bit to find on that form off 6l worse terms, he stays well and is trained by Peter Maher, who won this race three years ago.
Of the remainder, then Warren Greatrex’s, Dolatulo (16/1), could go well if having one of his better days. Beaten only 3l when third in the Becher Chase at Aintree two outings ago, he is a previous Grade 3 handicap winner who will have been trained for this.
This race could revolve around Enda Bolger’s front two in the market…
where preference is for Josies Orders, who is 2-2 over this C&D and will be hard to beat if turning up in the same form.
*Prices correct at time of publication.