Cross Country Steeplechase Tips 2021 – Preview, Trends and Odds (4.10pm Cheltenham Festival Day 2)

The Cross Country Chase is an extremely unique race with a variety of obstacles for the horses to take on.

It is run over about three miles and six furlongs and there are 32 obstacles to be jumped, it is often taken on by horses who have ambitions to run in the Grand National.

The race was first run at the Cheltenham festival in 2005 when the Enda Bolger-trained Spot Thedifference won with JT McNamara on board.

Easysland was the villain last year as the impressive French raider beat Tiger Roll by 17 lengths.

 

Cross Country Odds

HorseOddsBookies
Easysland5/2bet365
Tiger Roll7/1bet365
Potters Corner8/1William Hill
Amazing Comedy16/1bet365
Champagne Classic16/1William Hill
Uniketat20/1William Hill
Etat Despry25/1bet365
Le Breuil25/1bet365
Some NeckBusselton25/1bet365

 

Cross Country Preview

  • Easysland
  • Tiger Roll
  • Potters Corner
  • Kingswell Theatre
  • Some Neck
  • Amazing Comedy

 

Easysland

Easysland rose to prominence in 2019. After falling twice in a row and then running out in races at Le Pin au Haras and Pau, he won seven consecutive races including the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in December of that year.

Although the David Cottin-trained seven-year-old was nine lengths behind Kingswell Theatre on the last time out at Cheltenham, the horse’s record at the track is very good.

Easysland’s mistakes when last seen in November could be a result of such a testing race over three miles and six furlongs after a 247-day break, last season the horse had a similar break of 259 days but his course reappearance in October 2019 was a mile shorter.

The horse can be forgiven in this way and is still the one to beat at the festival, but Cottin will hope the ground is as soft as possible.

 

Tiger Roll

Tiger Roll was never comfortable when pulling up in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November.

Elliott said afterward that the horse’s best days may be behind him, but Tiger Roll is an incredible horse with determination and loads of ability.

With four festival victories on his CV and his exploits at Aintree, winning the Grand National both on heavy and good-to-soft ground, you can never write off Tiger Roll when returning to Cheltenham.

It is a case of if the 11-year-old can reproduce his past glories at this age, while up against impressive youthful horses such as Easysland.

 

Potters Corner

Potter’s Corner is expected to use the Cross Country Chase at the festival as his preparation run for the Grand National in April.

This may not take away from his chances, Christian Williams’ 11-year-old has won the Welsh and Midlands Grand National’s and will stay all day in testing conditions.

The horse has only run twice since his great win at Chepstow in December 2019, Williams was pleased with his most recent run at Warwick in January, a track with a sharpness that wouldn’t have suited the horse.

Potter’s Corner came third in the same race we saw Tiger Roll pull up in November, he stayed on bravely and another good run on the Cross Country course at Cheltenham in March could be on the cards.

 

Kingswell Theatre

Kingswell Theatre was the star of the show on this day at Cheltenham, making all in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at 22/1.

Trained by Michael Scudamore, this is an incredibly difficult horse to predict, this was the horse’s first win since November 2017.

Nonetheless, it was a strong, gutsy performance under jockey Tom Scudamore and it shows the engine and ability of yet another veteran in this division at 12 years old.

Kingswell Theatre’s inconsistency was epitomised when finishing 52 lengths behind Some Neck in December over the same course and distance, this was the horse’s last track appearance.

 

Some Neck

Some Neck remarkably chased down Defi Des Carres in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in December, despite some untidy leaps during the race.

His victory came after a respectable third of a 17-strong field in a three-mile chase at Punchestown in November, the 10-year-old may have discovered some long-awaited consistency.

Trained by John McConnell, Some Neck earned an RPR of 150 for his win at Cheltenham, a rating clear of the rating Kingswell Theatre was given for his win at the same track.

This was the horse’s first win since November 2018, but McConnell believes that the horse suits the Cheltenham hill and has earnt its right to return in March.

 

Amazing Comedy

Amazing Comedy could be another French raider from the Cottin yard to win the Cross Country Chase.

The 11-year-old has experience at the track, he ran in second behind Easysland in December 2019 but was well behind Tiger Roll in the Cross Country at the festival of the same year.

If the festival is Amazing Comedy’s next course appearance, this would mean a break of nine months which could call for fitness issues.

The horse’s recent form has been superb with three wins in his last five runs, including a victory in the Prix Anjou-Loire Challenge over four miles and three furlongs at Le Lion-D’Angers in May 2019.

 

Cheltenham Festival Cross Country Betting Tips

This unique division is full of inconsistency and unpredictable horses, the multitude of obstacles in the race makes it very hard to perform well in every fixture.

I fear Tiger Roll could be a prediction of the heart and not the head, and Potter’s Corner and Williams could be using the festival to iron out mistakes to prepare for Aintree in April.

At 20/1, Some Neck could be the choice. He has proven himself at Cheltenham and will stay in any ground. The horse kept finding more up the hill for jockey Ben Harvey in their win at the track and this could be key form when returning there in March.

EACH-WAY BET: Some Neck – 25/1 with William Hill.

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Cross Country Chase Trends

  • Age – 11 of the last 12 winners have been aged 8 or older.
  • Price – 2 of the last 12 favorites/joint favorites have won, 9/12 winners were in the top 3 in the betting.
  • Last Run – 4/12 winners won on their last run before the Glenfarcas Cross Country Chase, 7/12 winners ran within the last 46 days.
  • 4/12 winners ran in the Cross Country Handicap Chase (Cheltenham) on their last run, 1 of the 4 won. 0 placed.
  • Previous Course Form – 11/12 winners had at least 1 previous run at Cheltenham, 8/12 winners had at least 1 previous win at Cheltenham.
  • Previous Distance Form – 11/12 winners had at least 1 run over 30 furlongs, 5/12 winners had at least 1 win over 30 furlongs.
  • Previous Hurdle Form – 10/12 winners had at least 8 runs over hurdles, 11/12 winners had at least 1 win over hurdles.
  • Previous Chase Form – 10/12 winners had at least 13 previous chase runs, 10/12 winners had at least 2 previous chase wins.
  • Rating – 10/12 winners had a rating of 136 or higher.
  • Season Form – 9/12 winners had at least 3 runs that season, 7/12 winners had at least 1 win that season.

 

Cross Country Chase Recent Winners

Date Horse Jockey Trainer
2009 Garde Champetre N Carberry E Bolger
2010 A New Story A P Heskin Michael Hourigan
2011 Sizing Australia A E Lynch Henry De Bromhead
2012 Balthazar King Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2013 Big Shu B M Cash Peter Maher
2014 Balthazar King Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2015 Rivage D’Or Davy Russell A J Martin
2016 Josies Orders Nina Carberry E Bolger
2017 Cause Of Causes J J Codd Gordon Elliott
2018 Tiger Roll Keith Donoghue Gordon Elliott
2019 Tiger Roll Keith Donoghue Gordon Elliott
2020 Easysland Jonathan Plouganou D Cottin

 

Cross Country Result 2020

1st – Easysland (3/1)

2nd – Tiger Roll (8/11)

3rd – Out Sam (33/1)

4th – Diesek D’Allier (33/1)

 

Cheltenham Day 2 Tips

TimeRaceCurrent Odds
1.20pmBallymore Novices' Hurdle5/1
1.55pmFestival Novices (RSA) Chase10/1
2.30pmCoral Cup16/1
3.05pmChampion Chase8/1
3.40pmCross Country25/1
4.15pmGrand Annual25/1
4.50pmChampion Bumper10/1