For a true racing spectacle look no further than the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, a three-mile six-furlong helter-skelter contest featuring banks, hedges, water jumps, hurdles and fences.
Run over a trip slightly further than three miles and six furlongs and with thirty-two various obstacles to be negotiated, the Cross Country Chase is a truly unique race and one that many people have taken to their hearts.
This is very much a specialists race with old favourites turning up in this year after year. A New Story for example ran in the race on six consecutive occasions.
The amazing Tiger Roll has won this contest three times in addition to his two Grand National triumphs.
|When:||Wednesday 16th March, 3:40pm|
|Race Type||Cross Country Chase|
|Course||Cross Country Course|
|Where to watch?||ITV, Racing UK, Bookmaker Streams|
What Happened in 2021?
The amazing Tiger Roll won it again in 2021 to record his 5th win at the Festival.
At the midway point, the two-time Grand National champ (9/2) took the lead and went on to beat the odds-on favourite Easysland (evens) by 15 lengths. Third place went to Some Neck (17/2).
Easysland and Tiger Roll have been the outstanding horses in recent years, and if Easysland can get back to his best, then he’ll set a high standard for others to aim at.
If Ajas was to make his way over then he’d have a class edge but there may be loftier targets in mind and better each-way targets could be Shady Operator and Diesel D’Allier, both of whom have solid banks form.
The leading contenders, according to the latest Champion Chase odds, are:
Easysland – 6/1 with Paddy Power*
Trainer – David Cottin | Jockey – Jockey Jonathan Plouganou | Age 7
A stunning winner of this two years ago, when obliterating Tiger Roll in a stunning display of cross-country prowess. Looked as if he could become a fixture of this event but didn’t have any answer when Tiger Roll poured it on last year in another moment of Festival magic. Hasn’t been seen since, but if making it to Cheltenham in top form will be a very strong contender.
Tiger Roll – 7/1 with William Hill*
Trainer – Gordon Elliott | Jockey – Tbc | Age 11
Tiger Roll made yet another magical memory when taking back his crown from Easysland in style last season. He didn’t cut much ice in the Bowl at Aintree when he should have gone for the National, and was then pulled up in the Many Clouds Chase on his return. Will be 12 years-old in March, but if he’s at his best, then he’s a player.
Cross Country Chase – Key Race Stats
Experience is a big help in this race – Easysland was the outlier when winning as a six-year-old, and even then he had previously won over the Cheltenham banks – and the second youngest winner was eight.
- 10 of the last 11 winners have been aged eight or over
- 9 of the last 11 winners came from the top three in the betting
This is yet another race that the Irish have dominated, with Gordon Elliott’s Tiger Roll taking three of the last four renewals. In 2020 it was Easysland (trained by David Cottin) turned over Tiger Roll in style, and Elliott had the third with Out Sam whilst France’s Emmanuel Clayeux had the fourth and fifth.
The December version of this event has thrown up three winners in the last ten years (Tiger Roll, Josies Orders & Balthazar King) and the November edition has also thrown up three winners in the last decade (Tiger Roll, Cause Of Causes and Balthazar King).
Cross Country Betting: Not a good race for favourite backers – just two in the last ten years – but fancied horses do well, with five second favourites and three third favourites winning in that time.
Previous Winners of the Cross Country Chase
2021 – Tiger Roll
2020 – Easysland
2019 – Tiger Roll
2018 – Tiger Roll
2017 – Cause Of Causes
2016 – Josie’s Orders
2015 – Rivage d’Or
2014 – Balthazar King
2013 – Big Shu
2012 – Balthazar King
* Betting odds quoted correct at the time of writing