Cross Country Chase 2014
The Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase has been a fixture at the Cheltenham festival since 2005 and been recently been moved from the opening day to the second day, its a marmite race because you either love it or think the festival could do without it! I myself am definitely on the side of love, in fact its one of my favourite races at the festival, the variation of fences and surface make it a great race for me.
Cross Country Chase 2014 – Trends
- (9-9) Look at 8yo-12yo but avoid 11yo
- (9-9) Avoid those with headgear fitted
- (9-9) Minimum OR of 126
- (9-9) OR not more than 7lb lower than career high
- (9-9) Must have recorded a win for current yard
- (8-9) Look for previous Graded participants
- (8-9) Last win was over 3m or further
- (7-9) Look at the first 3 in the market
- (7-9) Finished in first 4 LTO
- (7-9) Has run over C&D
Cross Country Chase 2014 – Trend Selection: Balthazar King (11/2)
After applying the trends we were left with Balthazar King and Sire Collonges so I have looked at further factors and given the fact that Irish breed runners have won seven of the nine races means we will side with Balthazar King.
Cross Country Chase 2014 – Blogger Selections
Zipster – Star Neuville
Unlike the majority of people this is actually one of my favourite races featured at the festival, I love seeing some of the old boys slog it out over the cross country course with the variety of fences and inclines! The winners from the last two years head the market this year with Big Shu (2013) 4/1 and Balthazar King (2012) 11/2 and both have very good chances here again this year.
Big Shu made a decent comeback run after ten months off the track when runner up to Love Rory at Punchestown last month and that should set him up with a good chance for another crack at this race whilst Balthazar King comes here on the back of three straight wins including a win over C&D last time out.
Although both hold strong claims I am siding with Star Neuville who comes from a yard who are no stranger to winners in this race having won it four times between 2005 & 2009. This runner actually ran here in the Champion Bumper back in 2011 and then returned to Cheltenham in November of 2009 and although well beaten in both starts that does not put me off his chances this year. His ran at Punchestown two starts ago was a decent attempt over three miles and he was staying on strongly towards the end and that was on heavy ground, better ground here, off a light weight and coming from a yard who are more than capable of producing the winner of this race.
gghofman – Star Neuville (1st), Sir Collonges (2nd)
Always a tricky one to get right and of course it goes without saying that experience of cross country fences is valuable and more prominent horses do well by avoiding much of the trouble. The top two will be popular but I may just look to the feather weight Star Neuville to be good enough here. He should enjoy the quicker ground here and reverse the form with sizing Europe now. Sir Collonges is also worth watching to improve in this form of racing, as was much closer to Balthazar king at second time of asking before winning last time out.
Darylrogerson – Quantitiveasing
Always thought of as a National horse when in training with Nicky Henderson but he wasn’t able to qualify having not met the criteria. Send to Bolger who knows how to train these sorts and he should stay every yard of this. Generally a nice jumping sort and go could well at a price.
Gecko – Sir Collonges
Has taken well to cross country with a fine effort after looking well beaten initially, then following up with a win in Dec when battling back well and staying on nicely to beat Any Currency – jumps really well, stays all day and will like the ground – last 7 runs have been here and with stacks of ability,being fairly young and fresh still, and from a top yard, looks to be a great shout for this at 12/1 or so.