RSA Chase Tips : Grands Crus & Bobs Worth ones to beat at Cheltenham Festival

The RSA Chase has a rich tradition of taking no prisoners as Grands Crus & Bobs Worth are the ones to beat at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

It may be run on Ladies Day but in order to land the race you need to show guts rather than glamour.

The three-mile slog is ran over the same course and distance of the Gold Cup and is seen by many as a potential trial for novices that have the ability to maybe win a Gold Cup in the future.

Seven winners have gone on to win the Gold Cup, namely Mandarin (RSA 1957, 1962 Gold Cup), the outstanding Arkle (1963, Gold Cup 1964-66), Ten Up (1974, Gold Cup 1975), Master Smudge (1979, Gold Cup 1980 on a disqualification), Garrison Savannah (1990, Gold Cup 1991), Looks Like Trouble (1999, Gold Cup 2000) and Denman (2007, Gold Cup 2008).

Pat Taaffe holds the record for the most about of wins by a jockey in the race (5) aboard Coneyburrow (1953), Solfen (1960), Grallagh Cnoc (1961), Arkle (1963), Proud Tarquin (1970) – he is most remembered though for his relationship with Arkle, whose win the RSA Chase was the first of a incredible legacy that he left on Prestbury Park.

He followed up that win in the novice event but winning three straight Cheltenham Gold Cups and a whole host of other big races, including two Hennessy Gold Cups and an Irish Grand National.

There haven’t been many since like Arkle and last year’s renewal was perhaps the furthest away, in terms of ability, a winner of the RSA Chase has been from the former superstar. The winner Bostons Angle was trainer Jessica Harrington eighth at the Festival.

Time For Rupert was the talking horse before the race and went off a very warm favourite but could never live with the pace of the three-mile slog and jumped appallingly.

The form of that race has been swerved by many punters this season, with the first four past the past, who all finished within a length of each other, going onto really disappoint this season and are no-where near the standard required for a Gold Cup campaign.

RSA Chase Tips

Grand Crus looks to have the edge over Bobs Worth at this year’s RSA Chase at Cheltenham and looks difficult to oppose this time around

There is no tougher place in the National Hunt calendar for a novice than the three-mile slog around Cheltenham.

It takes a gutsy, yet supremely talented horse to prevail in the RSA Chase – which is seen as the Gold Cup for the novices.

A horse that fits the bill perfectly in terms of a potential winner is the David Pipe-trained Grands Crus.

Such is the ability of the horse Pipe has even earmarked the Gold Cup as a possible option for the horse, although the word coming out of the stables is that the RSA Chase will probably be the route he takes. If he lines up, then you can guarantee he will go off a very warm favourite.

What he has shown thus far in his chasing career has been outstanding. His victory in the Grade 1 Feltham Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas was nearly six seconds quicker than what Kauto Star managed in the King George run over the same course and distance. If he continues to run at that level then surely it will be only a matter of time before he wins a Gold Cup.

What may concern Pipe however, is that this race has the ability to take a lot out of a novice chaser, especially one with only three runs over fences to his name. Grands Crus is very much a long term project and Pipe will be well aware the possible damage a gruelling RSA Chase can do to a horse. If the rain comes down and makes it too much of a test, Pipe would probably pull the horse out.

Last year’s race won by Irish raider Boston’s Angel was certainly a slog of a race and Ireland’s best chance this year looks to be with the improving Last Instalment.

The Gigginstown Stud owned horse maintained his unbeaten record over fences in the Dr P J Moriarty Novice Chase in February and looks the perfectly built novice chaser to take on the testing surroundings at Prestbury Park.

Paul Nicholls won this race with Denman in 2007 and he looks to be lining up the classy Join Together for a similar raid on the event.

He has won twice at Cheltenham over the distance already this season and Nicholls has had this race in mind for the novice since the start of the year.

 

Over 10 years in football analysis and online publishing with articles featured in a number of different publications.

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