StevieDay1983 Posted March 2 Share Posted March 2 Formerly known as the RSA Chase, this race is a Grade One National Hunt chase which is open to horses aged five or older. Again run on the Old Course it is run over a distance of just over three miles and there are usually twenty fences to be jumped. Last year saw L'Homme Presse make short work of his rivals to justify favourtism and give the UK a third win in the last four renewals of this race. When looking at stats for this race favourites have won five of the last eleven renewals. The last seven winners of this race have all been prominent in the betting market on the day and there have only been two double figured priced winners of the race in the last ten years (O’Faolain’s Boy at 12 in 2014 and Boston Angel in 2011). Only one six-year-old has won the race in the last decade whereby there have been two eight-year-old winners and seven seven-year-old winners. The UK trainers have a better recent record in this race than their Irish counterparts and have taken five of the last seven renewals. Gentlemansgame Comes into this race having promised so much by winning on his chasing debut at Leopardstown back in December. He won that race by eight lengths, but the form has been let down terribly by the other runners since. It is disappointing that he has not been seen in a graded company since and he has never raced outside of Ireland before. There has to be doubts about whether he has the necessary class or experience to win this. Gerri Colombe Has improved since going chasing and remains undefeated in all starts including his last two in graded races. The most recent of those wins came at Sandown in the Scilly Isles Novices' Chase where he edged out Balco Coastal and Thunder Rock. Gordon Elliott has never won this race but this seven-year-old looks to be the best he has ever attempted it with. Proven at this level and likely to make his presence felt. A massive chance. The Real Whacker Has really taken to chasing for Patrick Neville and is now a two-time course winner including at the trip. The most recent of those wins came in a Grade Two here when beating Monmiral in the Paddy Power Novices' Chase on New Years' Day. There is definetly more improvement in him and his previous experience around this track will stand him in good stead. In a race that the UK have dominated in recent years, he looks a major player. Sir Gerhard Has an unblemished Festival record winning the Champion Bumper in 2021 and then he took the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle last year. He made his chasing debut at Gowran Park just a few weeks ago and it was well worth the wait. Winning by 38 lengths he readily disposed of Largy Debut. He will improve for that outing but he will need to. He did put in the odd error but that was his first time out on that track. He cannot be dismissed at a track that he loves. Thyme Hill Seems to have found a new lease of life this season winning two out of his three starts. The most recent of those came in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day where he got the better of old rival McFabulous. Unfortunately for him the 22 horses that previously attempted to follow up here have all failed and his younger and more progressive rivals may have too much up their sleeves. He is without a win at this track since 2019 also which is off-putting. Gaillard Du Mesnil Has won at this level when beating Churchstonewarrior at Leopardstown just after Christmas. He was then firmly put in his place by Mighty Potter over a slightly shorter trip at the Dublin Racing Festival. He has made the frame in the last two Cheltenham Festivals including in this race where he was third to L'Homme Presse and it would be foolish to completely write off his chances. He does often find at least one too good though and likely to do so again. Ramillies "Won" a race at Naas just a few weeks ago but was demoted to second having deemed to interfere with Thedevilscoachman who would have been an unlucky loser. There is likely more to come from the Willie Mullins trained eight-year-old, but he will need to improve given the presence of stablemates and festival regulars Gaillard Du Mesnil and Sir Gerhard. He has been to the Festival twice before himself but finished down the field on both occasions. If he lines up here, it will most likely be a case of deja vu. Thedevilscoachman Picked up a win at the expense of Ramillies at Naas just a few weeks ago. The Noel Meade runner has won two of his three chases so far this year including when upped into Grade three company last time. He has been tested at the highest level in the past but it was all a little too much for him as he crumpled under pressure in the Drinmore Novices' Chase against Mighty Potter. Needs to prove himself at this track as has never raced outside of Ireland and it may prove a step too far. Summary This looks to be an absolutely fascinating contest with the unbeaten Gerri Colombe locking horns with The Real Whacker and Sir Gerhard. Gerri Colombe, The Real Whacker and Gaillard Du Mesnil have proven themselves in Graded company, but it is hard to escape the previous festival record of Sir Gerhard and the fact that he won so easily last time out. He looks to be coming to the boil just at the right time and no surprise if he were to make it three festival wins on the bounce. Punters Lounge Tip: Sir Gerhard @ 9/2 at >bet365 - Click Here To Bet by Karl Hedley @Tumbleweed King Quote Link to comment Share on other sites More sharing options...
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