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2022 Cross Country Chase Tips - Can Tiger Roll sign off with a record win?

02 Mar 2022
jon-vine
Jon Vine 02 Mar 2022
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  • Ante-post tips and odds for the 2022 Cross Country
  • This popular race takes place on day two of the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday 16th March 2022
  • Tiger Roll is the favourite in what could be his final race
  • We're backing Diesel D'Allier each-way at 14/1
Expired
tiger roll
Tiger Roll ridden by Keith Donoghue is seen jumping a fence during the Glenfarclas Chase race on Day Two of the Cheltenham Festival. (Getty)

The most unusual race staged during the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country Chase. This Grade Two was first run at Cheltenham in 2005 and it’s a race that the purists always look forward to. A variety of weird and wonderful obstacles will need to be scaled, as the fields gallops over three-and-three-quarter miles of the hallowed Cheltenham turf.

In my latest preview for the Cheltenham Festival, I’ve taken a look through the betting for this year’s Cross Country Chase and picked out my best bets.

2022 Cross Country Chase Odds


Name
Odds
Tiger Roll7/4
Delta Work5/1
Prengarde6/1
Easysland8/1
Brahma Bull9/1
Bar10/1

2022 Cross Country Chase Tips

The red carpet will be rolled out, once again, for Tiger Roll, as Gordon Elliott’s legend makes what could be the final appearance of his glittering career. The two-time Grand National winner won his third Cross Country 12 months ago and will bow out after trying to match Quevega’s record of six Cheltenham Festival victories.

Second in the market is former Pertemps Final winner and multiple Grade One winning chaser, Delta Work. Punters have piled onto Gordon Elliott’s runner since he was surprisingly entered up in the Cross Country. While he’s clearly the classiest horse in the race, I’d be amazed if he won. Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown will be desperate to see Tiger Roll make history and sign off with a victory. They’re not going to go and beat him with one of their own horses.

JP McManus, on the other hand, will be eager to try and spoil Tiger Roll’s retirement party and he has several runners sitting near the top of the market. Easysland thrashed Tiger Roll when the ground was very soft two years ago, but his form has been dismal since. Enda Bolger could run another former French recruit, Prengarde who, like Easysland, goes into Cheltenham on the back of a woeful run over hurdles.

Midnight Maestro got the better of stablemate Shady Operator when they met at Punchestown last month. Shady Operator bypassed Cheltenham to run in the Ulster National last season and Punchestown could be his main target. Midnight Maestro struggled in a handicap around Cheltenham’s Cross Country course earlier this term. While he’s sure to improve for that experience, I can’t see the ground coming up soft enough for him to be at his best.

I’ve put up Brahma Bull as an outside selection for the Aintree Grand National and I wouldn’t be shocked to see Willie Mullins’ classy chaser run well. Previous experience around this unique track is always valuable, however, so I’d rather back one with course experience.

Plan Of Attack hit the frame in handicap company twice during the autumn. Henry De Bromhead’s charge really should have won at least one of those races, given he was so well handicapped, and I can’t bring myself to back him again off level weights.

Back On The Lash scored in the handicap here in November, but was well-beaten at the International Meeting with just three pounds more on his back. Then you’ve got the likes of Tout Est Permis and Lord Du Mesnil, both high-quality stayers, but neither has ever run in a Cross Country Chase and both are merely limbering up for a tilt at the Grand National.

2022 Cross Country Chase Tips

Every man, woman and child packed inside Prestbury Park on Ladies’ Day will be willing Tiger Roll over the line. Gordon Elliott’s star travels to Cheltenham with two letters next to his name, but “The Tiger” always saves his best for the Festival and it would be wonderful if he could end his career on a high.

From a betting standpoint, I don’t think Tiger Roll offers much in the way of value at 7/4. The problem is, I’m struggling to make a strong case for any of the runners stacked up behind him. Ordinarily, I wouldn’t back a handicapper in the Cross Country, but I really do think this is an opportunity for course specialist DIESEL D’ALLIER to challenge for the biggest prize of his career.

Richard Bandey’s nine-year-old comes into this on the back of two career-best outings over course-and-distance. Diesel D’Allier was beaten less than two lengths behind Back On The Lash in November, before holding on valiantly to beat Potters Corner at the International Meeting.

Diesel D’Allier managed to finish fourth, although beaten almost 40 lengths, as Easysland claimed a stunning victory in 2020. His former trainer, Emmanuel Clayeux decided to remain in France last spring, but I’m sure Bandey will be keen to take his chance on day two of the Cheltenham Festival, given how well Diesel D’Allier acts around this meandering track.
GB

Verdict

I’ll be cheering Tiger Roll home, along with practically every viewer watching this year’s Cross Country. I do, however, think Diesel D’Allier is overpriced in what looks an open renewal, so I’ll take an each way punt on Richard Bandey’s in-form challenger at 14/1.

2022 Cross Country Chase Value Bet: Diesel D'Allier Each-Way @14/1 at Hollywood bets - 8 Units
Diesel D'Allier
Each-Way
@14/1 - 8 Units
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16 Mar 2022

2022 Cross Country Chase