The most unique race at the Cheltenham Festival is the Cross Country Chase
, which proceeds the Champion Chase on day two. A weird and wonderful variety of obstacles will have to be scaled during the grueling three-and-three-quarter mile trip.
Easysland gave Tiger Roll a sound thrashing to hand France their first victory in this race 12 months ago, and he leads the way in the betting once again.
2021 Cross Country Chase Guide
2021 Cross Country Chase Odds
*Odds taken from William Hill on 23/2/21*
2021 Cross Country Chase Tips – Defending Champion
Easysland ran out an excellent winner of this race 12 months ago, shattering the aura around Tiger Roll with a superb 17-length win. David Cottin’s mount was, however, well-beaten in a handicap on his return to Cheltenham back in October, and hasn’t been seen since.
The Grand National seems to be the main aim this season. Easysland had five runs prior to arriving at Cheltenham last year, and there’s a chance he could be a little undercooked.
2021 Cross Country Chase Tips – Domestic Contenders
will take in the Cross Country en-route to the Grand National
. Christian Williams’ charge ran well on his first start around this course back in October, finishing third behind Kingwell Theatre. Jack Tudor sat his mount a little too far off the pace that day, and a more positive run could yield a better result.
Some Neck stayed on gamely up the hill to pip Defi Des Carres to the post in another handicap during the International Meetings. John McConnell’s grey was campaigned at a high level when in the care of Willie Mullins, and he’s been overpriced in the market.
Champagne Classic features in the betting, but he’s never jumped a cross country fences and hasn’t run for over a year. Le Breuil’s form has been largely poor since he won the National Hunt Chase two years ago, and he too is a complete novice when it comes to this unique style of race.
Neverushacon has run poorly on all three of his previous starts around Cheltenham. Out Sam has looked well below his best this term, and I can’t see the likes of Kingswell Theatre, Beau Du Brizais and Defi Des Carres being a factor in a level-weighted contest.
2021 Cross Country Chase Tips – What About Tiger
It seemed for a while like Tiger Roll
might not even make it to the Cheltenham Festival
this year. Gordon Elliott seemed mystified after Robbie Power pulled his mount up after just two fences here in October, but after completing the course in the Boyne Hurdle, it now seems it’s all systems go for the Festival.
While he may have finished last, I thought Tiger Roll ran well in the Boyne Hurdle, he just couldn’t keep up with a field of quality, younger hurdlers as they pushed on down the home straight. Ground conditions will likely come up in Tiger Roll’s favour this year, and we know he usually produces his best come the Festival.
2021 Cross Country Chase Tips – Final Verdict
Having endured a problematic season, I think Easysland is worth taking on. Connections may have one eye on Aintree, and he won’t get the heavy ground he craves this time around.
Potters Corner appeals at an each-way price, as does Some Neck. Yet, I find myself drawn in by the allure of TIGER ROLL, especially after the former two-time champion drifted out to 9/1 in the betting.
Even on the back of an injury hit campaign, on heavy ground he’s never liked, Tiger Roll was good enough to finish second in a stronger renewal of the Cross Country 12 months ago. I’m sure Keith Donoghue’s mount will come on from the outing in the Boyne Hurdle, and ground conditions should be right up his street.