2021 Cotswold Chase Tips - 9/2 chance can take down market leaders
- We take a look through the field set to run in the 2021 Cotswold Chase
- This Grade Two headlines Trials' Day at Cheltenham on Saturday 30th January
- Santini and Bristol De Mai finished first and second here last year
- Former Gold Cup winner Native River will also run
- Saint Calvados is our selection at 9/2
Santini (right) and Bristol De Mai jumping the last in the 2020 Cotswold Chase. (Getty)
The main event on Trials' Day at Cheltenham is the Cotswold Chase, a Grade Two run over a grueling trip of 3m1f. This race is used as a key trial for the Cheltenham Gold Cup, with greats like Little Owl, Master Oats and Looks Like Trouble completing the Cotswold Chase, Gold Cup double during their illustrious career.
A talented field will approach the starter's flag ahead of the 2021 renewal. We've taken a look at the odds and picked out our best bet!
2021 Cotswold Chase Odds
|Bristol De Mai||2/1|
|Lake View Lad||8/1|
*Odds taken from Paddy Power on 27/1/21*
2021 Cotswold Chase Tips
Last year, Santini got the better of Bristol De Mai when they met here in the Cotswold Chase. The market leaders jumped off in front and never saw another rival.
Bristol De Mai didn't jump particularly fluently, and Daryl Jacob was almost unshipped when his mount pecked-on landing the third-last. Despite some poor leaps, and the fact he gave Santini two-pounds, it wasn't until the final 100 yards that Santini shook Bristol De Mai off and won by three lengths.
The time they set that day was 18 seconds slower than what Many Clouds managed on similar ground in 2017. It was even five seconds slower than Definitly Red's winning time from 2018, and that came on heavy ground, compared to just soft during Santini's victory.
I've never been a big fan of Santini, and I think he's vulnerable to an improver. I'd never dream of writing Bristol De Mai off, especially on heavy ground, but I don't think he jumps well enough around Cheltenham to be dependable.
Two 11-year-olds feature prominently in the betting. Neither Native River nor Lake View Lad can be completely overlooked, but I'd be disappointed if one of the younger horses wasn't good enough to win.
I quite fancy The Conditional for a repeat bid in the Ultima, so I'm hoping he's comfortably beaten on Saturday. Yala Enki, the third 11-year-old in the mix, probably won't be turned out so quickly after that win at Taunton last weekend, and I don't give too much of a chance to Mister Malarky, Yorkhill or Lord Du Mesnil.
I'm going to place my faith in the young, unexposed horse over this distance, and that's SAINT CALVADOS.
Harry Whittington's charge simply loves Cheltenham. All of his appearances last season came around this track, winning a handicap over two miles, before going down narrowly in the Ryanair Chase. Gavin Sheehan held his mount up confidently on the inside rail that day, and looked to be in with a big chance jumping the last, but Min proved too classy to pass on the run to the line.
Saint Calvados was pitched straight into the King George on his return to action this term. Despite pulling his way into second at the half-way stage and jumping left on more than one occasion, Sheehan took aim at Frodon jumping the last, only to run out of steam in the closing stages and eventually finish fourth.
It would be a big ask for a horse, who's only run over three miles once, to beat a handful of proven stayers over this trip on heavy ground. That being said, Whittington's stable star has course and ground form on his side. He's bound to come on from that reappearance run at Kempton, and Saint Calvados will carry six pounds less than his main market rivals.