Cross Country Chase Tips: Stattler to cause an upset

 | March 12 | 

5 mins read

Cross Country Tips

One of the Festival's most treasured races and something more than a little bit different, the Cross Country Chase is a 3m6f examination that winds and weaves around Prestbury Park, jumping a variety of obstacles that include whiskey barrels, banks and stuffed hedges.

In recent times, it has become the domain of high-class chasers in the twilight of their careers, and that is once more the case with 2021 Gold Cup hero Minella Indo right in the mix.

We’ve looked at the Cross Country Chase odds before Wednesday's race (16:10), where Betfred are paying FOUR places instead of three, there will be a price boost for the race on Wednesday at 11:00. Check the Betfred Cheltenham promotions page for details.

DISCLAIMER: Due to rainfall overnight, there will be an inspection on the course at 08:00 Wednesday morning.

Cross Country Chase Tips - Wednesday, March 13

Bodhisattva (John McConnell/Ben Harvey) 125/1

Won a Perth novice (3m, good) last May for Gordon Elliott, but yet to achieve much since joining this handler, with his limitations exposed. One of the lowest-rated in this field and all to do on paper.

Coko Beach (Gordon Elliott/Sam Ewing) 7/2

First of three in this for Elliott, who has a terrific record in this and has seen his charges fight out the last two finishes. Troytown winner at his best in November 2023 and warmed up with Punchestown Banks win last month. Much-respected.

Delta Work (Gordon Elliott/Jack Kennedy) 5/2

Has won the previous two instalments of this race, including fending off stablemate Galvin 12 months ago. Once more has been trained with this contest in mind and, despite now being 11, a leading contender for the hat-trick.

Didero Vallis (Venetia Williams/Charlie Deutsch) 100/1

Just a 3-35 record over fences in his career and was beaten some 20-lengths over C&D in December when it was a handicap. Hard to fathom how that gets turned around off level weights now.

Diesel D'allier (Richard Bandey/Brendan Powell) 66/1

Has twice run with credit over C&D this season in handicaps, latterly when sixth in first-time cheekpieces in December behind some of these. Having his fourth attempt at this race and, while he was fourth behind Delta Work in 2022, he's also twice been pulled up.

Fameaftertheglory (Gavin Cromwell/Sean Flanagan) 40/1

Ran a cracker in third over C&D in December as Latenightpass won, outpaced before staying on late in the day. He was just ahead of Minella Indo that day, but is now almost two stone worse off with that rival.

Foxy Jacks (Mouse Morris/Gavin Brouder) 12/1

Game winner for this trainer/jockey combo over track and trip in November, seeing off subsequent C&D winner Latenightpass, but a note of caution in that previously his efforts on the Cross Country course resulted in a fall and an unseat. Likely playing for places at best.

Francky Du Berlais (Peter Bowen/James Bowen) 50/1

Has contended in handicaps here this season to good effect, but 100/1 and well beaten when he refused to jump the last in this contest 12 months ago.

Galvin (Gordon Elliott/Keith Donoghue) 11/2

Beaten up the run-in by a determined Delta Work last year after moving into things menacingly. He ran well in two visits earlier in the season and Keith Donoghue, seeking a record fifth win in this race, is on board now.

Minella Indo (Henry de Bromhead/Rachael Blackmore) 2/1

Dual Festival winner including the Gold Cup itself in 2021. Not quite at that level anymore, but showed an aptitude for this over C&D in December when fourth, lumping weight to the three ahead of him. Could be a different story now and connections seemingly very sweet on his hopes.

Stattler (Willie Mullins/Patrick Mullins) 16/1

No match for Coko Beach at Punchestown last time out, but should have gleaned plenty from that initial Cross Country outing. Won the National Hunt Cup at this Festival in 2022, but outclassed in last year's Gold Cup. His proven stamina is not to be snuffed at now.

Streets Of Doyen (John McConnell/Alex Harvey) 100/1

Won over 3m here as a novice hurdler in 2020 and scored last summer at Kilbeggan off a mark of 129 for Thomas Gibney. Back with his former trainer now but perhaps on the decline and hard to see him as dangerous in first-time visor.

Verdict

Stattler 16/1 & Galvin 11/2

Former Gold Cup winner Minella Indo ran a stormer over C&D in December under a hefty weight and has things very much in his favour now off levels against the trio that finished ahead of him that day - Latenightpass, Francky Du Berlais and Fameaftertheglory.

He was ahead of GALVIN (fifth), but that rival has already run a cracking second in this contest 12 months ago and, in Keith Donoghue, has a rider bidding for a record fifth Cross Country win. At the price Galvin is value now.

Galvin to win 16.10 Cheltenham at 11-2

The Elliott team is strong, with hat-trick seeking Delta Work and Coko Beach in the mix in the Gigginstown colours.

STATTLER might be the one to upset them all. Like Galvin, and three-time winner Tiger Roll, he's a winner of the stamina-sapping National Hunt Cup here and he acquitted himself quite well on Cross Country bow at Punchestown, though no match for Coko Beach.

Patrick Mullins knows him well and, if they can negotiate the obstacles, the turbo could kick in when others are wilting in what could be a famous one-two for owner Ronnie Bartlett.

Stattler to win 16.10 Cheltenham at 16-1

cheltenham extra place 4 instead of 3

Find more Cheltenham Tips here at Betfred Insights

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