Cross Country Handicap Chase Form

The key form race to review for the best form for the 2014 Cross Country Chase is the Cross Country race at the Cheltenham December meeting. This is one of the only chances during the year that many of the runners will get a chance to race in this fantastic race. There are very few cross country races during the season so any that do take place are well worth keeping a close eye on.

There are certain trainers worth following through the season with Edna Bolger being top of that list, the Irish trainer will always have a good cross country chaser on his books so his runners should be watched very closely.

Cross Country Handicap Racecard/Form 2014

Race OverviewBALTHAZAR KING may well be able to follow up his win in this race in 2012. Though 11lb higher this time, he is a better horse nowadays judging by his autumn form, including when shrugging off an early blunder to win over C&D again in November, and may very well have a touch too much class for the others. Sire Collonges has plenty going for him and may be next best, ahead of the 2011 winner Sizing Australia. [Mel Cullinan]

Odds provided by Paddypower

1Balthazar KingBalthazar King (IRE)
R Johnson
P Hobbs
10 yrs / 166 lbs

CommentBalthazar King

Won this 2012; very dependable; big shout. Won this off 11lb lower mark than today in 2012; has bettered that form more recently, including when shrugging off bad early blunder and seeing it out with typical tenacity in C&D conditions event last time in November and likely to give it a very good shot despite facing a tougher task in this handicap off top weight.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K162 lbsRichard Johnson1/11 1l, Uncle Junior[5/4F]11-8
19/10/13CHL 24Gd Cl2 ChHc,31K160 lbsRichard Johnson1/16 7l, Tour Des Champs[7/2F]11-0
08/09/13Cra 30GS LisCh,29K150 lbsRichard Johnson1/14 2 1/2l+, Quick Baby[15/1]10-10
27/04/13SAN 29Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,85K163 lbsRichard JohnsonPU/19 Quentin Collonges[14/1]10-12
06/04/13Ain 35GS Cl1 G3ChHc,547K152 lbsRichard Johnson15/40 90 3/4l, Auroras Encore[16/1]10-3
2Uncle JuniorUncle Junior (IRE)
Mr P W Mullins
W Mullins
13 yrs / 164 lbs

CommentUncle Junior

C&D winner; 13yo and opposed on recent form. Won conditions event over C&D at the November meeting here in 2011 and 2012 and possibilities on his good second to Balthazar King in this season's renewal too; however, he has been eighth and pulled up in last two runnings of this and, a 13yo now and not at his best on last two starts this winter, has a bit to prove minus the cheekpieces this time.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 28Hy ChHc,17K145 lbsPaul Townend10/18 32 3/4l+, Folsom Blue[14/1]10-1 cp
23/01/14GOW 25Sft ChHc,50K152 lbsD J CaseyPU/18 On His Own[25/1]11-6 cp
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K162 lbsMr P W Mullins2/11 1l, Balthazar King[8/1]11-8
27/04/13PUN 24Hy Ch,6K175 lbsMr P W MullinsPU/15 Sizing Australia[9/2]11-12 cp
25/04/13PUN 33Hy Ch,16K171 lbsMr P W MullinsF/17 Big Shu[7/1]12-3 cp
3Big ShuBig Shu (IRE)
P Carberry
P Maher
9 yrs / 163 lbs

CommentBig Shu

Won this last year; up 11lb; sound return; claims. This discipline has been the making of him, winning this race decisively last year before his win in the La Touche Cup at Punchestown and then second to Love Rory when the run was probably needed back from nine months off; 11lb higher mark than last year means a touch more is needed but we know this brings out the best in him and, trained with this in mind, has to be taken very seriously.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 24Hy Ch,5K168 lbsP Carberry2/16 2 1/4l+, Love Rory[100/30]11-11 t
25/04/13PUN 33Hy Ch,16K171 lbsB M Cash1/17 1 1/4l+, Another Jewel[9/2C]11-7 t
14/03/13CHL 31GS Cl2 ChHc,31K145 lbsB M Cash1/16 4l, Shakervilz[14/1]10-0 t
03/02/13PUN 24Hy Ch,5K165 lbsB M Cash2/15 1l+, Arabella Boy[25/1]12-0 t
04/06/12LIS 24Y HnCh,4K158 lbsMr B O Walsh7/17 9 1/2l, Warne[7/1]11-0 t
4QuantitativeeasingQuantitativeeasing (IRE)
M P Walsh
E Bolger
9 yrs / 162 lbs


Opposable on overall recent record. Has lost his way since taking big 2m5f handicap for Nicky Henderson on the new course here in 2011 but second in the Galway Plate last summer did show that he still had the ability to be a factor if taking to this new discipline; two runs since, latest when third in a point, much less encouraging and stamina very much to prove as well; too many questions.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
18/09/13LIS 24Sft ChHc,78K158 lbsNiall P Madden16/18 65 3/4l+, White Star Line[12/1]10-4
31/07/13GAL 22Sft ChHc,98K151 lbsNiall P Madden2/22 1 1/2l+, Carlingford Lough[33/1]10-7
18/04/13CHL 24GS Cl2 HdHc,10K158 lbsA P McCoyUR/17 Big Easy[16/1]10-13
12/03/13CHL 24Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,51K157 lbsBarry GeraghtyPU/24 Golden Chieftain[25/1]10-2
23/02/13KEM 24Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,57K152 lbsAndrew Tinkler10/13 36 1/2l, Opening Batsman[20/1]10-5
5Love RoryLove Rory (IRE)
A P Heskin
E Bolger
6 yrs / 161 lbs

CommentLove Rory

More needed but an in-form 6yo with more probably to give. Picked up two 3m cross-country events at Punchestown this season, including on his last start last month (from the reappearing Big Shu); this is more competitive and unraced beyond 3m1f but is a 6yo with more probably still to give and yard has rich tradition of success in this race, so has to be respected.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 24Hy Ch,5K165 lbsMs N Carberry1/16 2 1/4l+, Big Shu[2/1F]12-0
01/01/14FAI 25Sft/Hy ChHc,8K160 lbsMartin Ferris3/14 1l+, Thelobstercatcher[7/2F]11-2
29/12/13LEO 21Y/Sft ChHc,7K162 lbsShane ButlerUR/18 Wrong Turn[11/2]11-0
16/11/13PUN 24Y Ch,7K156 lbsA P Heskin1/13 0 1/4l, Sizing Australia[12/1]11-9
18/10/13DPT 23Sft Ch,4K164 lbsA P Heskin3/8 10 1/4l+, Ipsos Du Berlais[12/1]11-12
6Hey Big SpenderHey Big Spender (IRE)
J Tizzard
C Tizzard
11 yrs / 161 lbs

CommentHey Big Spender

Stays well; pulled up last twice; opposed. In-and-out in recent times and though he battled well to win 3m Listed Newcastle contest in November, been pulled up in two marathon handicaps since so risky proposition on cross-country debut; win in 3m5f Classic Chase at Warwick in 2012 shows that he has stamina in abundance.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
11/01/14WAR 29Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,34K162 lbsJoe TizzardPU/15 Shotgun Paddy[16/1]11-7 t
28/12/13CHP 29Hy Cl1 G3ChHc,57K147 lbsJoe TizzardPU/20 Mountainous[20/1]10-0 t
30/11/13NCS 24Gd Cl1 LisChHc,23K158 lbsBrendan Powell1/9 Nk, Vintage Star[5/1]11-1 t
26/10/13Ain 25Gd Cl2 ChHc,14K166 lbsJoe Tizzard4/7 6 3/4l, Jamsie Hall[9/2]11-5 t
12/03/13CHL 24Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,51K158 lbsJoe TizzardPU/24 Golden Chieftain[33/1]10-2 t
7Sire CollongesSire Collonges (FR)
R Mahon
P Nicholls
8 yrs / 161 lbs

CommentSire Collonges

Won C&D h'cap last time; up 6lb but may well improve again. Ran creditably on cross-country debut behind Balthazar King here in November before improving for that experience when taking a handicap in first-time cheekpieces over C&D in December; only an 8yo so may well have more to give, especially after just two starts in this discipline, and very much respected despite up 6lb since last time.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
13/12/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 ChHc,22K164 lbsRyan Mahon1/13 1/2l, Any Currency[7/1]10-12 cp
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K162 lbsRyan Mahon6/11 11 3/4l, Balthazar King[9/1]11-8
19/10/13CHL 24Gd Cl2 ChHc,31K161 lbsMr W Biddick9/16 45 1/2l, Balthazar King[10/1]11-6
17/04/13CHL 25GS Cl2 NvCh,13K162 lbsR Walsh3/4 2 3/4l, Ackertac[15/8F]11-5
14/03/13CHL 20GS Cl1 NvG2Ch,57K158 lbsDaryl Jacob9/13 33 1/2l, Benefficient[20/1]11-4
8Sizing AustraliaSizing Australia (IRE)
A E Lynch
H De Bromhead
12 yrs / 153 lbs

CommentSizing Australia

0145 in last 4 runnings; running OK; e/w shout. Form figures of 0145 in last four runnings of this, last year's fair fifth coming after an early mistake didn't help; still in good form in the autumn and ran satisfactory race back from midwinter break over hurdles last time so even at the age of 12, has definite each-way claims.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
16/02/14NAV 16Hy HdHc,7K161 lbsBrian Hayes5/14 11 3/4l+, Court Jester[8/1]10-8 cp
07/12/13Ain 26Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,84K148 lbsA E LynchUR/22 Chance Du Roy[22/1]10-6 cp
16/11/13PUN 24Y Ch,7K163 lbsA E Lynch2/13 0 1/4l, Love Rory[2/1F]11-2 cp
27/10/13WEX 16Sft HdHc,7K153 lbsKevin Sexton1/9 2 3/4l+, Mojito Royale[6/1]11-5 cp
27/04/13PUN 24Hy Ch,6K166 lbsA E Lynch1/15 Dd-ht+, Zest For Life[12/1]11-5 cp
9BishopsfurzeBishopsfurze (IRE)
D J Casey
W Mullins
9 yrs / 152 lbs


Jumping, stamina and current form issues; top yard. Interesting on his old chase form but recent efforts been uninspiring, last time returned to fences and falling on cross-country debut at Punchestown; stamina very much to prove at beyond 2m6f; couldn't completely rule out for his top yard but plenty to prove on the face of it.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 24Hy Ch,5K165 lbsMr P W MullinsF/16 Love Rory[7/2]11-11
23/01/14GOW 24Sft G2Hd,22K157 lbsPaul Townend4/8 28l+, Mala Beach[20/1]11-8
11/01/14PUN 20Sft/Hy Hd,7K154 lbsEmmet Mullins4/7 11 1/4l+, City Slicker[11/2]11-4
01/01/14TRM 21Hy LisCh,16K156 lbsEmmet Mullins6/7 29 1/2l+, Marito[12/1]11-9
24/01/13GOW 25Hy ChHc,42K161 lbsR WalshUR/18 Jadanli[8/1]10-7
10Duke Of LuccaDuke Of Lucca (IRE)
Tom O'Brien
P Hobbs
9 yrs / 150 lbs

CommentDuke Of Lucca

Stamina to prove and in-and-out but has a chance at his best. Rather in-and-out over last couple of seasons, while he weakened in sole start at beyond 3m2f at Sandown (around 3m5f) last season; however, he does have a chance on such as his Ascot second in November when first-time blinkered and possibilities if taking to this new discipline.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
13/12/13CHL 25Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,26K151 lbsRichard Johnson6/9 21 1/2l, Monbeg Dude[6/1]11-0 bl,t
22/11/13ASC 24GS Cl3 ChHc,13K166 lbsRichard Johnson2/12 4 1/2l, Night Alliance[15/2]10-2 bl,t(1)
01/11/13WET 20GS Cl1 LisChHc,14K157 lbsRichard Johnson10/12 35 1/2l, Ultimate[6/1]11-2 t
12/10/13CHP 24Gd Cl2 ChHc,16K156 lbsRichard Johnson6/14 13 1/4l, Al Co[6/1]11-0 t
27/04/13SAN 29Gd Cl1 G3ChHc,85K157 lbsTom O'Brien7/19 21l, Quentin Collonges[12/1]10-12 t,cp
11Quiscover FontaineQuiscover Fontaine (FR)
R McLernon
E Bolger
10 yrs / 149 lbs

CommentQuiscover Fontaine

Needs more on fair latest Punchestown third. Not as good as he was in his heyday for Willie Mullins and was well beaten behind Balthazar King on stable debut over C&D in November; did better when third to two of these in 3m cross-country event at Punchestown last time but more needed to be involved here; fell only previous start in cheekpieces.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 24Hy Ch,5K151 lbsMr B M Linehan3/16 4 1/4l+, Love Rory[12/1]11-11
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K150 lbsRichie McLernon9/11 64 3/4l, Balthazar King[12/1]11-8
26/04/13PUN 30Hy ChHc,13K158 lbsD J CaseyF/19 Goonyella[20/1]10-0 cp
06/04/13Ain 35GS Cl1 G3ChHc,547K147 lbsD J Casey16/40 91 3/4l, Auroras Encore[40/1]10-3
28/02/13THU 18Sft Ch,12K157 lbsD J Casey5/8 19 3/4l+, Mount Benbulben[16/1]11-0
12Diamond HarryDiamond Harry
D Jacob
N Williams
11 yrs / 149 lbs

CommentDiamond Harry

Fair C&D 4th before heavy fall latest; bit to prove. No win since taking the 2010 Hennessy and nothing like the same force nowadays; did run with credit when fourth behind Balthazar King in C&D conditions event in November but work to do to turn that form around and since taken a heavy fall at Catterick; tongue-tie now.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
09/01/14CAT 30Hy Cl3 ChHc,13K166 lbsJames ReveleyF/9 Sun Cloud[8/1]11-0
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K150 lbsJames Reveley4/11 10 1/2l, Balthazar King[11/2]11-8
10/06/13Par 26GS Ch,17K144 lbsJames Reveley3/4 Yanky Sundown[EvensF]10-10
03/05/13Com 21VSft Ch,9K150 lbsJames Reveley4/10 14l+, Divergont Quirec[58/10]10-8
01/12/12NBY 26GS Cl1 G3ChHc,85K143 lbsNick ScholfieldF/19 Bobs Worth[14/1]11-6
13Any CurrencyAny Currency (IRE)
I Popham
M Keighley
11 yrs / 148 lbs

CommentAny Currency

E/w chance on placed C&D events earlier this term. Hard to win with and was well held in this last year; better for that initial experience when placed in two C&D events with a hood fitted at the end of last year, latterly when second to Sire Collonges in a handicap in December; each-way possibilities on that but probably pushing it to quite see him as a likely winner.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
11/01/14WAR 29Sft Cl1 G3ChHc,34K148 lbsIan Popham5/15 14 3/4l, Shotgun Paddy[20/1]11-7 h,cp
13/12/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 ChHc,22K152 lbsIan Popham2/13 1/2l, Sire Collonges[9/2]11-10 h,cp
15/11/13CHL 31Gd Cl2 Ch,16K159 lbsIan Popham3/11 6l, Balthazar King[28/1]11-8 h,cp(1)
27/10/13WCN 27Gd Cl3 ChHc,9K160 lbsIan Popham5/12 34 1/2l, Standing Ovation[14/1]10-0 e/s
15/05/13UTT 24GS Cl4 NvHd,3K153 lbsIan PophamPU/9 Silver Eagle[11/2]11-5 t,cp
14A Stray ShotA Stray Shot (IRE)
Ms K Walsh
G O'Neill
7 yrs / 147 lbs

CommentA Stray Shot

E/w chance after solid latest 3m Punchestown 4th. Lightly raced 7yo who blundered chance away on cross-country debut last season but did better when staying on well into fourth behind Love Rory and Big Shu at Punchestown (3m, heavy) last month, raising hopes that he can last this longer trip; needs a bit more but improvement by no means out of the question and not ruled out.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
02/02/14PUN 24Hy Ch,5K158 lbsMs K Walsh4/16 6 1/4l+, Love Rory[25/1]11-11
27/12/13LIM 22Hy MdHnCh,5K161 lbsMr R W Barron4/16 6 3/4l+, Burren River[8/1]12-0
01/01/13TRM 21Hy MdHd,4K158 lbsMr J T McNamara4/11 33 1/4l+, Milborough[12/1]11-4
17/11/12PUN 24Hy Ch,7K149 lbsMr B S Carey7/14 41l+, Arabella Boy[33/1]11-4
15Sin PaloSin Palo (IRE)
P Townend
W Mullins
10 yrs / 147 lbs

CommentSin Palo

Opposable on recent form. No win since back-to-back successes in June 2012; on a very feasible mark on best form but decidedly in-and-out in recent times and was pulled up after jumping let him down on sole previous run in this discipline on penultimate start; too many questions.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
27/12/13LEO 24Sft ChHc,87K147 lbsPaul TownendPU/28 Rockyaboya[33/1]10-3
16/11/13PUN 24Y Ch,7K163 lbsD J CaseyPU/13 Love Rory[6/1]11-2
13/10/13LIM 24Gd ChHc,49K149 lbsR Walsh7/15 14 1/2l+, Double Seven[16/1]11-4
11/09/13GAL 22GF Ch,12K166 lbsR Walsh5/6 18 1/2l, Your Busy[13/8F]11-5
15/08/13TRM 22Gd Ch,7K164 lbsR Walsh3/7 1 1/4l+, Toner D'Oudairies[5/2]11-5
16Star NeuvilleStar Neuville (FR)
D E Mullins
E Bolger
8 yrs / 146 lbs

CommentStar Neuville

E/w claims on best form; promising hurdles return. Probably found 4m1f too far on cross-country debut last April (though was also hampered) before close third to Sizing Australia on second attempt at this discipline dropped to 3m just two days later; stayed on well on heavy then, so decent chance he can see this trip out; promising effort on sole run since over hurdles last month and each-way claims.

DateRace ConditionsWeightJockeyRace Outcome
22/02/14FAI 20Sft/Hy HdHc,12K147 lbsMr B M Linehan3/12 9 1/4l+, Valmy Baie[25/1]10-5
27/04/13PUN 24Hy Ch,6K161 lbsDanny Mullins3/15 1/2l+, Sizing Australia[9/2]11-12
25/04/13PUN 33Hy Ch,16K161 lbsDanny MullinsPU/17 Big Shu[8/1]12-3
09/02/13LEO 21Sft/Hy NvG1Ch,40K164 lbsDanny Mullins6/6 78l, Boston Bob[28/1]11-10
29/12/12LEO 19Sft Ch,7K161 lbsBrian Hayes3/12 3 1/2l+, Lord Windermere[12/1]11-12

February 2014

Enda Bolger is well known for his ability to train Cross Country Chasers and the Irish handler looks to have another one on his hands this season. Love Rory won the Glenfarclas Memorial Cross Country Chase at Punchestown over three miles. Under a great ride from Nina Carberry, Love Rory beat off Big Shu who is also on his way to the Festival next month with good style. The winner jumped well and stayed on strongly in very testing conditions to put himself right into the Festival picture. Bolger and Carberry enjoyed great success in Cross Country Race at Cheltenham with Garde Champetre and maybe this is another horse who can claim Festival glory.

November 2013

The first major trial race of the season for the Cross Country Chase takes place at Cheltenham during the Open Meeting in November. Run over the same course and distance as the Festival race it is always a key pointer and has been won by the excellent Balthazar King. The Philip Hobbs horse is in great form at the moment and he held off a strong challenge from Uncle Junior over the final couple of fences. Both horses are likely to be back for the Festival and both were trimmed for that race as a result of this run.

Cheltenham Festival Odds

We now have the latest bookmakers betting odds for the main Cheltenham Festival Races.

These odds are updated regularily to ensure that you in touch with all the market moves in the build up to the festival.

Cheltenham Festival - Betting Tips

Tom LeeFollowing on from last year, we are delighted to announce that we are featuring horse racing tips from Channel Four Racing presenter, Tom Lee.

Tom appears on Channel 4's Morning Line & covers live Racing in the afternoon as well fronting RTE's Racing coverage in Ireland, his Cheltenham Festival Tips and previews of each day's Racing will be available during the Festival and supported with opinions and views from our Racing writers.

Cheltenham Festival Racing

The four days of the Cheltenham Festival play host to a number of exceptional races:

Cheltenham Festival Runners

Some of the biggest names in horse racing are scheduled to run in the 2014 Cheltenham Festival.

Runners including:

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