RSA Chase race analysis and tips

RSA Chase race analysis and tips

Elegant Escape

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Betting Tip: @ Elegant Escape each-way @ 12/1 with bet365

2:10 3m½f (3m80y) (Old Course) RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase (Grade 1) (Class 1) (5yo+)

Last year (horse – trainer – jockey – SP):
1. Might Bite – N Henderson – N De Boinville – 7/2f
2. Whisper – N Henderson – D Russell – 9/2
3. Bellshill – W Mullins – R Walsh – 5/1
(12 ran)

Nature of the race
This race was invariably run at a fierce gallop and it had a reputation for bottoming horses, especially the also-rans. However, more recent renewals have tended to be been run at a steadier pace, perhaps because the speedier types now have the JLT as an option, and the field sizes have been smaller. RSA winners tend to be proper chasing types, as opposed to former high-class hurdlers who have a terrible record. So chase form, and not hurdles form, is what should be focused on.

Trends analysis
One race where you’ll find plenty of chasing types is the Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle and it’s no surprise that five of the last ten RSA winners had taken part in that contest 12 months previous. With jumping at a premium, it’s also worth keeping on your side those horses who have been safest in that department, with just one chase fall between the last ten winners. Recent winning form is important too with nine of the last 12 winners achieving a ‘1’ last time out. Even better if that came in the Flogas Chase, won this year by Monalee, as four of the last nine RSA winners took in that Leopardstown contest en route.

Festival form
The previous season’s Albert Bartlett has already been highlighted as a breeding ground for future chasers and a couple of names to take out of last year’s renewal are the runner-up Monalee and the seventh horse home Elegant Escape.

Trainer watch
Given that the majority of his Festival winners have come over shorter trips, Willie Mullins has a surprisingly good record with four victories from 21 runners, with five of his losers getting placed. Invitation Only looks his main candidate this year.

Best of the Irish
Ireland look to have the nap hand here with Presenting Percy and Monalee heading the market. The former horse was promoted to favouritism after finishing a game runner-up behind leading Gold Cup fancy Our Duke at Leopardstown last month, having won the Grade 2 Galmoy Hurdle in stylish fashion previously and a couple of novice chases before Christmas. The 2017 Pertemps Final winner is looking every bit as good over fences and, providing his latest scrap hasn’t left a mark, the one slight worry with him, he must have a serious chance of recording back-to-back Festival wins.

Best of the home challenge
Somehow Black Corton managed to get beat by a horse still rated 134 at Worcester in June, but Paul Nicholls’ charge has not looked back since and was taking his record this term to eight wins with another game display in the Grade 2 Reynoldstown Chase at Ascot. Ridden by the effervescent Bryony Frost, now 6-7 on him, he’s not going to go down without a fight.

Others to consider
Elegant Escape has twice come up against Black Corton this season and the record between them stands at 1-1, so Colin Tizzard’s gelding is also entitled to be thereabouts and, given he’s all about stamina, he’ll be finishing better than most.

The same comment applies to Dounikos as he stayed on best of all when third behind Monalee last time and will be ideally suited by the step up to 3m on testing ground. He might be able to finish in front of the winner this time and he has each-way claims.

Best bookmaker offers
Boylesports are refunding losing stakes on this race (as a free bet up to £20) if your horse finishes 2nd or 3rd to the SP favourite.

While Presenting Percy looks a worthy favourite, he’s a skinny 5/2 at the time of writing and given he doesn’t have that much in hand on official ratings – he has just 3lb in hand over Monalee and Black Corton – it’s easy to argue this is more competitive than those odds suggest. The weather and moreover the ground could play a big part in the outcome and it’s worth remembering that both Presenting Percy and Monalee appeared to relish the good ground at last year’s festival, which is far from a given this time around. ELEGANT ESCAPE, on the other hand, loves the mud and with his trainer saying he wouldn’t have to improve much more to be a Gold Cup horse next season, he makes considerable each-way appeal at bet365’s 12/1.

Betting Tip: @ Elegant Escape each-way @ 12/1 with bet365

All odds were correct at time of posting.

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