RSA Novices' Chase betting tips for the 2.05pm Cheltenham Wednesday 12th March, free predictions Cheltenham 2014.
The RSA Chase is a superb 3m chase that has produced Gold Cup winners such as Denman and Bobs Worth in the past. Last year the crown went to Lord Windemere ridden by Davy Russell and Ireland look to have another strong set of contenders to keep hold of the crown. Here is my best bet of the race.
Willie Mullins heads the Irish challenge with Ballycasey (6/1 Betfred). This horse was very impressive on debut, winning by eight lengths at a canter. He followed up that with a a Grade 1 victory over 2m5f, seeing off the excellent Don Cossack and Carlingford Lough. Concerns do exist though as he is yet to prove himself over the 3m trip and more recently he had a fall in a schooling session at Leopardstown. Both those facts don't instil a great deal of confidence and others are preferred.
Don Cossack (12/1 bet365) for Gordon Elliot has a chance. He’s already claimed a victory over Carlingford Lough before finishing behind Balleycasey. However he is yet another horse who has not yet faced a 3m trip.
This year Davy Russell has a good chance of repeating his success as he takes the reigns on Pat Fahy’s stable star Morning Assembly (8/1 William Hill). He was a very good novice hurdler, winning a Grade 1 last season. Since going over the larger obstacles, he has won his first two races which included a Grade 2, seeing off the very talented Don Cossack. Next time out he ran a blinder at Leopardstown on his first attempt at 3m over fences, just being beaten at the line by Carlingford Lough. It seems that Morning Assembly desperately needed that run over the trip.
It seems that a lot of the Irish form is interwoven with a number of the runners beating one another over different circumstances and conditions. I’m not too sure on Carlingford Lough (8/1 Stan James) either and in fact I’m not too sure on backing any of the Irish.
Previous Cheltenham form is important and Smad Place (13/2 BetVictor) for Alan King has certainly shown that placing in two World Hurdles. Switched to fences this season, he has looked a very good novice chaser. On debut at Huntington the gelding looked to be cruising when approaching the last fence before unseating Choc Thornton. Since then he has won twice very well, seeing off the useful Sam Winner (who re-opposes here). What I particularly like about Smad Place is the way he finished his race in last year’s World Hurdle. He stayed on impressively up the hill, seeing off Reve De Sivola to claim third spot. His jumping is very neat for a novice and when coupled with his excellent Cheltenham form he has a big shout.
Donald McCain is keen on his horse Corrin Wood (9/1 bet365). He’s won three times this year I'm impressive fashion, including a victory over Paul Nicholls’ Black Thunder. His best performance came on better ground when seeing off Jonjo O’Neill’s Dursey Sound. I think one important negative with this horse is that he jumped slightly out to the right at Warwick on his latest start and that could prove costly.
Sam Winner (12/1 Stan James) is fancied by champion trainer Paul Nicholls to overturn his form with Smad Place now off level weights. He has Cheltenham form, seeing off the likes of Le Bec and Le Reve when winning at the International meeting. He is another with a strong chance in what looks an open race.
The horse i’ve decided to go with is O’FAOLAINS BOY (16/1 Betfred) trained by Rebecca Curtis. He won the RSA Trial at Haydock beating both Gevrey Chambertin and Many Clouds. The way he travelled and jumped was particularly eye-catching and Barry Geraghty gave the gelding a strong ride. Curtis has stated that the horse will prefer the ground drying out and he looks to have plenty more to give.
The Irish raiders are dominating the market, however none have form at Cheltenham and many haven’t yet faced a 3m trip. For me the likeliest winners are Smad Places and O’FAOLAINS BOY, and of the two I prefer the latter as I was particularly taken by his latest victory at Ascot.
O’FAOLAINS BOY (WIN) (16/1 Betfred)
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