RACING journalist James Stevens (@JanesStevens180) takes a look at the crazy Cross Country Chase.
Cheltenham 16:10 | Cross Country Chase | ITV1
Cantlow could only finish eleventh in this race last season, but has been improving ever since. He picked up a victory at Punchestown before taking the Cross Country in December.
Last time out he was defeated by three lengths by French raider Urgent De Gregaine in a Cross Country race here in January. He was only three lengths behind, but the weight difference may have played an integral role. Back to the Festival he goes there with the strongest of chances.
Cause Of Causes has given trainer Gordon Elliott plenty of good days at Cheltenham. The nine-year-old won the Kim Muir Challenge Cup last year, and the National Hunt chase the year before. His form this year hasn’t been of best, but this poses a different test and it’s hard to ignore his fantastic Festival record.
Phillip Hobbs and Richard Johnson team up with Sausalito Sunrise, whose opted out of a Gold Cup challenge to take on Cheltenham’s most testing race.
The nine-year-old finished fifth in the Peter Marsh before unseating Johnson at Haydock, he returned to form finishing third at Ascot last time out.
Any Currency was first past the post in this race last season, however had the race taken off him to the frustration of Martin Keighley. The local trainer is slightly concerned that age is catching up on the 14-year-old, and finished third in the trial for this in January.
I think Cause Of Causes can bounce back and once again run well at the Festival. Cantlow is clearly a big player, but I think Gordon Elliott’s chance could have a big say.
Cross Country Chase – Cause Of Causes (4/1 10BET)