RSA Chase Guide

Champ

Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Jockey - Barry Geraghty

Champ to many pundits has been there lay of the festival but he holds bundles of ability and if being able to get his jumping spot on has to be feared.

Gears is a word used to describe this horse as his staying ability seems to get his jumping out of trouble but he may need more than that in this hot affair.

He is yet to run over three miles but on his three starts this season has shown he will get the trip after winning twice at Newbury, the second win being his most impressive in the Grade Two Berkshire Novices Chase.

Last time out on New Year's Day he looked sure to keep his unbeaten record when cruising at Cheltenham but at the second to last fence he guessed at the fence and came down.

This is where the question marks need to be answered.

Minella Indo

Trainer - Henry De Bromhead

Jockey - Rachael Blackmore

The RSA as ever looks to a very hot affair and Minella Indo for Henry De Bromhead looks to have a huge chance off the back of his Cheltenham record and progressive nature.

The six year old has raced eight times during his short career and has not finished outside the top three in his point to point and rules career to date.

Last season on his final two starts he really came to life landing the Grade One Albert Bartlett at the festival at a huge price of 50/1 but then backed that up at the Punchestown festival when landing another classy Grade One.

This horse has been said to be made for chasing and the yard are very excited to see how good he can be after making a positive start to life over the bigger obstacles when second behind star mare Laurina.

He got off the mark last time out in great style seeing off 12 runners when stepped up to three miles for the first time and the second has since gone on to frank the form.

Copperhead

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Robbie Power

A horse that has really come from nowhere this season is the fast improving Copperhead who has just gone from strength to strength this year.

He made his chase debut at Chepstow in October and needed the run to really get use to the bigger obstacles but since then has been unbeaten on all his three outings.

He got off the mark at Wincanton when stepping over three miles for the first time in his career and it has been the making of him.

Since then he landed a nice contest at Newbury but gave a career best effort last time out at Ascot to land the Grade Two Reynoldstown Novices Chase and that is some lovely form.

Allaho

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Paul Townend

Allaho for many was tipped to be heading the Marsh Novices Chase but his trainer believes he will stay this trip and he has to be respected after his third in the Albert Bartlett Novices' Chase last season.

He was bought to be a chaser and he has been superb this season finishing second on chase debut behind stablemate Easy Game but he did travel the best in that contest.

He got off the mark last time out in taking style, not coming off the bridle to land the Beginners Chase and if coming on for that is another that enters calculations.

Easy Game

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Danny Mullins

Easy Game was a leading fancy for the Marsh Novices Chase for Mullins but has been redirected to this staying test and he is very much an unknown entity over this trip.

He has two mile four furlong form winning a Grade Two Novice Hurdle and also beating Allaho two starts ago over a furlong further which looks nice form.

Last time out at the Dublin Racing Festival he was a narrow second to the superstar Faugheen and if he does improve for this extra trip he has to go well.

Battleoverdoyen

Trainer - Gordon Elliott

Jockey - Davy Russell

Battleoverdoyen is a very smart staying horse that has done little wrong this season but in this talented field he could be outclassed.

He was favourite last season for the Ballymore Novices' Hurdle and completely flopped not taking to the track which is a big negative.

Over fences he has been similar to his hurdles form winning his first three in a row including a Grade One at Leopardstown over Christmas.

However, last time out he took a nasty fall in a good field but was already beaten before his tumble and he has to reverse some serious form.

Slate House

Trainer - Colin Tizzard

Jockey - Jonjo O'Neill Jnr

Another nice horse that if it was not for the talent of the event he could be seen as a nice each way chance but looking at how strong the Irish team is he will have to produce something like never before.

The eight year old has landed Grade One honours this season at Kempton on Boxing Day in the Kauto Star Novices' Chase but last time out at Cheltenham was pulled up in the Cotswald Chase.

That needs to be rectified and does not fill punters with confidence.

Pym

Trainer - Nicky Henderson

Jockey - Nico De Boinville

The seven year old will enjoy the ground drying out and has shown on good to soft ground over three miles that he firstly stay but also power away near the finish.

He finished second on his first even chase start at Huntingdon behind a nice Alan King trained French exploit but since then landed back to back wins at Ascot and Cheltenham.

His win at Prestbury Park is his stand out bit of form landing a decent Novices' Chase over slightly further staying on up the hill well.

It was to soft for him at Ascot last time out in the Grade Two Reynoldstown Chase and he must put that run right to go close in this one.

Aye Right

Trainer - Harriet Graham

Jockey - Callum Bewley

One of the big outsiders on the day is Aye Right and he really looks to be outside his comfort zone here having done most his racing in the north in weaker events than this.

He stepped up to a Grade Two in December in a small three runner event and was pulled up and that has been his biggest test to date which does not read well.

He won at Newcastle last time out in a two runner event but he looks easily opposable.

Castlebawn West

Trainer - Willie Mullins

Jockey - Mark Walsh

The final runner in the contest is another big outsider and it would be a miracle to see him win this contest having had three chase starts and looking below average.

He finished fifth on debut behind some nice horses but nothing that can compare with this field and although going on to win a Beginners Chase next time out a few in this field just look to good for him.

He was fourth of seven at the Dublin Racing Festival and needs much more on that run to feature here.

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