Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase Race Card

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Glenfarclas Chase (A Cross Country Chase)

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Fifth race of ladies day

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase, the fifth on ladies day, is one of the most unique races of the Cheltenham Festival. It is run on the Cross-Country course.

The race is the second longest of the week, run over 3 miles and 6 furlongs, and open to horses ages 5 and older. There are a huge variety of different obstacles across the course and there are 32 for the runners to overcome.

The race is a conditions race, the only one of the week, and there is £40,000 prize money on offer to the winner.

History of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase

The race is fairly new to the festival and is one of the races that was added to the meeting in 2005 when the Festival added a fourth day to its meeting. The race is one of three Cross Country races ran in England during the national hunt season, the other two also being at Cheltenham in November and December.

When the race first began, it was a handicap however in 2016 this was changed to a conditions race, the only one in the festival, where weights aren’t allocated as per ratings but instead as per conditions of the runners.

Glenfraclas whiskey have sponsored the race since 2008. Sporting Index were the first before being replaced by BGC.

Recent years

Double Grand National Winner Tiger Roll has won the last two renewals of the race on the way to winning at Aintree and if he gets over his injury, there’s every chance he’ll be back at Prestbury Park in 2020 in search of a hat trick. His emphatic victory in 2019 was a third successive one for Gordon Elliot, who also won the 2017 running with Cause of Causes.

Prior to Elliot’s trio of victories, the race had been dominated by the Cross-Country king, Edna Bolger, who has won the race more times than other trainer, on five occasions, most recently in 2016. He’s trained the following horses to success:

Edna Bolger:

Spot Thedifference (2005)

Heads Onthe Ground (2007)

Garde Champetre (2008, 2009)

Josies Orders (2016)


Should Tiger Roll take his chance again, it will be likely he will be partnered again by Keith Donoghue who will also be seeking his third win in the race and closer to the record of four that is held by now retired jockey, Nina Carberry. Her victories were on:

Nina Carberry:

Heads Onthe Ground (2007)

Garde Champetre (2008, 2009)

Josies Orders (2016)

The Irish are often the ones to side with when betting on this race, having won the last five renewals and British success is often few and far between, having only won the race three times since it’s provenance in 2005.

No doubt, should he turn up fit and firing, Tiger Roll will warrant much respect in 2020 as he aims for three in a row. Edna Bolger will no doubt also have a team of horses ready for the race and he will be hungry to get back in the winners enclosure whilst the French’s reputation in these races has went up and anything coming across from the English channel should be respected.

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