The Savills Chase, formerly known as the Lexus Chase and the Leopardstown Christmas Chase is yet another headline act over the Christmas Period in the National Hunt calendar from Ireland.
This contest - over three miles, has been won by some true greats of the past; many of whom went onto contest Gold Cup's and win them. Gigginstown House Stud have been nightmares for all other challengers in the last few years - and you can see why in the TRENDS section below. This year, they make up just under half of the twelve runner field with five contenders.
Two of those currently head the market in the form of Road To Respect and Shattered Love. The former (RTR) returned to the scene when storming clear to win the JNwine.com Champion Chase at Down Royal at the beginning of last month. Noel Meade's classy 7yo is a former Cheltenham Festival winner in his younger days, and won this twelve months ago on the way to finishing fourth in the Gold Cup in March.
He is back for more, and is joined by Gordon Elliott's JLT winner (SL), who is the only mare in the field, and as a result claims 7lbs from her rivals. She is a previous course and distance winner - from the Neville Hotels Novice Chase last season, and skipped the King George in favour of this.
She is joined by another Gigginstown representative in the form of stablemate Outlander - who won this back in 2016. Noel Meade also has the grey Disko, whilst Henry de Bromhead has Ryanair victor Balko Des Flos in there too.
Willie Mullins has two in the field: Kemboy and Bellshill. Firstly, Kemboy - winner of the Clonmel Oil Chase, was supposed to be heading to Newbury for the Ladbrokes Trophy, but poor weather conditions meant he failed to make the trip. Bellshill on the other hand, looks to be a future Grand National horse, after his stunning performance in the Punchestown Gold Cup back in April.
Other contenders include Anibale Fly - third in the Gold Cup back in March, but failed to land a blow at Cork on reappearance, Edwulf - under the same ownership, made a miraculous return to form when winning the Irish Gold Cup here back in February, and Monalee - who was a good third to Snow Falcon (Shattered Love 2nd) on his return in a Grade 2 back in November, having been amongst the wars in 2018.