The Tied Cottage Chase (Punchestown, Sunday 3.00) is named after one of the legends of Irish Racing, who won the 1980 Cheltenham Gold Cup only to lose it later after blood-tests revealed a banned substance in his urine had been administered accidentally.
Therefore, it is only fitting that several other legends of Irish Racing have won the race named in his honour, including Moscow Flyer, Big Zeb and Sizing Europe.
The race itself is run over 2-miles and 11 fences, with Willie Mullins saddling 3 of the last 6 winners, and Ruby Walsh riding the last two Mullins’ winners.
This year’s renewal is the chosen warm-up race of Champion Chase favourite Douvan and, whilst that means he’s scared-off many potential rivals, there should be no finer sight on Sunday than watching Douvan try and retain his unbeaten record.
4 Horses are set to go to go to post for the 2017 Boylesports Tied Cottage Chase
Douvan has always been so highly-regarded that he’s been sent-off odds-on for 11 of 12 races, with the Supreme Novices Hurdle at the 2015 Cheltenham Festival the only time he’s been sent-off at odds against (2/1). It’s a trend that will continue here and, as he’s already won twice at Punchestown, there seems little reason to oppose him. Only bottomless ground would be a negative for this brilliant mover, but it probably still wouldn’t be enough to stop him as he’s 16lb clear on ratings.
Won 2 from 5 when trained by Willie Mullins, and better still when trained by Henry De Bromhead for whom he won 5 out of 10 over 2-miles and 2½-miles on soft or heavy ground. 0 from 3 for current trainer Mouse Morris, who tried to make him stay further on his first two starts, and it will be interesting to see whether this front-runner tries to take Douvan on in the early skirmishes, or is happy to pick-up second-placed prize-money of nearly €8,000. 16lb behind Douvan on ratings, but 12lb and 13lb clear of his other two rivals.
Rated 137, but last win came off a 5lb lower mark. Performed creditably in handicaps on his last 3 runs at around this trip, but shouldn’t be troubling the judge, and connections simply look to be exploiting a chance to pick-up some easy prize-money.
Loveable 12-year-old who has won 5 races from 24 starts for trainer Gordon Elliott, including 3-times this year. Shouldn’t be troubling Douvan though, but should again pick-up some decent prize-money providing he gets round.
2017 Boylesports Tied Cottage Chase Summary
Many will be happy to sit back and watch a Douvan, a horse who should confirm he’s a true star of National Hunt Racing over the next 2 or 3 season. However, the forecast Douvan to beat Smashing is an interesting bet. Smashing is nearly a stone clear of Draycott Place and Realy Mor, and this return to 2-miles on heavy ground should see him in a better light providing he doesn’t try and keep tabs on the favourite for too long.
2017 Boylesports Tied Cottage Chase Tip
Forecast: Douvan To Beat Smashing.
Should be free money at odds of 1.38 with Bet365