The RSA Chase derives its name from its sponsor the Royal & Sun Alliance, and it is Grade 1 Chase for novice chasers aged 5 or older. The race is currently scheduled to be the third race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival. It is run over a trip of approximately 3 miles and ½ furlong on Cheltenham’s Old Course, with 19 fences needing to be jumped.
Famous winners of the race include Mandarin, Arkle, Garrison Savannah, Looks Like Trouble, Denman, Bobs Worth, and Lord Windmere – who all went on to complete the RSA/Cheltenham Gold Cup Double. The race has also produced future Grand National Winners such as Minnehoma. Meanwhile, the likes of Florida Pearl went on to win the King George, which last year’s winner Might Bite has already achieved.
8 of the last 10 winners have been aged 7
Nicky Henderson has trained 2 of the last 6 winners
Willie Mullins has trained 3 of the last 9 winners
Davy Russell has ridden 2 of the last 7 winners
English and Irish trained horses have each won 5 of the last 10 renewals
Winners have been rated between 144 and 155
SP’s have ranged from 13/8 to 16/1
3 of the last 10 favourites have won
Finished second over hurdles at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival in the Albert Bartlett, and has always been regarded as a 3-mile chaser in the making. Enhanced that reputation when winning on chase debut, but dented it when falling when a short-priced favourite at Leopardstown at Christmas. Looks the type to run well, especially in what could be a weak division this season.
Talented 6-year-old who was an easy winner of the Pertemps Network Final at the 2017 Cheltenham Festival. Was also an easy winner of his first chase and, though he disappointed next time, he absolutely sluiced up off a mark of 145 over 29-furlongs next time. Would have a major chance if turning-up, but he’s also got an entry in the National Hunt Chase, and his win last time suggests he’ll easily get 4-miles.
Highly talented hurdler who was sent-off favourite for the 2017 Champion Hurdle, but found it all happening a bit too fast. He then won over 3-miles at the Grand National Meeting. Not an instant natural over fences, but looked much happier when winning the Dipper Chase last time (reportedly had a few sessions with jumping guru Yogi Breisner). Also entered in the shorter JLT Chase, but the slower pace of this longer race may suit him better.
Has been very good over 2½ miles so far and, though he could never match Footpad when falling over 2-miles last time, trainer Gordon Elliott said he thought 3-miles was currently too far for him. Didn’t seem to stay the distance in last season’s Albert Bartlett.
Won one of his four hurdles races, but has quickly proved right his trainer’s thoughts that he would be a much better chaser. Yet to tackle 3-miles so, though he should stay the trip, there is some doubt.
Perhaps lacking the obvious class of a couple of his possible rivals but, having proven that jumping can win you the day in the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase, he could take advantage if they fail to complete.
Presenting Percy is a former Cheltenham Festival Winner who has quickly made up into at least as good as chaser, and 7/1 about him would be a good price if he was guaranteed a run. However, my gut-feeling is that, having proved he stays 3-miles over hurdles, Yanworth will run in this in preference to the shorter JLT. If he does, his class over hurdles makes him look a big-price, especially if his trainer keeps improving his jumping by sending him to Yogi Breisner.
2018 RSA Chase Tip: Yanworth @ 10/1 Unibet, SunBets