[Free Tips For Cheltenham] RSA Chase 2021
RSA Chase Analysis
14:10 at Cheltenham Racecourse on 17th March
The RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is a potential platform for future Cheltenham Gold Cup winners, but the last 10 winners have taken a variety of different routes to success. Check out our trends, analysis, and ante-post tips for the 2021 RSA Chase.
Four of the last 10 winners of the RSA Chase ran in the previous season’s Albert Bartlett Novice’ Hurdle with varying degrees of success, with one winning, one finishing fourth, and two pulled-up. The first three home in the 2020 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, Monkfish, Latest Exhibition, and Fury Road all look obvious contenders for the 2021 RSA Chase at this stage, with their respective sires all capable of producing the winners of staying chases at the Festival.
The fourth horse home in the 2020 Albert Bartlett was Thyme Hill, who was beaten around 1½ lengths after getting squeezed for room in the latter stages. His trainer Phillip Hobbs thinks he’s more of a Stayers’ Hurdle type, but it’s worth remembering the current 2021 RSA Chase ante-post Envoi Allen beat Thyme Hill further in last year’s bumper.
Envoi Allen also won the Ballymore Hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival winner, a race in which the 2020 RSA Chase winner Champ finished in second place in 2019. Trainer Gordon Elliott has stated Envoi Allen is bred to be a 3-mile chaser, so 7/1 could be value considering he was sent off at odds-on to win the Ballymore. The placed horses from the 2020 Ballymore, Easywork, The Big Getaway, and The Big Breakaway, are also decent chasing prospects.
Two of the last 10 winners of the RSA Chase did not run at the previous Cheltenham Festival and Diol Ker catches the eye having beaten Monkfish in a maiden hurdle. However, he was race-fit unlike his opponent that day. Other eye-catchers that didn’t make the 2020 Cheltenham Festival are Lord Royal and Run Wild Fred. But the horse I really like that didn’t run at this year’s Festival was Bright Forecast.
Trainer Ben Pauling has already enjoyed two Cheltenham Festival wins with Willoughby Court and Le Breuil, and he said in an early stable tour last season he thought Bright Forecast had the most potential to be a top-class chaser of any horse he’d trained. Bright Forecast also already has Cheltenham Festival form in the bag having finished just one place behind Champ in third in the 2019 Ballymore Hurdle. He missed this year’s Festival but will return as a 7-year-old next year, the age group that has won seven of the last 10 RSA Chases.
The other source of RSA Chases winners in the last decade has been the previous season’s Cheltenham Festival handicap hurdles, with two winners and one runner-up from those events going on to win the following year’s RSA Chase.
Presenting Percy won the Pertemps Final over three miles before winning the following season’s RSA Chase, but this year’s winner would be nine if trying his luck over fences next year. The next two home have already won over fences and won’t be qualified to run in the RSA.
Topofthegame finished second in the Coral Cup before winning the following season’s RSA Chase but the first two home in this season’s Coral Cup were both mares, and it’s rare for the fairer sex to win the RSA Chase.
That makes the Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle the most interesting handicap hurdle at the 2020 Cheltenham Festival, a race Don Poli took in the previous year to his RSA Chase success. The winner Idefatigable is an unlikely challenger, but the runner-up Pileon could easily make up into a promising three-mile chaser next season.
But the horse to take from the Martin Pipe is Column Of Fire, as the Gordon Elliott-trained 6-year-old looked the most likely winner when falling at the last. His sire Rob Des Champs has been responsible for Cheltenham winners such as Vautour and Quevega and he looks the type that could easily excel over fences next season.