The Saville Chase is the third most important three-mile chase in Ireland, after the Irish Gold Cup and the Punchestown Gold Cup, and this grade 1 chase remains the flagship event of Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival. Cheltenham Gold Cup winners such as Best Mate, Denman, Synchronised, Bobs Worth have all won past renewals, whilst Irish legends such Imperial Call, Beef Or Salmon, and Dorans Pride also have their names on the trophy.
Saville Chase Betting Guide
Road To Respect 9/4, Shattered Love 6/1, Bellshill 13/2, Monalee 8/1, Kemboy 12/1, Anibale Fly 14/1, Balko Des Flos 14/1, Disko 20/1, Coney Island 25/1, Outlander 25/1, Edwulf 33/1, The Storyteller 33/1
Saville Chase Runner-By-Runner Guide
Road To Respect
Trainer Noel Meade has trained three of the last eight winners including Road To Respect to win last year’s contest. A repeat of that form or his fourth in last season’s Cheltenham Gold Cup may be good enough but no horse has won back-to-back renewals since Beef Or Salmon in 2005. Respected, but the bookies will be looking to take him on and after getting plenty of favourites beaten at Leopardstown this week.
Won over course and distance at last year’s Christmas Festival and last season’s JLT Chase winner is interesting now she steps back up in trip again after mainly competing over shorter trips since. Stamina still to prove at the top-level but decent ground gives her every chance of getting the trip. Jack Kennedy also prefers her of Gordon Elliott’s three runners.
Looked to have improved last season when winning the Punchestown Gold Cup but his form on left-handed tracks has yet to match his form on right-handed tracks. It’s also his first run of the season, whilst Willie Mullins has, surprisingly, trained just one winner of this race.
Second at the last two Cheltenham Festivals behind Penhill and Presenting Percy, but seemed to get outstayed on both occasions and may prove best at trips shorter than three-miles.
The form of his last three wins is not overly strong but he was a strong fancy for the Ladbrokes Trophy before being a late withdrawal. Improving sort, but beaten by Shattered Love at last year’s Cheltenham Festival and needs to improve again. Ruby Walsh also prefers Bellshill.
Won a handicap over course and distance at this time last year buy was struggling to keep tabs on the leaders when falling in last year’s Irish Gold Cup. Placed in Cheltenham Gold Cup but probably needs further to be seen at his best at this level.
Balko Des Flos
66/1 when second to Road To Respect last year but proved that was no fluke when winning the Ryanair Chase on his next start. Not so good since with the emphasis on speed but could easily put up a bold show again this year.
Impressive winner of a novice chase here from Our Duke over a shorter trip, with Balko Des Flos and Belshill also beaten. Trouble is he’s been off for 419 days. Still only seven though and could make a
mockery of his odds if at full fitness.
One-time high-class novice chaser two seasons ago but needs to bounce back from a couple of poor runs last season. However, there was some promise in over hurdles behind Apple’s Jade on his seasonal reappearance and he did split Our Duke and Disko over course and distance when at his best.
Outstanding record at Leopardstown with four wins and two places, including a first and third in this race. He’s now the old man of the party at the age of 10 though and it’s worrying that he seems the outsider of the Gigginstown owned horses on jockey bookings.
Shock winner of last season’s Irish Gold Cup over course and distance but there has to be a worry that he’ll find the ground a little too quick this year. Not ruled out but may be staying on a little too late.
Won at last year’s Cheltenham and Punchestown Festivals but balance of form suggests he should find a few of these too good.
Back-to-back wins for Road To Respect will come as no surprise but, with so many warm favourites turned over in England and Ireland this week, it could be worth taking a couple of big-priced ones each-way against him. The two horses that look to have the most potential to cause an upset, if bouncing back to their best, are Disko and Coney Island, who finished second and third to Our Duke over course and distance in their novice seasons. Sadly, Our Duke has passed away since, but would have been favourite for this at his best. Therefore, Disko and Coney Island looks the value bets.
Saville Chase Free Tips
Disko (Each-Way) @ 17.00 BetVictor, SkyBet (both 4 places)
Coney Island (Each-Way) @ 23.00 BetVictor, SkyBet (both 4 places)
Odds Correct at Time of Publication