Cheltenham tips – will Champ rise to the RSA challenge?

RSA Chase Tips

Daryl Carter (@DarylCarter7) gives the latest of his Cheltenham tips in the RSA Chase, which takes place on Cheltenham Festival Day two, Wednesday, March 11.

Those of you who know me can probably guess who I’m going to tip before they read the article but let’s go ahead and assess those at the head of the market.

RSA Chase Tips – Star of the show

Considering my love affair with him, it’s probably worth putting CHAMP front and centre. His proven quality has never been in doubt, but he has shown worrying signs of quirkiness in two of his three starts to date, notably when falling at Cheltenham on New Year’s Day in the Dipper.

His previous two performances at Newbury were excellent, despite his jockey nearly steering him out, and it’s fair to say things haven’t quite gone to plan this season. His jumping technique is improving with each start but he needs to be told when to jump a fence – left to his own devices he can be a loose cannon.

Despite his negatives, he owns a sizeable and powerful engine and is clearly full of ability that just needs to be channelled in the right direction. On the bare form he deserves to be favourite and, despite the fall last time, he now has Cheltenham chase experience under his belt. He is the one to beat and we are not yet near the ceiling of his ability. 

RSA Chase Tips – Main Irish chance

MINELLA INDO was an impressive winner of last year’s Albert Bartlett and winners of that race have a good record going into this. He disappointed on his chase debut over a trip far short of what he needs when finishing behind Laurina at Gowran Park, but his trainer Henry de Bromhead suggested he was in need of the run and experience.

His second start at Navan over the optimum trip left backers feeling slightly flat as he scrambled home to beat Captain CJ (rated 142) and he will need to improve considerably on the basis of those two runs to get competitive here.  But its still early days with him and he was so impressive at Cheltenham last season that you write him off at your peril.

RSA Chase Tips – Reputation dented

BATTLEOVERDOYEN is an outstanding jumper of a fence as many people guessed he would be when watching him over hurdles. Unbeaten in his first three chase starts for trainer Gordon Elliott before bumping into better opposition when third behind Faugheen in the Grade 1 Flogas Novice Chase. His air of invincibility has now quickly disappeared and a similar effort in this race would not be enough to hold solid claims here.

Add in the uncertainty of travel and the fact he blotted his copybook at Cheltenham last term, he now rates a risky proposition. 

RSA Chase Tips – Improving all the time

ALLAHO is an interesting runner based on his third behind Minella Indo in the Albert Bartlett last season. He looks to have work to do on the bare form, but he has taken to fences really well. His first start of the season was clearly needed behind stablemate Easy Game but, dropped into lesser company at Fairyhouse next time, he put in an excellent display of jumping from the front.

His concentration levels at fences needs some work and he is yet to win on a left-handed track (can jump slightly right), but he is still improving and could have more to come if he is to succeed at this year’s Cheltenham Festival.

RSA Chase Tips – Could Sam be the man?

SAM BROWN would be of huge interest if he showed up here, as he’s unexposed and has an engine to rival the market leaders. He is entered elsewhere at this year’s Cheltenham festival but you would forgive connections for having a crack at this race. He looks very good.

RSA Chase Tips – All to prove

SLATE HOUSE attempted to step out of novice company to take on Santini and Bristol De Mai in the Cotswold Chase at Cheltenham and was firmly put in his place when failing to complete. He won the Kauto Star Chase at Kempton in a very slow time but will need to find much more in this company if lining up here.

RSA Chase Tips – Big race verdict

The market looks to have this one right with those at the head of affairs holding all the cards and it’s difficult to see any of the outsiders playing a strong hand. Sam Brown is no mug and can reward each-way punters if he is anywhere near double-figure odds on the day, but it’s CHAMP who rates the one with the most future potential and he’s my selection.