• Glenfarclas Cross Country Steeple Chase

    In the last five, the front two in the market have been the first two home.

    11 of the last 13 aged no older than 10 yrs.

    Easysland only ever winner younger than eight. Won as a six yr old.

    12 from the last 14 winning the Course Conditions races from the market front two.

    15 of the 19 winners had previously run on the course.

    12 of the last 14 had previously contested a Graded race.

    11 of the last 14 had run in no more than five cross country races

    P Nicholls, N Henderson, and W Mullins have yet to win this.

    Only two of the last 17 had won more than once that season

    G Elliott responsible for six of the last seven

    No GB trained has been placed since 2018

    Six of the last nine Gigginstown owned

    17 of the 19 had run on a Cross Country course

    Six of the last eight wore headgear

    The last nine Irish trained winners all wore tongue ties

    Since becoming a conditions race, the BHA top rated always placed at least.


    Race Distance - 3 miles 6 furlongs. 19 runnings. 'Steeplechasing in its purist form' (not my words, those of Davy Russell) which has thankfully provided me with a small but steady financial return over the years. With the late disqualification of Any Currency* in 2016, we will go 'on the day' result for stats purposes. You would have been paid on that result.


    Winner to be trained in France or Ireland. Should have raced over the Cheltenham C&D this season or previous winner ans/or G Elliott. Winner not older than 10 yrs of age or previous winner. Older horse might be placed. Has been placed at least over these obstacles at either Cheltenham or Punchestown. Has won over at least 3m. Unlikely to be ridden by a claimer. Enda Bolger not much recent success. Winner has not ran in more than five Cross Country races or previous winner. Still best to avoid beaten favourites last time. Has either won at least a Listed chase or ran in a Graded one. Headgear likely.


    From 2016 this has been a Conditions Race and not a Handicap. From 2023 all carry 11st 7lbs.
  • Honours Board

    Year ||| Form ||| Winner ||| Age ||| Weight ||| OR ||| SP ||| Trainer||| Jockey ||| Last race (no of days)

    2023 ||| 136 ||| Delta Work ||| 10 ||| 11-7 ||| 159 ||| 11/10F ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| K Donoghue ||| 6th G2 Boyne Hurdle (46)

    2022 ||| 466 ||| Delta Work ||| 9 ||| 11-4 ||| 160 ||| 5/2F ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| J Kennedy ||| 6th G1 Irish Gold Cup 3m Leop (39)

    2021 ||| P6 ||| Tiger Roll ||| 11 ||| 11-4 ||| 166 ||| 9/2 ||| Denise Foster (IRE) ||| K Donoghue ||| 6th Boyne Hurdle (24)

    2020||| 1111 ||| Easysland ||| 6 |||11-4 ||| 152 ||| 3/1 ||| D Cottin (FRE)||| J Plouganou |||1st Pau Listed Ch (38)

    2019||| 41 ||| Tiger Roll ||| 9 ||| 11-4 ||| 159 ||| 5/4F ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| K Donoghue |||1st G2 Boyne Hdle (24)

    2018||| 2P5 ||| Tiger Roll ||| 8 ||| 11-4 ||| 150 ||| 7/1 ||| G Elliott (IRE) ||| K Donoghue |||5th Glenfarclas Ch (90)

    2017||| 5P05 ||| Cause Of Causes ||| 9 |||11-4 |||142 ||| 4/1 ||| G Elliott (IRE) |||Mr JJ Codd |||5th Glenfarclas Ch (46)

    2016||| 3428 ||| Any Currency* ||| 13 ||| 11-4 ||| 157 ||| 11/1 ||| M Keighley |||A Coleman |||8th Glenfarclas Ch (96)

    2015||| 4172F ||| Rivage d'Or ||| 10 ||| 10-10 ||| 134||| 16/1 ||| A Martin (IRE) ||| D Russell ||| PU Irish p2p (101)

    2014||| 111 ||| Balthazar King ||| 10 |||11-12 ||| 150 ||| 4/1||| P Hobbs ||| R Johnson |||1st Glenfarcalas Cond. Ch (117)



    First ran in 2005. As said, since 2016 this has been a level weights conditions race. Carry 11-7 up 3lbs since 2023. Mares get 7lbs.


    Only Quevega, Golden Miller and Tiger Roll have ever won five Festival races.


    In the last five the front two on the market have been the front two home. The closest any other horse has got to them was Some Neck in 2021, 20 lengths behind Tiger Roll.


    2023 - Delta Work fav from Galvin in a damp thriller. Good ride by Keith Donoghue. Pair a mile clear from Franco de Port. Top three on BHA ratings finished 1-2-3.


    2022 - I think the ground beat him. Or maybe just even Delta Work's class. Never mind, The twelve old Tiger Roll was carried out on his shield. Loved the two of them walking back together to the unsaddling enclosure because Davy Russell didn't want Delta Work to be booed if on his own! Fine training performance by G Elliott.


    2021- Tiger Roll galloped all over them. Won by 18 lengths at 9/2. Rated 166 Great to see. In 2020 there were been rumours on the preview nights (Kevin Blake in Belfast a prime example) that Tiger was not unbeatable. And that the French raider Easysland not that far off him even with a 19lb difference in the ratings, 171 to 152. Exacta paid £6.40 or just under 9/4. And nothing else got within a beagle's gowl of the two of them. Out Sam was 35 lengths behind the winner. Otherwise known as the Cross Country free money.


    2020 - Easysland enjoyed the swampy conditions more than the Tiger.


    2019 - Tiger Roll had liked to hoover this up on his way to Aintree. 22 lengths in 2019 at an SP of 5/4 with never a moment's worry.  Josies Orders finished 2nd sometime later. Tiger Roll was rated 159, placed horses each on 149.


    2018 - As an 8 yr old in the Tiger stayed on strongly to beat Urgent De Gregaine and The Last Samurai (fav) both 10 yr olds.


    2017 - Cause of Causes at 9 yrs stayed on to go 9l clear of two 12 yr olds Bless The Wings and Cantlow. Cause Of Causes had spent a couple of days in January schooling over the course fences. The world knew. They all do it now.


    2016 - Any Currency, a 13 yr old held on from Josies Orders and Bless The Wings. Nina got a wee bit behind and Josies came with a late flourish. Any Currency started running in these X Country races in March 2013 and had been close before in this one. Disqualified later in 2016 for a drugs irregularity. Not sure anyone really cared, not even JP? At that time Mssrs Keighley and Coleman could have done with the Festival winner.

    2015 - Davy Russell won this on Rivage D'Or at 16s for Tony Martin and Gigginstown. A 10 yr old who had been pulled up in a point to point on his last run and had never raced over these type of fences before. He had schooled a lot with Paul Carberry, they said. Sure, that was easy to find. Well, it was Davy's 5th consecutive winning Festival ride, his confidence must have been high and he has happy memories of this race. His first Festival winner was in 2006 on Native Jack trained by Philip Rothwell.


    GB TRAINED - Taking out Any Currency therefore Balthazar King in 2012 and 2014 is the only GB trained winner in the 19 runnings. Latenightpass A 1-4 for English trained 2014 with Keighley trained Any Currency and Duke of Lucca in 4th. The Last Samurai 3rd in 2018, Wedger Pardy 2012, Le Duc and Lacdoudal (two more Hobbs trained) are the only other GB trained horses to be placed in the last 15 renewals Seven of the 16 last year best Lieutenant Rocco, 4th for Syd Hosie. In 2022 only five were GB trained best Richard Bandey's Diesel D'Allier in 4th. In 2021 6 from 13 ran, only finisher was Jamie Snowden's Hogan Heights in 6th and last. 2020 5 from 14 were English trained, best finisher 6th. 6 from 15 in 2019, best finisher 6th again, 7 from 16 GB in 2018 best The Last Samurai. Ireland have supplied 48 of the 61 win and place returns including the other 15 winners. All bar Easysland of the last seven.


    FRENCH TRAINED - The two 1-2s in the November and December handicaps paved the way. Urgent De Gregaine also being placed in 2020 and 2021. Easysland was 1st and 2nd in 2020 and 2021. Now with Jonjo. No others came last two years.


    Three winners of P P Hogan Memorial Cross Country Chase at Punchestown early February won this '06 to '08. However only Big Shu in the last 12 has come from Punchestown to win this. He had finished second at Punchestown. Neverushacon tailed off 8th and last in 2020, probably didn't like the swamp. 2022 neither Shady Operator off 129 nor any of the other first four home came to this. Neither did Stealthy Tom last year.


    At Punchestown in 2019 Josies Orders won, then was 2nd here. In 2018 Auvergnat beat Josies Orders. Finished 4th and 6th respectively at Cheltenham.


    COURSE FORM - The November h'cap was well won by Foxy Jacks from Latenightpass. Once the Skeltons realised that the latter would stay the trip, he then took the December h'cap from Francky Du Berlais. Ratings would suggest that those races are about 10lb below what is needed in March. In November the prices of both Delta Work and Galvin drifted considerably. Perhaps not totally match fit? In 2022 it was Delta Work's first race over the course, even though he was a previous Pertemps Final winner and had finished a somewhat unlucky third in the Broadway Chase. The November handicap in 2021 was won by Back On The Lash rated 138 from the magnificent Singing Banjo (13lb out of the handicap) and Diesel D'Alliers 137. The December h'cap was won by Diesel D'Allier 137 on the line from Potters Corner (3lbs out of the handicap) Tiger Roll ahd won in 2018, '19 and '21. Some Neck was 3rd here in 2021 having won the December h'cap in 2020. In 2019 Easysland won that race rated 139 (then bought by JP McManus) from Amazing Comedy 128 and Out Sam 140.


    AGE - Easysland first six-yr-old ever to win this. And may be running in it for some time to come. Now trained by Jonjo. Big Shu, Balthazar King, Le Duc, Freneys Well and Josies Orders at 8 yrs were the youngest to win/place before that. First three home last year were aged 10-9-8 2022 it was 9-12-9. 2021 11-7-10 In 2020, 6-10-11 respectively. In last years renewal we three horses aged less than 9 yrs, Franco De Port 3rd. In 2022 it was four. Best was Michouka in 5th at 150/1. But then his pilot Keith Donoghue would have known his way around here. In 2020 that number was three. In 2019 four nine yr olds ran, the rest were aged in double figures. In the first running in 2005 7 of the 16 runners were aged in single figures. 2016, 17 and 18 it was 8 from 16 each time. No real difference. Apart from Easysland, Tiger Roll, Big Shu and Baltazar King, the other 15 winners aged between 9 and 12 years of age. Only two winners older than 11 in last 17.


    TRAINERS - Officially Gordon Elliott has five of the last seven as well as Galvin 2nd, Tiger Roll 2nd 2020 '22 and Out Sam 3rd, Mrs Foster had her name beside the Great Tiger in 2021. Gordon also trained Bless The Wings, placed twice in 2016 and 2017 and Out Sam, again placed in December 2019. Enda Bolger used to farm these races but hasn't won 'on the day' any of the last 12. JP McManus likes this race and has owned 6 winners (+ Josies Orders on the disqualification) Easysland and Cause of Causes 2017 first 'on the day' since 2009.


    Gigginstown have become very keen on this race with Rivage D'or, Tiger Roll and Delta Work. Six of the last nine.


    Officially, Enda Bolger has trained 5 out of the 17 winners with four seconds, four thirds and four fourths. (No runner 2023, Shady Operator last in 2022, no runner 2021, Josies PU and Yanworth U 2020. Auvergnat in 4th best of four in 2018, Cantlow 3rd, Augernat 4th in 2017, Josies and the Q horse in 2016. 2015 only runner was Quantitiveeasing unlucky, four unplaced runners in 2014, 2013 Arabella Boy 7th at 9/4, Garde Champetre broke down 2012). Spotthedifference finished 4th in this in '06 at the age of 14 carrying 11st 12lb. Without the disqualification of Any Currency Enda has not won any of the last 12 and would be 0 from 33.


    Paul Nicholls has only ever won two of these types of races. No winners from 13 runners in this. Sire Collonges (three times) his only runner in the last decade or so. Willie Mullins is 0 from 16 here, his best Ballycasey 4th at 33s 2019 as a 12 yr old.


    Delta Work, Urgent de Gregaine, Rivage D'Or, and Uncle Junior in November '11 are the only horses in 43 races to win first time over these type of fences. Easysland at 6 yrs, Wonderkid, Dec '07, Sire Collonges and Josies Orders only 7 yr olds to win one of these types of races at Cheltenham. Easysland and Dogora the only horses under 8 yrs of age to be placed in this. In 2015. Dogora is also the only horse I can recall to have fallen at the last in a Cheltenham X Country Chase. Easysland and Diesel D'Allier had obviously raced over these sort of courses in France.


    All had won over at least 2m 6f. The last 18 had all won over at least 3m.


    Only 3 of the last 14 won last time out.


    12 of the last 14 had contested a graded chase. Last year Delta Work had a jog round in Navan's Boyne Hurdle. In 2022 his previous run was to be 6th in the Irish Gold Cup. Definitely shallower waters. Easysland had won both French Listed races he had run in. Both as favourite.


    11 from the last 14 had previously run in no more than five cross country chases. Delta Work has now ran in four. Tiger Roll ran in eight. Easysland has now run in 13, six in France and seven at Cheltenham.


    COURSE FORM - 15 of the 19 winners had raced over the Cheltenham course and distance in the same season. Not Delta Work (first time). Rivage D'Or unpl Pertemps Final 2011, Big Shu never been here before. Along with Native Jack, the latter's only racecourse run that season came from the PP Hogan. Take your choice of those in the handicaps.


    RATINGS (unlikely to matter now - all level weights) Delta Work 159 last year, Galvin 166, Franco De Port 158. 2022 Delta was 160 1lb behind Tiger Roll, Easysland 152, Tiger Roll was 166, 159, 150, Cause of Cause 142, Any Currency top rated 157. The top rated horse has always been placed at least since this became a conditions race. Balthazar King and Garde Champetre won off 150. The other 9 winners were rated between 126 and 143. 11st 12lbs carried to win three times with the Balt, Spot and Garde Champetre. Rivage D'or 134. Big Shu carried 10st 5lb, rating 136. Spot won the first one in '05 off top weight rating 143.

    11 out of 18 had won a cross country chase at either Cheltenham or Punchestown. A New Story and Sizing Australia had been previously placed at Cheltenham over these obstacles. Not Delta Work, Tiger Roll (first time) nor Cause Of Cause but all three had already won at least one Festival race. (The latter two had actually won four different races). Cause Of Causes had the distinction of winning three different chases in three successive Festivals. Balthazar King (first time) had only ran once over the course, carried out when in contention. Was a previous dual course chase winner over the park fences both successes being over at least 24 furlongs. The last exception to this stat is the enigmatic Rivage d'Or ridden by the wonderful D Russell.


    PRICE - the front three in the market have won 30 of the last 35 races over this course and 15 of the 18 runnings of this race. You might expect betting stats like that. Big Shu 14s SP and 20s in running. A 100/1 shot has been placed. Tiger Roll in 2019 was the first favourite to be paid out 'on the day' since Heads In The Ground 2007. Three of the last five favourites have obliged.


    This century 17 horses who were beaten favourite last time out have competed. Only Any Currency on the day at 11/1 was successful. Two came last year, both PU. No qualifiers previous four years. In 2017 Cantlow came here as a BF, backed to favouritism and was beaten again. Also Colour Squadron unpl.


    JOCKEYS - Keith Donoghue has ridden Tiger Roll on his three wins. Jack Kennedy nutted poor Davy Russell on the line last year. R Johnson has won this twice. Nina Carberry won four times for Enda. Adrian Heskin on A New Story 40s 2010 is the only claimer to have won this. Josh Halley (7) 3rd 2013 on Outlaw Pete for Mr McManus. No claimers now. Unlikely to get a ride since it is a conditions race. Monsieur Jonathan Plouganou was scorned after his different style in December 2019 and then lauded to the skies by Ruby on ITV with his ability to cut every corner in March 2020. Felix de Giles took over in 2021. Wonder what Jonathan thought, watching it?


    BLINKERS CHEEKPIECES etc - Last year 7 of the 16 wore headgear including 2nd and 3rd home. Only four of the 13 runners in 2021 did not wear headgear of a sort. None of them finished. Only Might Bite 7th and Diesel D'Allier 4th of the 15 of the 2020 vintage likewise. Easysland and Tiger Roll wore blinkers all the time. Cause Of Causes and Bless The Wings in 2017 wore their usual cheekpieces. Any Currency always wears cheekpieces but Josies did not at htat time Therefore officially four winners from 58 triers. 8 of the 15 in 2019 resulting in a 1-2-3. In 2018 there were 11 including the 1-2. 8 tried in each of the previous three years (no first timers at all). At least one placed each time. Six of the last seven wore some sort of headgear. Not last year.


    Tongue Tie - 8 of the last ten. Not the English trained.