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Cheltenham Cross Country Chase tips for March's Class 2 race. One of the newer additions to the Festival, it is a contest that divides opinion, but there are few better vantage points in racing that stood by the water jump on the Cross Country course at Cheltenham. Read on for our free betting tips, predictions and analysis.

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IN SUMMARY: Bidding for a fifth straight victory at the Festival, CAUSE OF CAUSES won this race twelve months ago by nine lengths and it’s hard to oppose him once again. He simply loves it here and with so much experience and class, he should have no problem accounting for these rivals under J J Codd. The Last Samuri is very interesting on these terms, but he lacks the Cross Country experience and the main danger may come from Hurricane Darwin, who shaped better than the bare result last time.

Tiger Roll
J: Keith Donoghue T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Dual Festival winner who won the four-miler last season, not disgraced on his first attempt of this discipline over course and distance in December. He is entitled to improve on that experience but he needs to in such a competitive field. He’s got claims with conditions fine, but the yard has bigger chances with Cause Of Causes.
The Last Samuri
J: David Bass T: Kim Bailey
Finished runner-up in the 2016 Grand National, running three great races in defeat this season. He has potential to really take to this sphere and on these terms, if he does so he’ll have leading claims. That said, it’s all to be taken on trust and that does present a risk to his chances.
Saint Are
J: A. P. Heskin T: Tom George
Looks to be campaigned for the Grand National once again, well held on his return at this venue last time over timber. This will be more to his liking with a bigger stamina test, but this is a tough ask on ground that is far from ideal.
Urgent De Gregaine
J: Felix de Giles T: Emmanuel Clayeux, France
Course and distance scorer in January 2017 and he wasn’t disgraced in that same race earlier this season. He’s run both his races at this course so there is no reason why he wouldn’t go well again, especially as the ground is exactly where he wants it. Not discounted by any means.
J: Jonathan Plouganou T: David Cottin, France
French raider who is very tough to gauge, finishing second in chases at Pau the last twice. He has plenty to find on the ratings and his stamina is far from assured, but this yard did have an outsider run a bold race in this twelve months ago. That said, there are far too many negatives to recommend him here.
Belamix Dor
J: Thomas Beaurain T: Patrice Quinton, France
Seven year old mare who is the lowest rated horse in this contest, still a maiden over fences. She needs a huge amount of improvement to feature here and she should lack the required quality to feature.
Vicomte Du Seuil
J: Charlie Deutsch T: Emmanuel Clayeux, France
Second in a course and distance handicap in November off a featherweight, but he now finds himself opposing some of the same horses on much worse terms. That gives him plenty to do and softer ground is perhaps not ideal at this distance. Couldn’t be put forward on this occasion.
Josies Orders
J: Miss N. Carberry T: Enda Bolger, Ireland
Awarded the contest in 2016 but was a shade disappointing when beaten at Punchestown last time. He should improve for the step up in distance and the ground is in his favour, so he couldn’t be discounted for a place with his wealth of experience.
Hurricane Darwin
J: Denis O'Regan T: Alan Fleming, Ireland
Ran better than the bare result suggested on cross-country debut last month, running on strongly late but jumping errors cost him early. He should come on for that experience and today’s ground will suit. Stamina is a question mark, but he's highly interesting.
Bless The Wings
J: Davy Russell T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Rarely runs a bad race over course and distance, placing in this contest the last twice. He won over course and distance here when last seen in December which proves the fire still burns. Softer ground is a small concern, but he’s impossible to discount for a place.
J: Sean Quinlan T: Jennie Candlish
Makes his cross-country debut on the back of preparation run at Musselburgh last month. He’s a bold jumping front-runner who may be suited by this sphere. That said, his lack of experience is of concern and may just catch him out as he won’t get a soft lead out in front.
J: D. J. McInerney T: Enda Bolger, Ireland
Course and distance winner back in December 2016 and he did himself no disservice when third in this race twelve months ago. He doesn’t tend to win very often though and at the age of thirteen, he does look vulnerable to younger legs on this occasion.
Cause Of Causes
J: Mr J. J. Codd T: Gordon Elliott, Ireland
Has won four straight races at the Festival, winning this race twelve months ago by nine lengths. He’s had his usual preparation run since over an inadequate trip, now back up in distance. He’s got the experience edge and with conditions no concern, he can make it five on the bounce.
J: Will Kennedy T: Donald McCain
Has been in fair form in recent starts for an in form yard, but those runs have come in lower grade handicaps and he faces a stiff task on these terms. He’s yet to prove himself in this field and with so many experienced rivals, he should prove vulnerable here.
Chic Name
J: Jonathan Burke T: Richard Hobson
One win from seven chasing starts and he’s got a huge amount to find on the ratings after some modest runs of late. He has stamina to prove over this distance and he makes no appeal here.
J: Mark Walsh T: Enda Bolger, Ireland
Came home well to finish fourth in this race twelve months ago behind Cause Of Causes, beating Josie’s Orders at Punchestown last month. He’s won on soft ground in the past and he’s only aged eight, which means there may still be more to come from him with experience. Should run his race and may fill the frame.

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