The RSA Chase is the top three mile chase for novices of the year and can be a very gruelling test, the most recent winner of the race is current Gold Cup favourite Might Bite who won in remarkable fashion by the narrowest of margins having nearly thrown it away after the last fence. The RSA is a proper test of stamina as well as class but like all races at the Cheltenham Festival can be narrowed down with key trends and statistics, you can also find our RSA Chase tips here.
RSA Chase Trends
- Experience is key – 15 of the last 16 winners had had three or more starts over fences
- Class comes to the fore – The last 13 winners had either placed in or won a graded race before
- Seven and eight year olds dominate – Only two winners since 1999 haven’t been aged seven or eight
- Favourites do okay – 5 favourites have won since 2007
- Cheltenham form pays – 7 of the last 11 winners had won at Cheltenham before
Trends – Key Runners
Presenting Percy ✅✅✅✅✅
Black Corton ✅✅✅❌✅
Mia’s Storm ✅❌✅❌❌
Al Boum Photo ✅✅❌❌❌
The current favourite for the RSA with most firms is the Pat Kelly trained Presenting Percy who does well in our trends, he is a seven year old who has won at graded level and has course form as the winner of last year’s Pertemps final.
Presenting Percy is a horse of some talent and proved that when absolutely bolting up at last year’s Festival in one of the most competitive handicaps of the year. He made the perfect start to life as a chaser when breaking his maiden in fine style and aside from one disappointment has done very little wrong. He proved his stamina when winning over a marathon trip in heavy ground and only gave way to genuine Gold Cup contender Our Duke in the closing stages of the Red Mills Chase last time. He clearly has plenty of ability and jumps well which is key at the Festival, he improved for good ground last year and looks to have every chance of going close again.
Last year’s Albert Bartlett looks a race which could have plenty of bearing on the Festival this year and the second in that contest was the Henry De Bromhead trained Monalee, who was always touted as a future chaser. He beat decent yardstick Any Second Now with consummate ease on his chasing debut and was travelling and jumping like an old hand again before an uncharacteristic mistake led him to tip up heavily in a Grade 1 at Leopardstown at Christmas. There were concerns over his wellbeing before his reappearance at the Dublin Racing Festival but he popped out in front in a hot-looking Grade 1 and jumped the field into submission, he didn’t put a foot wrong and stayed on strongly despite being slightly keen early to hold all of his rivals at bay. That was a seriously polished performance and he looked like he’d appreciate the test of the RSA so he has plenty going for him.
The British challenge is led this year by the remarkable Black Corton who made his chasing debut in a novice chase all the way back in June last year and has since won 8 of his 11 starts, remarkably never finishing out of the first two. He won his first Grade 1 when taking the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase on Boxing Day in good style and was most impressive when taking care of the challenge of Ms Parfois in the Reynoldstown last time out. He is far from lightly raced but seems to be improving with every start and has long since been viewed as a horse who will appreciate better ground. He has won at the track twice over fences already and looks to have a major chance of making his 12th chase start a successful one.
The favourite for the Kauto Star Chase won by Black Corton was the Alan King trained Mia’s Storm, who wasn’t running particularly well before falling but had put up some very impressive performances before that which justified her lofty reputation. Her trainer insists she is better than that and will be much improved with the proposition of better ground so she is probably not one to rule out just yet, she gets five pounds from all her male rivals if she turns up here (she is also entered in the Ultima on the first day) which would make her a potent threat if bouncing back to the form which saw her give a beating to the talented Elegant Escape on her chasing debut.
As with a few Cheltenham races it’s hard to know exactly what will show up on the day but Al Boum Photo has shown plenty of ability so far over fences and would be interesting despite the poor record of six-year-olds in this race and similar comments apply to Dounikos, though he is seven. Terrefort would become interesting if the ground came up soft as would the Donald McCain trained Testify, though their plans are currently unclear.
For more trends articles, previews, tips and other content head over to our Cheltenham Festival tips section.