CROSS COUNTRY CHASE

The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is run over a specially designed cross-country course consisting of 32 unique obstacles, including banks, ditches and hedges.

It was added to the Festival roster in 2005 when a fourth day was introduced.

Listed | 5yo+ | Wednesday 16.10
3 miles 6 furlongs | 32 obstacles | Old Course
Weight: 11st (5yo) / 11st 4lb (6yo+) | Allowance: 7lb for mares
Prize money (2022): £75,000 | 1st: £39,023

In its early years, the race was dominated by trainer Enda Bolger who won 4 of the first 5 renewals, all for owner JP McManus.

He also trained Josies Orders - awarded the race in 2016 after Any Currency, who had finished first, was later disqualified.

Originally a handicap, the contest was changed to a conditions race in 2016.

14/17 winners had run on the course before
14/17 winners were trained in Ireland
9/17 winners had run in the National Hunt Chase
4/17 favourites won

In recent years Gordon Elliott has taken over as the trainer to follow - coinciding with it becoming a level weights contest.

Tiger Roll secured a remarkable hat-trick in this race in 2021, which would have added to Elliott's tally, but for his suspension.

However, in the 5 years prior he trained 3 winners, plus 4 to 2nd/3rd, from 10 entries.

Unsurprisingly for this specialised discipline, previous course form or Banks course form at Punchestown is key.

Rivage d'Or is the only winner not to not have prior experience of either.

Various Cross Country Chase winners had previously run in the National Hunt Chase.

In fact, Cause of Causes and Tiger Roll had both won that and a different Festival race.

It usually pays to swerve horses trained by Messrs Nicholls and Mullins whose records stand at 0-13 and 0-15 respectively.

A unique test of a horse's capabilities, it is no surprise to see repeat winners.

As well as Tiger Roll (2018, 2019 & 2021), both Garde Champetre (2008 & 2009) and Balthazar King (2012 & 2014) won twice.

LAST 5 WINNERS’ DATA

YEAR
AGE
OFFICIAL RATING
WEIGHT
2022
9
160
11-4
2021
11
166
11-4
2020
6
152
11-4
2019
9
159
11-4
2018
8
150
11-4

PREVIOUS WINNERS

YEAR
WINNER
JOCKEY / TRAINER
SP
2022
Delta Work
Jack Kennedy / Gordon Elliott
5/2f
2021
Tiger Roll
Keith Donoghue / Mrs Denise Foster
9/2
2020
Easysland
Jonathan Plouganou / David Cottin
3/1
2019
Tiger Roll
Keith Donoghue / Gordon Elliott
5/4f
2018
Tiger Roll
Keith Donoghue / Gordon Elliott
7/1
2017
Cause of Causes
Jamie Codd / Gordon Elliott
4/1
2016
Josies Orders*
Nina Carberry / Enda Bolger
15/8f
2015
Rivage d'Or
Davy Russell / A J Martin
16/1
2014
Balthazar King
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
4/1
2013
Big Shu
Barry Cash / Peter Maher
14/1
2012
Balthazar King
Richard Johnson / Philip Hobbs
11/2
2011
Sizing Australia
Andrew Lynch / Henry De Bromhead
13/2
2010
A New Story
Adrian Heskin / Michael Hourigan
33/1
2009
Garde Champetre
Nina Carberry / Enda Bolger
7/2
2008
Garde Champetre
Nina Carberry / Enda Bolger
4/1
2007
Heads Onthe Ground
Nina Carberry / Enda Bolger
5/2f
2006
Native Jack
Davy Russell / Philip Rothwell
7/2jf
2005
Spot Thedifference
JT McNamara / Enda Bolger
4/1
* Any Currency finished first in 2016 but was subsequently disqualified after a prohibited substance was found in a post-race urine sample

Tiger Roll's third Cross Country Chase win was his fifth victory at the Festival in total:

JP McManus had a seventh Cross Country Chase winner with Easyland in 2020:

Tiger Roll romped to back-to-back wins in 2019, winning by 22 lengths:

His victory in 2018 made it three different types of races he had won at the Festival.

It was a first Festival win for jockey Keith Donoghue, while owner Michael O'Leary memorably said about his horse:

‘HE’S A LITTLE RAT OF A THING, BUT HE’S THE HEART OF A LION’