Cross Country Chase Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Cheltenham Festival)

Updated: 9192 Horse Racing

We look at the Cross Country Chase ahead of the next renewal, a race contested over 3m6f at Cheltenham during the Cheltenham Festival to see which runners, trainers and jockeys have previously won the race and which trends can you use to find the winner of the Cross Country Chase.

Cross Country Chase Preview, Tips, Runners & Trends (Cheltenham Festival)
In this article: Preview
Andy Powell Content Editor

Horse Racing stats man, Andy has contributed to OLBG for 18 years - An Ipswich fan and F1 fanatic, he also contributes EFL football and Motor Sport opinion.

2025 Cross Country Chase Preview

The marmite race of the festival is the Cross Country Chase which was introduced in 2005. The race is run over a trip slightly further than three miles and six furlongs with thirty-two various obstacles to be negotiated and since 2016 has become a conditions event as opposed to its initial handicap status from inception in 2005.

This is very much a specialist race with old favourites running here on multiple occasions. A New Story ran in the race on six consecutive occasions and other frequent runners included Garde Champetre, Sizing Australia and Any Currency. Spot Thedifference won the inaugural cross country chase, then finished runner-up in 2006 and fourth in 2007. Upon his retirement, he had won on seven occasions over the cross-country fences at Cheltenham!

Dual Aintree Grand National winner Tiger Roll won this race in 2018 & 2019 before his Grand National double and also returned to win it in 2021 and was runner-up in 2022 on his last visit to a racecourse before being retired. Below we have previewed the Cross Country Chase trends and statistics and form picks highlighted by our expert tipsters in forum posts to help you find the winner of the Cross Country Chase.

Cross Country Chase Information:

Our dedicated Cheltenham tips page will not only bring you predictions from the OLBG racing tipsters for the upcoming card that includes the Cross Country Chase but will also have predictions for each meeting at Cheltenham throughout the season so be sure to head over there. We cover every race at the Cheltenham Festival and below you can find links to all of the races for each of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday & Friday.

How competitive is the Cross Country Chase market? When looking at the over-rounds for the last 19 renewals, the most competitive market was in 2005 when the race had an over-round of 119%. The race in 2013 was a race that was most in the bookie's favour with an over-round of 130%, whilst on average over the last 19 renewals of the Cross Country Chase, the over-round has been 124%, which means the bookie expects to pay out £100 for every £124 which is bet.

Cross Country Chase Trends:

Looking at the future form, is the winner worth following next time out? From the past 19 if you had followed the winner of the Cross Country Chase next time out then you would have backed a total of 5 winners. Backing all 19 runners who have been out since to win at SP next time out, would have returned an LSP of +16.25. Whilst we wait for the 2024 Cross Country Chase remember you can get daily racing predictions from the expert tipsters on the racing predictions page.

The runner that holds the record over the past 19 renewals for the slowest time in the race was set in the 2020 renewal when Easysland from D Cottin under the guidance of Jonathan Plouganou, won in a time of 9:09.60, whilst at the other end of the spectrum, Balthazar King, trained by Philip Hobbs and ridden by Richard Johnson set the quickest time of 7:51.70 in the 2012 renewal.

These are the top three quickest-run Cross Country Chase over the last 19 renewals:

  1. Balthazar King (7:51.70) in 2012
  2. Sizing Australia (8:06.22) in 2011
  3. Josies Orders (8:11.00) in 2016
What the expert says...
Since 2010, only three of the fourteen winners of the Cross Country Chase came into the race having won last time out, nine of those finished fifth or worse so strong form isn't exactly a must coming into this race.

Andy Powell - Horse Racing Betting Expert -

Cross Country Chase Past Winners

Here are the Cross Country Chase past winners for the last 10 renewals. Each row details the year of the race, the horse which won along with the age & weight of the horse. The trainer of the horse at the time of winning the Cross Country Chase as well as the jockey is also displayed along with the starting price the horse was sent off.

Race Notes: The race was abandoned in 2024 due to the cross-country course being waterlogged.

Delta Work (FR)
10yo 11-7 11/10F
Keith Donoghue
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
Delta Work (FR)
9yo 11-4 5/2F
Jack Kennedy
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
Tiger Roll (IRE)
11yo 11-4 9/2
Keith Donoghue
Mrs Denise Foster (IRE)
Easysland (FR)
6yo 11-4 3/1
Jonathan Plouganou
D Cottin (FR)
Tiger Roll (IRE)
9yo 11-4 5/4F
Keith Donoghue
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
Tiger Roll (IRE)
8yo 11-4 7/1
Keith Donoghue
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
Cause Of Causes (USA)
9yo 11-4 4/1
Mr J J Codd
Gordon Elliott (IRE)
Josies Orders (IRE)
8yo 11-4 15/8F
Ms N Carberry
E Bolger (IRE)
Rivage DOr (FR)
10yo 10-10 16/1
Davy Russell
A J Martin (IRE)
Balthazar King (IRE)
10yo 11-12 4/1
Richard Johnson
Philip Hobbs (GB)

Where have the winning runners come from?

Here are the countries where the winning trainers of the Cross Country Chase have been based:

  • IRE: 16 winners with an additional 35 placings from 153 runners
  • GB: 2 winners with an additional 9 placings from 121 runners
  • FR: 1 winner with an additional 4 placings from 23 runners

Cross Country Chase Trainer Statistics

There are two leading trainers in the Cross Country Chase over the last 19 renewals with both E Bolger and Gordon Elliott who have both won the race five times. E Bolger winners have been with Spot Thedifference (2005), Heads Onthe Ground (2007), Garde Champetre (2008 & 2009) and Josies Orders (2016). Gordon Elliott winners have been with Cause Of Causes (2017), Tiger Roll (2018 & 2019) and Delta Work (2022 & 2023). The only other trainer to have recorded multiple wins in the Cross Country Chase is Philip Hobbs (2 wins). Two trainers have not had the best of times over the last 19 renewals in the Cross Country Chase, Paul Nicholls has sent a total of 16 runners to the race without recording any wins whilst W P Mullins has sent out 15 without a winner.

Here are some of the top Cross Country Chase trainer statistics over the last 19 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

E Bolger47-5-16-26.12-17.70
Gordon Elliott20-5-12+0.85+1.67
Philip Hobbs12-2-4-0.50+3.57
Henry De Bromhead11-1-3-3.50-4.31
Michael Hourigan7-1-5+19.00+19.88
A J Martin5-1-1+12.00+6.00
Peter Maher4-1-2+11.00+6.62
P J Rothwell4-1-2+0.50+4.69
D Cottin4-1-2+0.00-0.60
Mrs Denise Foster3-1-1+2.50+0.70

Cross Country Chase Jockey Statistics

The leading jockey in the Cross Country Chase over the last 19 renewals is Keith Donoghue who has won the race four times with those four winners coming from Tiger Roll (2018, 2019 & 2021) and Delta Work (2023).

Here are some of the top Cross Country Chase jockey statistics over the last 19 renewals (R = Runners, W = Winners, P = Places including winners, Win LSP is based on 1pt Win and EW LSP is based on 0.5pt Win & 0.5pt Place):

Keith Donoghue6-4-5+11.85+6.07
A P Heskin7-1-4+19.00+15.13
Mr J J Codd4-1-3+1.00+3.30
Jonathan Plouganou4-1-1+0.00-1.20
Jack Kennedy1-1-1+2.50+1.25
Mr P W Mullins8-0-2-8.00-4.50
Mark Walsh7-0-2-7.00-5.25
Aidan Coleman5-0-1-5.00-3.62
Robbie Power4-0-2-4.00-0.99
Felix De Giles4-0-3-4.00-1.55

Cross Country Chase Trend Analysis

The worst performing factor that has failed to produce a single winner is when runners wore cheekpieces, when backing these the trend shows a record of 0-48.

The course which has produced the most winners of the Cross Country Chase is Navan, there has been a total number of 6 winners of this race who ran at Navan last time out. The next best course which has produced the second most winners is Cheltenham, there has been a total number of 5 winners of this race who ran at Cheltenham last time out.

The race is open to both sexes with the Male runners having produced a total of 19 winners from a total of 289 runners whilst the Female runners have produced 0 winners from a total of 8 runners.

Looking over the past renewals, these are the stallions whose offspring have produced multiple winners of the Cross Country Chase:

  • Authorized (3 Wins)
  • Be My Native (2 Wins)
  • Garde Royale (2 Wins)
  • Kings Theatre (2 Wins)
  • Milan (2 Wins)
  • Network (2 Wins)

These are the stallions whose offspring have not produced a winner of the Cross Country Chase despite multiple attempts:

  • Saddlers Hall (0 Wins from 8 runners)
  • Winged Love (0 Wins from 7 runners)
  • Anshan (0 Wins from 6 runners)
  • Presenting (0 Wins from 6 runners)
  • Glacial Storm (0 Wins from 5 runners)

Looking at the winning odds over the last 19 renewals, the biggest-priced winner was A New Story in 2010, winning for Michael Hourigan at odds of 25/1 under the guidance of A P Heskin. Looking at the runners at the head of the market over the last 19 renewals there have been 6 winning favourites in the race. Ahead of the 2025 Cross Country Chase why not head over to the best racing tipster page to see what the tipsters are backing today?

Schedule for Tuesday at the Cheltenham Festival

Prepare for the ROAR of the Cheltenham Festival on the opening day when the tape goes up for the Supreme Novices Hurdle, the feature on Tuesday is the Champion Hurdle.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Supreme Novices Hurdle
Slade Steel (IRE)
6yo - 7/2
Henry De Bromhead
Rachael Blackmore
14:10 Cheltenham
Arkle Challenge Trophy
Gaelic Warrior (GER)
6yo - 2/1
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:50 Cheltenham
Ultima Handicap Chase
Chianti Classico (IRE)
7yo - 6/1
Kim Bailey
David Bass
15:30 Cheltenham
Champion Hurdle
State Man (FR)
7yo - 2/5
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:10 Cheltenham
Close Brothers Mares Hurdle
Lossiemouth (FR)
5yo - 8/13
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:50 Cheltenham
Boodles Juvenile Handicap Hurdle
Lark In The Mornin (GER)
4yo - 9/1
Joseph Patrick O'Brien
J J Slevin
17:30 Cheltenham
National Hunt Chase Challenge Cup
Corbetts Cross (IRE)
7yo - 15/8
Emmet Mullins
Mr Derek O'Connor

Schedule for Wednesday at the Cheltenham Festival

The dust has settled on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival and now on to day two. The feature on the second day is the Queen Mother Champion Chase. We also have the cross country scheduled on Wednesday, a race like Marmite, some love it and some don't!

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Baring Bingham Novices Hurdle
Ballyburn (IRE)
6yo - 1/2
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:10 Cheltenham
Brown Advisory Novices Chase
Fact To File (FR)
7yo - 8/13
W P Mullins
Mark Walsh
14:50 Cheltenham
Coral Cup
Langer Dan (IRE)
8yo - 13/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
15:30 Cheltenham
Queen Mother Champion Chase
Captain Guinness (IRE)
9yo - 17/2
Henry De Bromhead
Rachael Blackmore
16:10 Cheltenham
Cross Country Chase
Delta Work (FR)
10yo - 11/10
Gordon Elliott
Keith Donoghue
16:50 Cheltenham
Johnny Henderson Grand Annual
Unexpected Party (FR)
9yo - 12/1
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
17:30 Cheltenham
Champion Bumper
Jasmin De Vaux (FR)
5yo - 9/2
W P Mullins
Mr P W Mullins

Schedule for Thursday at the Cheltenham Festival

Halfway through the festival and onto day three where the Stayers Hurdle is the feature race. A hurdle race to test the stamina and see how can last best up the Cheltenham hill.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Turners Novices Chase
Grey Dawning (IRE)
7yo - 5/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
14:10 Cheltenham
Pertemps Network Final
Monmiral (FR)
7yo - 25/1
Paul Nicholls
Harry Cobden
14:50 Cheltenham
Ryanair Chase
Protektorat (FR)
9yo - 17/2
Dan Skelton
Harry Skelton
15:30 Cheltenham
Stayers Hurdle
Teahupoo (FR)
7yo - 5/4
Gordon Elliott
Jack Kennedy
16:10 Cheltenham
Festival Plate
Shakem UpArry (IRE)
10yo - 8/1
Ben Pauling
Ben Jones
16:50 Cheltenham
Mares Novices Hurdle
Golden Ace (GB)
6yo - 10/1
Jeremy Scott
Lorcan Williams
17:30 Cheltenham
Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup
Inothewayurthinkin (IRE)
6yo - 13/8
Gavin Cromwell
Mr Derek O'Connor

Schedule for Friday at the Cheltenham Festival

The final day of the festival and feature race that we have all been waiting for, the Cheltenham Gold Cup in which the Irish have been fairly dominant in recent years.

RaceLast WinnerInfo
13:30 Cheltenham
Triumph Hurdle
Majborough (FR)
4yo - 6/1
W P Mullins
Mark Walsh
14:10 Cheltenham
County Handicap Hurdle
Absurde (FR)
6yo - 12/1
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
14:50 Cheltenham
Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle
Stellar Story (IRE)
7yo - 33/1
Gordon Elliott
Sam Ewing
15:30 Cheltenham
Cheltenham Gold Cup
Galopin Des Champs (FR)
8yo - 10/11
W P Mullins
Paul Townend
16:10 Cheltenham
Foxhunter Chase Challenge Cup
Sine Nomine (GB)
8yo - 8/1
Fiona Needham
Mr John Dawson
16:50 Cheltenham
Mrs Paddy Power Mares Chase
Limerick Lace (IRE)
7yo - 3/1
Gavin Cromwell
Keith Donoghue
17:30 Cheltenham
Martin Pipe Conditional Jockeys Handicap Hurdle
Better Days Ahead (IRE)
6yo - 5/1
Gordon Elliott
Danny Gilligan

Article Contributor Information

We are blessed with an excellent team of specialists and experts at OLBG. Contributing to creating and maintaining this Cross Country Chase Preview are at hand, Andy and Darren. They both work on the Horse racing tips team team looking after the tipsters and managing the tips settlement, whilst also creating and managing all of the horse racing event previews for National Hunt Racing.

Darren Brett

Darren Brett

Tipster competition manager

Darren has worked in the horse racing industry for decades bringing to OLBG for the last 20 years a wealth of knowledge, creating much of our content on these sports. Darren also manages our Grand National Guide and is the go-to font of knowledge for the world's greatest steeplechase.
Andy Powell

Andy Powell

Content editor

Andy, a seasoned horse racing expert with over 15 years of experience, possesses a comprehensive understanding of the sport, from delving into complex statistical data for jump racing in the UK and Ireland to crafting insightful national hunt racing blogs for OLBG.

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