RSA Chase: 3m 1f, Wednesday, March 16, 2:10pm
Key Stat: Four of the last six winners ran in the Albert Bartlett the season before
An unflashy, courageous, strong, galloper that jumps well and stays very well is gold dust in the RSA Chase.
Up to 20 of the last 23 winners had been novice hurdling the previous year. The standout guide in that division is the previous season’s Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle that has featured four of the last six winners of the RSA Chase.
Leading contender No More Heroes from the Gordon Elliott yard finished a close-up third in that event last spring (behind Martello Tower & Milsean) and he has had potential RSA Chase winner written all over him ever since.
Four of the last seven winners came from the Flogas Chase (Grade 1) at Leopardstown over 2m 5f and was won this year by Outlander – again from the Willie Mullins stable.
The main British-based hope is 2014 World Hurdle winner, More of That. The big stat against him is that we have to go back 24 years to Rolling Ball to find the last RSA winner that had spent at least two seasons over hurdles if we don’t include Lord Noelie’s one run towards the end of the 1998 season.
More Of That’s supporters will argue that he is a very lightly-raced eight-year-old though.
The two big guns are both unbeaten over fences at the time of writing but it’s not as important as you might think as only Denman and Don Poli have fitted that profile since 1998.
This is principally due to the RSA being won by an improving horse who is beaten early in the season over a trip shy of 3m and then finds its true form when upped in distance.
Don Poli was a trends buster and a half last season. He overcame stats such as not being given a prep race in the same calendar year (every RSA winner since 1962) ran less than three times over fences (unlike the previous 15 winners) and became just the third six-year-old to win the RSA since 1978 (previous eight were all seven-year-olds).