The RSA Chase at the Cheltenham Festival is a notoriously difficult race. With 19 difficult fences over 3 miles it really plays to the strengths of certain horses over others. The tip for this year is to pay close attention to the horse itself, rather than form.
An RSA winner needs to be a seasoned, hardened pro who jumps well and can stay all day. The race is not suited to novices and the best horse on paper doesn’t necessarily always win. So with that in mind, it’s unlikely that David Pipe is going to enter Grands Crus in this race but will probably, instead, opt for the Cheltenham Gold Cup.
Next on the pecking order for the bookies is Bobs Worth who at seven years of age has only run in two previous Chases. He does like CHeltenham and won the Albert Bartlett Novices Hurdle there in 2011 but that’s a far cry from the RSA. At 5/1 there isn’t much value in him anyway.
Last Instalment has recently moved from hurdles to chases and as such only has three of them under his belt. He has won them all which is probably the reason he’s third favourite at the moment but he seems more suited to 2 1/2 milers, does better on heavy ground has only ever run in a field of eight or less.
First Lieutenant is currently at 9/1 and that has dramatically shortened from his previous 20/1 but he’s still good value as an each-way bet. He likes the ground good, is strong stable horse and if Grands Crus does withdraw from the race then his odds will drop even further.
For my money, Berties Dream is the horse that should get an each-way bet. He’s by far one of the most experienced horses in the race. He consistently runs at 3 miles, he’s won at Cheltenham, likes the ground good and is fresh off the back of a nice win at Thurles on January 7th 2012 where he carried 11-12 in a decent field of 12 competitors. Paddy Power have already dropped his odds from 40/1 to 25/1 but he is still best priced and available (at time of writing) at 33/1.