The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is open horses aged five or older and is run over a distance of three miles and six furlongs.
There are thirty-two obstacles to navigate around including cheese wedges, railed hedges, several types of ditches, banks and jumps.
It is run on a unique figure of eight style course. Horses can qualify for the race by either placing in preparation races run at Punchestown, Pau or any of the three races run at this track in November, December or March.
The Irish have dominated in this sphere in recent years as they have taken seven of the last ten renewals.
Only one six-year-old has won this race in the last decade and only two favourites have won the race within the same time-frame.
Easysland looks set to renew rivalry with previous two-time winner and double Grand National Hero Tiger Roll.
Previous Winners of the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
Runners To Watch
Below are selected runners who hold entries for the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase 2021.
Karl Hedley provides some recent form notes to help point you in the right direction of identifying the winner.
Easysland – David Cottin
Easysland has been favourite for this race ever since he demolished the opposition in it last year.
The David Cottin trained seven-year-old made his seasonal reappearance over the course and distance back in November where he seemed desperately in need of the run.
It didn’t help his cause that he clobbered a few of the obstacles on the way round which resulted in him losing valuable ground on his faster-paced rivals.
The fact that he hasn’t been seen since has to be of concern. As the current champion, he commands respect, but there may well be better value elsewhere in the market.
Tiger Roll – Denise Foster
Tiger Roll may well be having his swansong in this race as the curtain draws on his outstanding and remarkable career.
The two-time previous winner and two-time Grand National winner has had this race as his main target all season according connections.
He made his seasonal reappearance in a flat race at Navan back in October over a highly inadequate one mile and six furlongs in what was to be a prep race for the subsequent Cross Country Chase at Cheltenham the following month.
He just looked completely disinterested on heavy ground at Navan last month and maybe he is losing his zest for the game.
Connections will be trying their hardest to send him out on a high but he may not be willing to comply.
Kingswell Theatre – Michael Scudamore
Kingswell Theatre proved his wellbeing when defeating Easysland and Tiger Roll over this course and distance back in the Autumn.
Despite being in the twilight of his career, the twelve-year-old clearly has a liking for this course.
His run here in December possibly came too soon and he may well put in another solid performance here if on a going day.
Tom Scudamore gets on well with him and if the ground was on the better side of good, a better effort is likely.
Balko Des Flos – Henry De Bromhead
Balko Des Flos has not won any race since winning at the Festival in 2018 where he beat Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair.
He is another who may benefit from this style of racing as regular fences and hurdles appear to come at him far too fast these days.
The extra distance here may help him a little, but that has to be taken on trust. He is usually a sound jumper but just not a particularly fast one.
Some Neck – John McConnell
Some Neck warmed up for this with a run out at Punchestown where he was beaten in a regular handicap by Atlantic Shore amongst many others.
That was his first run back in over three months, but a return to the cross country fences will suit him.
He has been won and been placed in the other two cross country chases he has participated in, including when winning over the course and distance at Cheltenham in December.
He is a former Willie Mullins inmate that seems to have found a new lease of life for John McConnell and he is respected.
Ticks The Right Boxes?
2021 Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase Tips
Easysland should be much fitter coming into this and ought to have an easier time of things with several other leading fancies having been pulled out including Lord Du Mesnil and Shady Operator.
Many of these horses are so exposed and their flaws are well known.
He is the only potential improver in the field with many of his rivals already enduring another grueling season.
He comes here fresh and that ought to be in his favour.
Some Neck showed some improved form on what was his first start in this sphere. He can go well too.
Odds With Betfred – correct at time of publication
- 10/11 Easysland
- 5/1 Tiger Roll
- 10/1 Some Neck
- 14/1 Balko Des Flos
- 25/1 Kingswell Theatre