RSA Chase Preview: Tips, Betting Offers and Odds, 2.10 at Cheltenham, Wednesday 14th March 2018, Cheltenham Festival Day Two
The RSA Chase is about as prestigious a race as there is for novice chasers. The Grade 1 contest takes place over three miles, 110 yards on Cheltenham’s Old Course and has 19 fences for the horses to navigated.
Bobs Worth and Lord Windermere have both gone on to Cheltenham Gold Cup success after winning the RSA Chase in recent years so punters will be on the lookout for a future star during Wednesday’s renewal.
RSA Chase Betting Tips
- Monalee to win at 7/2 with BetVictor
- Ballyoptic each way at 16/1 with 888Sport
RSA Chase Betting Offers
- WILLIAM HILL Bet £10, Get £30 in Free Bets – New William Hill online customers only. Min. unit stake of £10/€10 at odds of 1/2 or greater. Only the “win” part from EW bets will count. Free bet terms, payment method & country restrictions apply. Free bets credited as 3 x £10/€10. Free bet stakes are not returned as part of the settlement of successful free bets. All Free Bets must be wagered within 30 days.
- LADBROKES £50 Free Bet Offer – 18+. New customers only. Promo code ‘F50’ required. Certain deposit methods excluded. Min £/€5 on win or each-way bet excluding Tote or pools = match max £/€50 free bet. Min odds 1/2 (1.5). Bet must be made within 14 days. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. Single bets only. Free bet cannot be used on certain markets. T&Cs apply.
- CORAL Bet £5, Get £20 in Free Bets – 18+. UK+IRE only. Min first bet £5 at odds 1/2 or more. Tote and Pool excluded. Must be placed within 14 days of account reg. £20 credited as 4 x £5 free bets. Not valid with Cash Out. Free bet valid for 4 days. Free bet stake not returned. T&Cs apply.
Free bets and other RSA Chase betting offers will be posted here soon, but check out the latest Cheltenham Festival Betting Offers for the latest promos and bonuses available for the Festival in general.
RSA Chase Tips and Race Preview 2018
Monalee to Pip the Favourite
As you’d expect about a race that runs longer than three miles, the RSA Chase attracts the best novice stayers around. That said, this is not an out and out slog. Just like the Gold Cup, it takes a combination of pace and stamina (as well as jumping ability) to win the RSA Chase and it’s for that reason that you can pick holes in the chances of the favourite, Presenting Percy.
That is not to say that the Patrick Kelly trained seven-year-old is lacking in class. He is already a winner at the Cheltenham Festival, still competes over hurdles as well as fences and is a very strong stayer. The question is, does he have the raw pace to win a race of this calibre? If the rains pour and the going gets soft, maybe, but he looks more of a future Grand National winner than a Gold Cup Champion.
It’s Monalee (a 7/2 shot with BetVictor) who appears to be the most likely future Gold Cup winner in the field. The seven-year-old certainly has the pace to be competitive in the most prestigious chase of the lot although there are question marks about his jumping. Monalee fell out of nowhere in his second start at Leopardstown but secured impressive wins either side of that mistake.
Monalee did seem to switch off a little in the closing stages of his win at the Dublin Racing Festival but the way he came back to life after being shaken up suggests the Cheltenham hill won’t pose too much of a problem and that 7/2 looks like good value.
Ballyoptic Worth Chancing For a Big Improvement
Ballyoptic’s start to life as a hurdler was encouraging. After a series of wins he was then rather less consistent in Graded company over hurdles but connections retained their belief that there was a quality chaser in there somewhere.
Ballyoptic’s form over the larger obstacles is good and he comes into the Festival on the back of a Grade 2 win at Wetherby. He had the stamina to kick on well at the end that day while he has the pace to travel easily with the leaders on Wednesday. At 16/1 with 888Sport Ballyoptic is a tempting each way option.
Keep an Eye on the Going
Although Monalee is the value option at the head of the market, the weather in the Cheltenham area will have an impact on the outcome of the RSA Chase. If it continues to rain through the week, consider Presenting Percy’s chances to improve but for now, it’s Monalee who deserves the support.
RSA Chase Previous Winners
- 2017 – Might Bite – jockey Nico de Boinville, trainers Nicky Henderson
- 2016 – Blaklion – jockey Ryan Hatch, trainers Nigel Twiston-Davies
- 2015 – Don Poli – jockey Bryan Cooper, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2014 – O’Faolain’s Boy – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Rebecca Curtis
- 2013 – Lord Windermere – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Jim Culloty
- 2012 – Bobs Worth – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Nicky Henderson
- 2011 – Bostons Angel – jockey Robbie Power, trainer Jessica Harrington
- 2010 – Weapon’s Amnesty – jockey Davy Russell, trainer Charles Byrnes
- 2009 – Cooldine – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Willie Mullins
- 2008 – Albertas Run – jockey Tony McCoy, trainer Jonjo O’Neill
- 2007 – Denman – jockey Ruby Walsh, trainer Paul Nicholls
- 2006 – Star de Mohaison – jockey Barry Geraghty, trainer Paul Nicholls
RSA Chase History
From its debut in 1946 to the advent of sponsorship in the 1960’s, this race went under the title of the Broadway Novices Chase. Various sponsors have since lent their support, with the Royal and Sun Alliance group beginning its association with the contest in 1974.
We can only really start at one place when looking through the list of quality performers to have won this race. On many respected ratings lists there is no chaser to come close to the 1963 winner here. Following his triumph in this, the brilliant Arkle went on to land three consecutive Gold cups between 1964 and 1966, two Hennessy Gold Cups, a King George VI Chase and an Irish Grand National. Despite the exploits of the like of Kauto Star, Sprinter Sacre and Desert Orchid, it is Arkle who is widely held to be the greatest ever chaser to take to the track.
Due to the similar characteristics demanded for success, it is no surprise that a number of winners have subsequently gone on to land the Cheltenham Gold Cup. Most commonly they go on to take that showpiece contest the year after winning the RSA Chase. Those to have achieved this feat include Garrison Savannah (1990), Looks Like Trouble (1999), Denman (2007), Bobs Worth (2013) and Lord Windermere (2013).
Lord Windermere’s win in 2013 resulted in a famous double for his trainer Jim Culloty. Culloty had previously experienced success in the saddle when guiding another “Lord” to victory. He was the man up to top when Lord Noelie prevailed in the year 2000.
It is not only the Gold Cup which this race can prove a useful guide to. 1992 winner Miinehoma went on to a famous win in the Aintree Grand National in 1994. 2008 victor Alberta’s Run achieved further Cheltenham Festival success when recording back to back victories in the Ryanair Chase in 2010 and 2011. One of the most popular Irish winners was the talented Florida Pearl who took the Hennessy Gold Cup an impressive four times and the King George VI Chase once.
Such is the competitive nature of this race that no trainer recorded consecutive wins until Martin Pipe took the 1991 and 1992 editions with Rolling Ball and Miinehoma. It took another champion trainer to repeat this feat when Paul Nicholls sent out Star de Mohaison and Denman to land the 2006 and 2007 renewals. Overall it is Fulke Walwyn and Willie Mullins who sit atop the trainer’s table with four wins apiece.
Jockey Peter Scudamore recorded a notable achievement in the early 1990’s when rattling in three wins on the trot with Rolling Ball (1991), Miinnehoma (1992) and Young Hustler (1993). Arkle’s jockey Pat Taaffe may not have won three in a row but he did take this race five times in total to lead the way amongst the jockeys.
There aren’t many horses ready to tackle the rigours of this contest before they reach their seventh year. Of the first 72 winners, 17 were six or younger as opposed to 55 being 7 or over. 1946 winner Birthlaw is the oldest in the history of the race at 11 years of age.