Cross Country Chase

As the name suggests, the Cross Country Chase is run over 3 miles 6 furlongs and 67 yards on the Cross Country Course at Cheltenham. The race is open to horses aged five years and upwards, who must negotiate a twisting, turning course and thirty-two idiosyncratic obstacles, including banks, rails and ditches. The Cross Country Chase is currently scheduled as the fifth race on the second day of the Cheltenham Festival, immediately following the Queen Mother Champion Chase. It is, in fact, a fairly recent addition to the Festival programme, having been added when a fourth day was added in 2005.

The Cross Country Chase was originally a handicap but, in 2016, the conditions were adjusted to make the race a conditions event run off level weights. Co. Limerick handler Enda Bolger, himself a fine amateur rider, has been the most successful trainer in the short history of the Cross Country Chase, saddling Spot The Difference (2005), Heads On The Ground (2007) and Garde Champetre (2008, 2009) for four wins. Nina Carberry, who rode Heads On The Ground and Garde Champetre (twice) is the leading jockey so far, while Balthazar King (2012, 2014) joins Garde Champetre as a dual winner of the race.

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