RSA Chase

2015 RSA Chase Result

Don Poli Advertises Gold Cup Potential With Impressive RSA Victory

The Willie Mullins-trained Don Poli ran out an impressive winner of the RSA Chase to give his handler a fourth win in the race, equalling the record of legendary trainer Fulke Walwyn. Mullins is yet to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, but such was the manner of Don Poli's victory, the master of Closutton looks to have one of the leading contenders for next year's renewal.

Sent off a warm 13/8 favourite, Brian Cooper gave Don Poli a patient ride, while 4/1 chance Kings Palace and 11/2 shot The Young Master cut out the running. The 6-year-old came alive at the fourth-last fence, when Tom Scudamore asked Kings Palace for a mighty leap, but stood off too far and lost momentum having jumped boldly until that point. He then breezed past Kings Palace on the final turn and held off the attentions of 13/2 chance Southfield Theatre when the Paul Nicholls-trained runner made a move, drawing clear by six lengths up the hill.

12/1 outsider Wounded Warrior couldn't get near the leader, but stayed on gamely to regain third in his final stride from 14/1 stablemate of the winner Adriana Des Mottes. If In Doubt was let down by his jumping under AP McCoy, but the 12/1 outsider was still full of running towards the finish and could have perhaps bettered fifth with a cleaner round. Kings Palace and The Young Master dropped right out of it at the business end, while Apache Jack never looked competitive and was pulled up.

A Brief Intro To The RSA Chase

The RSA Steeple Chase - formally known as the Royal and Sun Alliance Novices’ Chase - is the third race on Ladies Day, the second day of the Cheltenham Festival. This Grade 1 National Hunt chase is open to novice chasers - aged five years and older - and it is an important chase for novices in the National Hunt calendar.

It is run at Cheltenham Racecourse and requires horses to race over a distance of over three miles, during which they must also successfully negotiate 19 fences.

The race is a real test of stamina for the competitors. For this reason, it is often viewed as an indicator of future success in the blue riband event of the Cheltenham Festival, the Cheltenham Gold Cup.

Ten horses that have won the RSA Steeple Chase have gone on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup, while 23 of the past 25 winners have also won or finished second last time out.

The overall purse for the race is £150,000, with £85,425 of that going to the winning horse.

Cheltenham Racecourse generates gate revenues of £7 million over the four-day Cheltenham Festival, with a significant influx of Irish spectators enjoying the performances of the Irish-trained horses.

Over 200,000 pints of Guinness are consumed at the Festival - which also provides major retail opportunities for spectators - and around £1 million is bet on-site on each race.

History Of The RSA Chase

The RSA Steeple Chase is one of the oldest races run at the Cheltenham Festival, having been first run in 1946. It was briefly run in two divisions in 1948-49, before returning to its original format in 1950.

The race was known as the Foxhunter Chase, before Cheltenham's long-terms sponsors Sun Alliance became involved in 1971. From 1971-73, the race was called the Sun Alliance and London Foxhunters, before it enjoyed the title of Sun Alliance Chase for 23 years. Sun Alliance then merged with Royal Insurance, giving the race its current name.

The trainer with the best record in the RSA Chase is Fred Winter, whose three victories came with Killiney (1973), Pengrail (1975) and Brown Chamberin (1982). More recently, Willie Mullins has also had three wins - Florida Pearl (1998), Rule Supreme (2004) and Cooldine (2009) - while Paul Nicholls has also enjoyed two successes, through Star De Mohaison (2006) and the celebrated Denman (2007).

Famous Irish Thoroughbred Arkle won the race in 1963, before going on to win the Cheltenham Gold Cup three successive times (1964-66). The aforementioned Denman - ridden by jockey Ruby Walsh - won this race in 2007, prior to his Cheltenham Gold Cup win the year after.

In recent years, the winners of the RSA Chase have been Weapon’s Amnesty (2010), Bostons Angel (2011), Bobs Worth (2012), Lord Windermere (2013) and O'Faolain's Boy (2014).

2014 RSA Chase Result

O'Faolains Boy Beats Smad Place In Thrilling RSA Chase

Leading jockey Barry Geraghty landed his third RSA Chase aboard O'Faolains Boy to earn trainer Rebecca Curtis her first win in the Grade 1 race.

The win followed Geraghty's previous successes aboard Bob's Worth (2012) and Star de Mohaison (2006), making him the most successful jockey in the past ten RSA Chase renewals.

The 7-year-old was niggled along at times in the early stages and barely got a mention in the commentary on the first circuit, but O'Faolains Boy grew into the race as the tempo increased and the field began to string out. 13/2 joint favourites Smad Place and Balleycasey were disputing the lead, while the mount of Barry Geraghty began to make significant headway three from home and challenged at the penultimate fence. Balleycasey faded soon after and O'Faolains Boy touched down alongside Smad Place after the final fence and had just enough left in the tank to lead inside the final few strides and win by a neck at a starting price of 12/1.

Morning Assembly got the better of Balleycasey on the run in for third, but the pair could yet renew rivalry with Smad Place in this Year's Betfred Cheltenham Gold Cup.

2013 RSA Chase Result

Lord Windermere Wins RSA Chase For Jim Culloty

Jockey-turned-trainer Jim Culloty is no stranger to success at the Cheltenham Festival, having partnered Best Mate to three Gold Cup victories between 2002 and 2004.

However, on this occasion, it was as the trainer of RSA Chase winner Lord Windermere that he made the headlines - as the Davy Russell-ridden seven-year-old took advantage of the final fence fall of Boston Bob to beat Lyreen Legend home.

Prior to Cheltenham, Lord Windermere had only won one of his five starts over fences - giving the impression that this was a below-par renewal of a contest that had previously produced eight Gold Cup winners. But it was still a worthy performace by the winner, who is more likely to make up into a decent staying handicap chaser than a potential Gold Cup winner.

Whether Boston Bob would have prevailed but for his final fence mishap is open to debate, but both horses are currently bracketed at 25/1 for the highlight of the final day of the 2014 Festival.

2012 RSA Chase Result

Bob Worth Knocks First Lieutenant Into Second

Bobs Worth left it late to prevail over fellow favourite First Lieutenant - as the pair battled throughout what was a gripping RSA Chase.

Both played a stalking game during the nine-horse race - allowing Join Together and Cannington Brook to set the pace, before they took the lead off the fading pacesetters at jump 12.

First Lieutenant led until the 18th, when Bobs Worth drew ahead to win by two-and-a-half lengths. The third-placed horse - Call The Police - was 11 lengths back, while race favourite Grands Crus could only manage fourth.

Winning jockey Barry Garaghty was delighted with Bobs Worth’s win, saying: “He just keeps winning. He’s a simple sort really, he jumps and he tries.

"He won his three hurdles round here and now he’s won his chase, so he’s four from four. He’s just so genuine."

Trainer Nicky Henderson was similarly fulsome in his praise, adding: “What a tough horse. Barry gave him a wonderful ride, but he’s got to do that because he sold the thing to me."