The Cross Country Handicap Chase is a National Hunt chase in Great Britain which is open to horses aged five years or older.

It is run on the Cross-Country Course at Cheltenham over a distance of about 3 miles and 7 furlongs, and during its running there are thirty-two obstacles to be cleared.

It is a handicap race, and was scheduled to take place each year on the opening day of the Cheltenham Festival in March, however for 2014 it was moved to Wednesday which allowed the OLBG Mares Hurdle to be televised by Channel 4 on Tuesday, as Quevega produced a record-breaking sixth straight success in the race.

In 2014; Balthazar King won back his crown in the race he’d won two years previous, beating Any Currency in a thrilling finish with previous year’s winner Big Shu back in third, after threatening on the run between the last two fences.

History:

The event was established when a fourth day was added to the Cheltenham Festival in 2005.

It is now one of three cross-country chases held at Cheltenham – the others take place in November and December.

Enda Bolger has had a good record in this race winning four times in nine years, teaming up with jockey Nina Carberry for three of those victories.

It often pays to side with horses with experience, and so far since its inception no horse under the age of 8 has won so it is worth bearing in mind when assessing the race.

Race Previews:

Balthazar King wins Cross Country Chase 2014.
Balthazar King (R Johnson) wins the 2014 Cross Country Chase much to the delight of the crowd.

Previous Winners:

YearHorseAgeTrainerOdds
2014Balthazar King10P Hobbs4-1
2013Big Shu8P Maher14-1
2012Balthazar King8P Hobbs11-2
2011Sizing Australia9H de Bromhead13-2
2010A New Story12M Hourigan25-1
2009Garde Champetre10E Bolger7-2
2008Garde Champetre9E Bolger4-1
2007Heads Onthe Ground10E Bolger5-2
2006Native Jack12P Rothwell7-2
2005Spotthedifference12E Bolger4-1