Delta Work can emulate current Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy by winning the RSA Chase, one year after taking the Pertemps final at the Cheltenham Festival.
DELTA WORK – 10-3 with Coral. 2.10pm Cheltenham Wednesday 13th March.
Wednesday’s RSA Insurance Novices’ Chase is well named the novices’ ‘Gold Cup’ as the extended three mile chase has been won by Looks Like Trouble, Denman, Bobs Worth and Lord Windermere during the last 20 years before going on to win Friday’s championship contest the following year. Presenting Percy, easy seven length winner of the race 12 months ago, heads the betting at a best price 7-2 in the latest Cheltenham betting odds for this year’s Magners-sponsored Gold Cup and the Gordon Elliott-trained Delta Work is fancied to follow a similar path, both horses having won the Pertemps Network Final at the festival prior to taking in the RSA the following year.
Making his chasing debut over an inadequate two miles three and a half furlongs at Down Royal in November the son of Network still managed to come home in front despite needing every yard of the trip. It was a similar case next time in the Grade 1 2m 4f baroneracing.com Drinmore Novice Chase but on this occasion the horse who came home in second, beaten half a length, was Le Richebourg who would have gone off a short priced favourite for the Racing Post Arkle had he not been ruled out through injury. Running over a more suitable three miles at Leopardstown over Christmas Delta Work came home a clear winner in the Grade 1 Neville Hotel Novice Chase, looking a potential Gold Cup horse of the future.
With bookmakers going 16-1 bar three, Delta Work faces a couple of serious rivals in Santini and Topofthegame. The former, regarded as a serious staying chaser of the future by trainer Nicky Henderson, will be better suited by Prestbury Park rather than the flat track at Kempton where the son of Milan failed to cope with the speedier La Bague Au Roi and Topofthegame. Paul Nicholls’ runner-up came out as the best horse on that occasion having to concede 7lb to the Warren Greatrex-trained mare.
La Bague Au Roi wins an exciting 32Red Kauto Star Novices' Chase! pic.twitter.com/LwqO5xvAlb— ITV Racing (@itvracing) December 26, 2018
Topofthegame, a 5-1 chance with Sky Bet (nrnb), looks the biggest danger to the Irish runner in what could prove a vintage renewal of the novices’ ‘Gold Cup.’