THERE isn’t a race I look forward to more at the Cheltenham Festival than the RSA Chase (2.10pm).
Not only do you need to find a novice that can both jump and stay the trip, you have to find one with mental toughness and bravery.
The history book tells us that the best horse doesn’t always win, which has to be a worry for Might Bite fans.
He was in the process of destroying the Feltham Novices’ field at Kempton over Christmas when crashing out at the last.
There was no doubt he would have won that day, but his brave style of jumping is a concern around here and I’m also not sure he truly stays this trip.
Regular followers of this column will know I have already recommended ROYAL VACATION (at 16/1), who benefitted from Might Bite’s demise at Kempton.
He has since won a competitive handicap here at Cheltenham and still looks value each-way at 12/1 with 188BET.
On paper, he needs to step up dramatically on what he has achieved to date, but he jumps, stays and is unquestionably tough.
Irish-raider Acapella Bourgeois produced an extraordinary performance to win at Navan last time which almost looked too good to be true.
The other concern with him is the drying ground, which I’m not sure plays to his strength, so I’m prepared to leave him alone.
Instead, I’m going to have a saver on another Irish runner in the shape of ALPHA DES OBEAUX at 6/1 with Star Sports.
Last year’s World Hurdle runner-up has had a slightly hit and miss chasing career to date and hasn’t been seen since apparently bleeding when disappointing last time.
He has had plenty of time to recover from that and his trainer Mouse Morris is a past master at readying one for the Festival.
Alpha Des Obeaux 2.10pm Cheltenham
Royal Vacation e/w 2.10pm Cheltenham
(already advised at 16/1)