With such auspicious winners over the last two years, Albertas Run in 2008 and Denman in 2007, this year’s RSA Chase does not seem to have the same high quality as in previous years. It looks to be a very open race however with any one of ten potential winners. Other than Albertas Run and Denman, favourites have nor fared well in this race and there have been several big priced horses who have made the Bookmakers smile, Star De Mohaison at 14-1 in 2006, Rule Supreme at 25-1 in 2004 and Hussard Collonges at 33-1 in 2002 to name but three.
The race which is run over three miles and aimed at potential staying chasers, often finds out those youngsters who fail to handle the demands of Cheltenham. It is why we would advise a bet on a horse that has been specifically trained for the race and that bill fits the Paul Nicholls trained, What A Friend.
He is rated by his trainer as his best staying novice; which is some praise from the champion trainer and should not be ignored by the punters. He has won twice over fences this season and is reported as in great form at home. It is also interesting to see him take the same course as stable mate Denman did two years ago.
The only surprise concerning What A Friend is that stable jockey, Ruby Walsh has exercised his right to ride for the Willie Mullins Stable in this race and he will be on the per-race favourite Cooldine, while Sam Thomas will take the ride on What A Friend.