JNwine.com Champion Chase (Down Royal) Betting Tips & Predictions – Saturday 3rd November 2018

November is the time of year when the jumping action really begins to heat up as the new season kicks into gear. This weekend’s big Grade 1 contest comes over in Ireland at the Country Antrim venue of Down Royal. Regularly attracting the top talent from both sides of the Irish Sea, the Paul Nicholls-trained superstar, Kauto Star, landed this prize twice during his illustrious career, but who will come home in front this year?

A small but select field go to post, with a number of runners we will likely be hearing plenty from as the season goes on. Overall we will be siding with one of the younger jumpers in the field, going for a yard who know what it takes to succeed here.

Top Tips

Road To Respect to win @ 7/4

Odds correct at time of writing but may have changed since. Check site for latest prices.

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Race Info

3m is the trip for this Grade 1 contest set to be run on good ground this year and offering €140,000 in total prize money.

GoingDistanceGradePrize MoneyRunnersEW Terms
Good 3m Grade 1 €140,000 7 Runners 1/4 1-2

Recent Winners

Each of the past five winners have carried the famous Gigginstown colours. Three of these have been trained by Gordon Elliott who now sits just one behind Paul Nicholls in the all-time list of most successful trainers here.

The Irish based runners have held the edge in this in the past decade with seven wins, with Nicholls being the only man to break this stranglehold.

2017 Outlander 16/1 Gordon Elliott Jack Kennedy
2016 Valseur Lido 2/1 Henry De Bromhead Ruby Walsh
2015 Don Cossack 2/11 Gordon Elliott Bryan Cooper
2014 Road To Riches 9/2 Noel Meade Paul Carberry
2013 Roi Du Mee 12/1 Gordon Elliott Bryan Cooper

Analysis: Noel’s Runner Has Our Respect

The chances of this prize going to a Gigginstown runner once again this season certainly look to be pretty strong, with five of the final field of seven set to carry the colours of the powerful owner/breeder. What is even more certain is that the trophy will be staying on home turf this year, with no British trainers making the journey over.

Balko Best For De Bromhead?

The top rated runner in this year’s line-up, and current favourite for the race, is the Henry De Bromhead-trained, Balko Des Flos. The biggest moment of this one’s career to date came when lowering the colours of the mighty Un De Sceaux in the Ryanair Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season. So impressive was he that day that his subsequent run when practically tailed off at Aintree is all the harder to explain. He does handle the ground having landed the Galway Plate on a relatively quick surface, but is zero from four at this three mile trip.

Or Is Meade On The Road To Respect

Noel Meade won this back in 2014 with a horse by the name of Road To Riches, and sends the similarly monikered Road To Respect to post this time around. This one has a verdict over Balko Des Flos to his name already having conquered that rival in the Christmas Chase at Leopardstown last season, an effort which he followed with respectable efforts in both the Cheltenham and Punchestown Gold Cups. Two from three on good to yielding or quicker, he should find conditions to his liking here.

Defending Champ Not Out Of It

Gordon Elliott’s Outlander caused something of a shock when taking this at 16/1 last season and may have been a little underestimated in the market once again. Having finished in the first two on his two previous runs here, the track seems to suit him well, and he does have the benefit of a recent run under his belt, so ought to be fit and ready. On the downside he is far from the most consistent of performers and would ideally like the rain to arrive.

Final Verdict: Road To Respect To Win

Those looking for an each way punt in the race could do worse than side with last year’s winner Outlander. With just the two places to play for though it will be a straight win bet in this one for us.

The current good ground at the track is the crucial factor in favour of Road To Respect who can hopefully see them all off under favourable conditions. He couldn’t live with Native River and Might Bite at Cheltenham last season, but neither could anything else, and he ran a fine race to finish fourth in the end. Still only seven years old, there may well be more top come this season, hopefully starting here.

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