2020 RSA Chase entries: Champ and Faugheen among 53 in 3m Grade 1

Published on: January 23, 2020
Author: David Metcalf
2020 RSA Chase entries at the Cheltenham Festival feature Champ

Ante post favourite Champ is one of 53 2020 RSA Chase entries for the 3m novices’ Grade 1 contest run at the Cheltenham Festival on Wednesday, 11 March.

The Nicky Henderson trained eight-year-old, who is named after 20-time champion jump jockey Sir Anthony McCoy, was a top class hurdler.

Champ finished runner-up to City Island in the Grade 1 Ballymore at last year’s Cheltenham Festival, before going one better with an impressive success in a Grade 1 at the Aintree Grand National meeting.

He had his attention switched to fences at the start of this campaign, but lost his unbeaten record over them last time out in the Grade 2 Dipper Novices’ Chase at Cheltenham when four lengths clear and seemingly in command but coming to grief two from home.

Prior to that, Champ had looked like the real deal in winning twice at Newbury.

On those efforts, he looks the one to beat in the RSA where Henderson plans to step him up to 3m for the first time in his chasing career.

That trip based on his hurdles form is sure to suit. Champ remains a firm favourite with bookmakers to win this race and give leading Irish owner JP McManus a first-ever success in it.

Also among strong RSA Chase entries for the home team is Colin Tizzard’s Slate House, who is a three-time winner at the home of jumps racing.

He showed a smart turn of foot last time out when bearing Black Op by just over a length in the Grade 1 Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton on Boxing Day.

Dual Festival winner Faugheen among strong Irish challenge

Ireland hold a strong hand of 23 headlined by Willie Mullins’ evergreen 12-year-old Faugheen, a dual Cheltenham Festival winner having landed the Ballymore in 2014 before capturing the Champion Hurdle a year later.

He has been plagued with injuries since, but still managed to land two Grade 1 successes over hurdles.

Faugheen is unbeaten in two starts over fences this season, winning at Punchestown in November before landing a Limerick Grade 1 over the Christmas period.

If successful in the RSA, Faugheen will become the oldest-ever winner of the race. He also holds entries in the Marsh Novices’ Chase, the new sponsors of the JLT, and the National Hunt Chase.

The Henry De Bromhead trained Minella Indo, who triumphed at last year’s Cheltenham Festival in the Grade 1 Albert Bartlett Novices’ Hurdle, is another very interesting contender for the Emerald Isle.

After shaping with promise when chasing home Laurina on debut over the larger obstacles at Gowran Park, the seven-year-old duly went one better next time up at Navan when jumping well and winning a shade cosily.

Battleoverdoyen is also among RSA Chase entries for Gordon Elliott.

Despite also being in the Marsh and National Hunt Chase, the Florida Pearl and 3m Leopardstown Grade 1 winner is a shorter price for this race than other possible assignments.

Full 2020 RSA Chase entries

  • Allaho (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Annamix (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • At The Acorn (Tony Martin, IRE)
  • Aye Right (Harriet Graham)
  • Battleoverdoyen (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  • Black Op (Tom George)
  • Brace Yourself (Noel Meade, IRE)
  • Brahma Bull (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Castlebawn West (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Champ (Nicky Henderson)
  • Champagne Classic (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  • Champagne Platinum (Nicky Henderson)
  • Copperhead (Colin Tizzard)
  • Dallas Des Pictons (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  • Danny Whizzbang (Paul Nicholls)
  • Dominateur (Oliver Sherwood)
  • Easy Game (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Faugheen (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • First Approach (Noel Meade, IRE)
  • Garo De Juilley (Sophie Leech)
  • Go Another One (John McConnell, IRE)
  • Highest Sun (Colin Tizzard)
  • Hold The Note (Mick Channon)
  • Imperial Aura (Kim Bailey)
  • Jammy George (Harry Whittington)
  • Jarveys Plate (Fergal O’Brien)
  • Know The Score (David Pipe)
  • Laurina (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Lord Du Mesnil (Richard Hobson)
  • Master Tommytucker (Paul Nicholls)
  • Minella Fair (Noel Meade, IRE)
  • Minella Indo (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
  • Myth Buster (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
  • Newtide (Kim Bailey)
  • Paint The Dream (Fergal O’Brien)
  • Poker Play (David Pipe)
  • Pym (Nicky Henderson)
  • Ronald Pump (Matthew Smith, IRE)
  • Royale Pagaille (Venetia Williams)
  • Saint Sonnet (Paul Nicholls)
  • Salsaretta (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Sam Brown (Anthony Honeyball)
  • Samcro (Gordon Elliott, IRE)
  • School Boy Hours (Noel Meade, IRE)
  • Simply The Betts (Harry Whittington)
  • Slate House (Colin Tizzard)
  • Spyglass Hill (Henry De Bromhead, IRE)
  • Tarada (Oliver Sherwood)
  • The Conditional (David Bridgwater)
  • The Mighty Don (Nick Gifford)
  • Tornado Flyer (Willie Mullins, IRE)
  • Two For Gold (Kim Bailey)
  • Who Dares Wins (Alan King)