20/1 Drovers Lane an RSA contender
The RSA Chase has been won in three of the last four renewals by the favourite, with Don Poli, Might Bite and Presenting Percy all scoring.
They make up six of the last 12 SP-favourites to win the three-miler, but the front of the market is lacking a star attraction currently this time around – certainly one with obvious class of a Might Bite or a Presenting Percy.
Santini and Delta Work jostle for favouritism at 3/1 with Betfred, just ahead of Topofthegame.
Nicky Henderson’s Santini hasn’t been spotted since the Kauto Star Novices’ Chase at Kempton over Christmas, where he was a close third behind La Bague Au Roi and Topofthegame.
His third in last season’s Albert Bartlett at the Cheltenham Festival bodes well given the outstanding record of horses that run well in that contest before coming back for the RSA a year on.
Topofthegame was just ahead of him that afternoon and trainer Paul Nicholls is confident the 5/1 chance is going to run a big race in the RSA.
Nicholls won this with Star De Mohaison and Denman in 2006 and 2007 respectively and his horses are in excellent fettle.
Delta Work is the leading Irish challenger for Gordon Elliott and Gigginstown. He is unbeaten in three starts over fences and has two Grade 1 wins on his CV this term already.
His Fairyhouse win over Le Richebourg was well advertised by the runner-up and he was a good winner over three miles at Leopardstown over Christmas.
That leading trio are the ones punters have latched on to in the ante-post market, but one beneath the radar might be Drovers Lane – 20/1 to win for Welsh handler Rebecca Curtis.
Between 2012 and 2016 Curtis sent out a winner at the Festival four years in a row, with Tea For Three, At Fishers Cross, O’Faolains Boy (in the RSA) and Irish Cavalier all scoring for the Neath yard.
Drovers Lane has won three from four since going chasing including a course success in December over 2m4½f. Curtis suggests he ‘trains like a three-miler’ and identified this race as his Festival target.
With a minor wind operation recently completed, he could be a lively player in the RSA should this step up to three miles suit – and he’s a viable alternative to the market leaders.
Odds subject to change.
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