Past Winners » Giles Cross


There is no major rocket science to this, but Giles Cross is the most likely winner of the race in my book, and he is a fair bit over-priced now at 7/1.

It is going to be very soft at Haydock today, and there are not many horses who can operate in heavy ground in these big marathon handicap chases. Giles Cross is proven in these conditions, he relishes these wars of attrition. He has been third in a Midlands National, second in two Welsh Nationals, second in an Eider Chase and first in a Southern National, all on soft or heavy ground.

On his latest run, he looked all over the winner of the Welsh National when he was sent on by Denis O’Regan at the top of the home straight before he got overhauled by Le Beau Bai. He has been raised just 2lb for that, which is more than fair, the front pair were miles clear of the third.

Le Beau Bai re-opposes today, but he was raised 9lb for winning the Welsh National, which means that Giles Cross meets him on 7lb better terms for a seven-length beating, which gives him every chance of reversing placings even strictly on the book. On top of that though, Giles Cross may have been even closer had he been held onto for a little longer. Also, Le Beau Bai goes particularly well at Chepstow.

It is a little bit of a worry that Giles Cross had a hard race in the Welsh National, but that was 53 days ago now, and in recent years both Silver By Nature and Miko De Beauchene proved that a top run in the Welsh National was no barrier to success in this race.

Giles Cross is 10 years old, but he has raced just 11 times over fences in his life, he has relatively few miles on the clock. The fact that Neptune Collonges has stayed in the race means that he only has 10st 5lb to carry, and that seven of his 13 rivals are out of the handicap. History tells us that being out of the handicap isn’t necessarily a barrier to success in this race, but it is still a significant help to the seven horses who are racing off their correct marks.

Richard’s Sundance’s good run at Sandown yesterday suggests that Victor Dartnall’s horses haven’t been held up too badly be the freeze, this race was surely Giles Cross’s target since the Welsh National, and he should run a big race.