Past Winners » Cause Of Causes


I am backing Cause Of Causes for the National Hunt Chase this morning (ante post) at 10/1. It is remarkable that the Gordon Elliott-trained gelding is still a maiden over fences, because he has put up some really impressive performances in defeat. He was beaten just a short head by Sraid Padraig over an inadequate two miles at Fairyhouse at the start of last season, and he was only just beaten by Rockyaboya in the Paddy Power Chase at Leopardstown’s Christmas Festival last season after he had made a bad mistake at the second last fence.

As well as that, he probably would have won the Kim Muir Chase at the Cheltenham Festival last season when we had him on side had he not made a bad mistake at the final fence. He made nice ground from the rear that day under Nina Carberry, despite being slightly hampered at the 14th fence and at the fourth last. Even with that, it looked like he was coming to claim the long-time leader Spring Heeled when he made that momentum-halting mistake. He did get going again, and he closed down the leader all the way to the line.

The handicapper raised him 6lb for that run, to a mark of 146, which was 6lb lower than his peak over hurdles and just 4lb higher than the mark off which he won the Ladbroke Hurdle at Ascot as a four-year-old. His current mark over fences is 145 in Ireland, 146 in Britain, so, as long as Don Poli runs in the RSA Chase, as looks likely, and only one of the Noel Meade/Gigginstown horses, Very Wood or Wounded Warrior, runs, as looks likely, Cause Of Causes will be the second highest-rated horse among the National Hunt Chase contenders, and that is a massive positive. It means that he will be meeting almost all of his rivals on better terms than he would if the race was a handicap.

He has been well beaten in both of his runs this term to date, but the second of those was in the Galmoy Hurdle at Gowran Park, when he wasn’t beaten that far by Dedigout and Monksland. He was only beaten a neck by Briar Hill for fourth. That run was surely a stepping stone to a chase at Cheltenham.

We know that he handles Cheltenham Festival conditions, he has lots of stamina, so he should stay the four-mile trip, and you can be sure that, as a JP McManus horse, he will have been primed for Cheltenham by his trainer. And he is only seven. He may not have reached his peak yet as a staying chaser.

He is also in the three-mile handicap chase on Tuesday, but he is still a novice, he is an experienced novice, and the four-miler is the logical race for him. It looks like this race is his target, and there is a possibility that top amateur rider Jamie Codd will ride him. He has a lot in his favour, and he could go off much shorter than 10/1 on the day.