Urgent De Gregaine and Urumqi Can Surprise at Big Odds
4.10 Cheltenham: Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase
The Cross Country race looks wide open but if Last Samurai takes to this type of racing then he looks miles better than the rest. I just can't see him being good enough on his first attempt at these fences and the national has to be the long term target.
I think the two French horses Urgent De Gregaine and Urumqi could be worth chancing at big prices and to hit the frame. Urgent De Gregaine may not look that good off level weights having run well in handicap company here, but I think he's improved enough to still be competitive. He has finished first and third in two visits here and his second place finish in the Velka Pardubicka was decent. He looked like an easy winner a long way out until tiring late in the straight over 4m2f in soft; today's trip will be more to his liking.
Urumqi hasn't run over over cross country fences but David Cottin will surely have him used to these type of fences and ready for this type of challenge first time in public. He was highly tried as a 4-year-old, up to grade one level in France where he wasn't really competitive. His recent form at a lower level has been respectable, not finishing too far behind the likes of Galop Marin in January, who went on to finish second to De Bon Coeur recently. He can run in snatches and could well find the rhythm of this type of race to his liking and with the French horses generally adapting well to the Cross Country fences he could surprise at 50/1 each way.
Urgent De Gregaine, 18/1 each way
Urumqi, 50/1 each way