As we all know, there’s no such thing as a banker in horse racing, especially when it comes to the Cheltenham Festival – however, Delta Work in the Cross Country Chase is about as close as it gets.
Gordon Elliott’s 10-year-old is 11/10f at Betfred to defend his crown – and I think that’s excellent value.
Not only was the son of Network over 20L clear of the rest of the field when somewhat controversially chinning the legendary Tiger Roll in the race last year, but his form this term suggests a similar performance is due.
The fact that Delta Work managed to get within five lengths of Back On The Lash and Deise Aba in the Cross Country Handicap Chase at HQ in late January while giving over a stone to the majority of the field makes him exceptionally hard when they race off levels in March.
I appreciate that such odds are not everyone’s cup of tea, but if you’re planning any multiple bets – be it doubles, trebles or accas – I would suggest Delta Work is the first name on the teamsheet.
When considering who could beat Delta Work, the options are limited.
Stablemate Galvin (5/1) would be interesting if he were to turn up, but there’s no guarantee that the switch to Cross Country races would suit the nine-year-old, who dare I say looks gone at the game right now.
Similarly, Enda Bolger’s Prengarde has failed to complete on two of the three runs he’s had for new connections, and is hardly inspiring at 12/1.
Possibly the most interesting candidate is Samcro (14/1) or the exact same connections as the favourite.
He also looked gone at the game last year before running in a trio of PTPs over in Ireland, winning them by a combined 92L.
However, just like Galvin his participation is far from certain, so caution is advised until we know more.
Then you’re looking at the likes of Back On The Lash, who on form this season has it all to do, at 16/1 and greater.
As you can see, Delta Work has few credible rivals. I can see him being 8/13 and possibly shorter on the day.
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