The Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is held on Day Two of the Cheltenham Festival and is one of three cross country events run at Cheltenham throughout the year, with the other two being held in November and December.

The inaugural race was run in 2005 when the Festival extended from a three-day event to cover four days. Initially all three races were sponsored by Sporting Index, with BGC taking over for the 2007-08 season. Current sponsor Glenfarclas whisky distillery have been on board since the 2008-09 season.

Race information

The Cross Country Chase is run over Cheltenham’s Cross Country course, with a distance of 6,236 metres or approximately 3 miles, 7 furlongs. Throughout the race horses have to jump a series of 32 obstacles including fences, rails, hedges, a water jump, ditches and more.

The sheer variety of obstacles are what make this race such an exciting and unique event within the Festival. Until 2015 it was run as a handicap race, but as of 2016 it is a conditions race. The event is open to horses aged five and above, and offers a prize pot of £50,000 with £31,280 for the winner.

Race records

  • To date there have been two horses who have managed to win the Cross Country Chase twice: Balthazar King in 2012 and 2014, and Garde Champetre in 2008 and 2009.
  • The most successful Cross Country jockey is Nina Carberry with three consecutive wins, racing on Heads Ontheground in 2007 and on Grand Champetre in 2008 and 2009.
  • The leading trainer for this event is Enda Bolger, having entered four winners: Spot Thedifference in the inaugural 2005 race and all three Nina Carberry winners.
  • Enda Bolger also trained three runners-up to score a win or place in seven out of ten races.
  • No horse younger than eight-years-old has ever won this race.

Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase winners

Year Horse Jockey Trainer
2005 Spot Thedifference J. T. McNamara Enda Bolger
2006 Native Jack Davy Russell Philip Rothwell
2007 Heads Ontheground Nina Carberry Enda Bolger
2008 Garde Campetre Nina Carberry Enda Bolger
2009 Garde Campetre Nina Carberry Enda Bolger
2010 A New Story Adrian Heskin Michael Hourigan
2011 Sizing Australia Andrew Lynch Henry De Bromhead
2012 Balthazar King Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2013 Big Shu Barry Cash Peter Maher
2014 Balthazar King Richard Johnson Philip Hobbs
2015 Rivage d’Or Davy Russell Tony Martin

As one of the longest races at the Cheltenham Festival, the Glenfarclas Cross Country Chase is sure to get your blood pumping, with the horses jumping and charging their way across the course in a bid for victory.