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4.00 Cross Country Chase

Big Shu maintained an excellent Irish record in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase when striking for County Kildare handler Peter Maher last term, building on the remarkable exploits of Emerald Isle handler Enda Bolger in the early runnings of this Cheltenham Festival contest.

Having confirmed that 14/1 triumph was no fluke by following up at Punchestown just over a month later, the nine-year-old has been laid out for another trip to Prestbury Park this term.

Bolger, meanwhile, claimed four of the first five renewals of this unique event, run over 3m 7f and featuring 32 varying obstacles, with Spot Thedifference (2005), Heads Onthe Ground (2007) and Garde Champetre (2008 and 2009) all obliging for owner JP McManus.

The 2012 champion Balthazar King was denied the chance to retain his title due to soft going but has six course victories to his name and connections will be hoping for better conditions this year.

Cheltenham Festival Wednesday - 12th March 2014

1.30 Neptune Investment Management Novices’ Hurdle

2.05 RSA Chase

2.40 Coral Cup (a Handicap Hurdle)

3.20 BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase

4.00 Glenfarclas Handicap Chase

4.40 Fred Winter Juvenile Novices’ Handicap Hurdle

5.15 Weatherbys Champion Bumper

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