The Enda Bolger-trained Josies Orders justified favouritism at 2/1 to win the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase for a second time at Cheltenham today.
Ridden by Mark Walsh, the 10-year-old son of Milan was prominent throughout the extended three mile and six-furlong event and despite being headed narrowly after the final obstacle, the gelding responded willingly to Walsh’s urgings to score by three-quarters of a length from Fact Of The Matter (7/1) in second with Jarob a similar distance in third place for Co. Meath trainer Gearóid O’Loughlin.
Bolger, winning this race for the eighth time, said of today’s win:
“That was great. He really knows it around here – he cuts the corners well – and we decided to jump him out handy and take the short cuts. I thought for one minute coming to the last we were cooked, but he’s a great stayer and pulls out well, and I think the nice ground helped him as well.”
Randox Aintree Grand National winner of 2018 Tiger Roll was fourth in the race, with his trainer Gordon Elliott expressing delight with the eight-year-old:
“It was lovely – Keith [Donoghue] thought he was a bit rusty early on and had a couple of blows, but Tiger is obviously getting a bit cuter at home. I loved the way he galloped from the third-last to the line, and I’m looking forward to coming back here and running off level weights in December and March [in further Glenfarclas Cross-Country Chases].
Outlining plans for Tiger Roll’s season, Elliott added:
“It’s more important to come back here and try to win at The Festival than it is to go back to Aintree. We all know how hard it is to win two Grand Nationals, but to win at four Cheltenham Festivals would be a dream come true.”
3.00pm Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase 3m 6f 37y
1 Josies Orders (J P McManus) Enda Bolger 10-10-11 Mark Walsh 2/1F
2 Fact Of The Matter (The Sandylini Racing Partnership) Jamie Snowden 8-10-00 Gavin Sheehan 7/1
3 Jarob (Chris Jones) Gearóid O’Loughlin 11-10-01 Mark Enright 12/1
Distances: ¾, ¾