Monday 21 February 2022



At the time of writing, Easysland recently suffered his first defeat in eight cross-country steeplechases, when only fourth of seven finishers, at odds-on, in the Glenfarclas Cross Country Handicap Chase at Cheltenham in November 2020. However, in his defence, the six-year-old gelding had not been seen in public since winning the conditions version of the same race, the Glenfarclas Chase, at the Cheltenham Festival in March 2020, so almost certainly needed the run on his reappearance.

Indeed, following the impressive, 17-length victory over dual Grand National winner Tiger Roll at the Cheltenham Festival, Easysland was mooted as a potential Cheltenham Gold Cup contender. However, prior to his most recent defeat, Frank Berry, racing manager for owner J.P. McManus, had already stated that, while the Cheltenham Festival was the main objective for Easysland, he would be aimed, once again, at the Glenfarclas Chase, rather than the Gold Cup. Granted that Easysland fell three times over regulation obstacles earlier in his career and is still inclined to make the odd mistake, that may prove to be a shrewd decision for the time being.

Currently clear favourite for the Glenfarclas Chase at 9/4, Easysland could make those odds look very generous indeed by the time March 2021 rolls around, especially with his old rival Tiger Roll never travelling or jumping with any fluency when pulled up on his reappearance. With the possible exception of one-time Cheltenham Gold Cup favourite Presenting Percy, now in the care of Gordon Elliott, it is difficult to see which horse, if any, could possibly dethrone him.