The RSA Chase, formerly the Royal & SunAlliance Chase, is the middle distance steeplechase championship for novice steeplechase racehorses in the UK.
Covering a distance of 3 miles and half a furlong, the RSA Chase features 19 fences. Over the last decade or so the race has often been used to prepare horses to compete in the Cheltenham Gold Cup in later seasons.
This reflects in the winners roll of the RSA Chase, which includes Gold Cup champions like Lord Windmere, Bobs Worth and Denman.
RSA Chase trends
Antepost betting markets haven't done a good job of picking out the RSA Chase winner. Only one antepost favourite has won the race since 2010 and the favourite placed just once in the remaining races. Meanwhile three of the last five winners were priced 8/1 or higher.
All of the last five winners placed ahead of their win at Cheltenham - a rather unhelpful insight. What is notable though, is that it isn't unusual for horses to win the RSA Chase after a series of indifferent results, which suggest you should be open to looking for winners amongst horses that aren't in top form.
Another factor to consider is the relative unimportance of horse ratings, as the top rated horse in the field has taken this field just once in five years.
Something else worth mentioning is the race's high attrition rate. It's common for horses to drop out of the race, and on a number of recent occasions four or more horses have not completed the race. This means you may want to avoid horses with a tendency to pull up, fall or unseat their riders.
2016 RSA Chase field
What can these trends tell us about the prospects of a 2016 RSA Chase field that is shaping up as a duel between No More Heroes and More of That?
A winner in the 2014 World Hurdle, More Of That was moved to fences at the start of the season after a year long sabbatical, and is yet to lose a steeplechase. In fact he's failed to win at just one race in his career. However, he's run over 3 miles just once in his career and never over fences.
No More Heroes is another recent convert from hurdles who won a Grade 1 Chase over 3 miles at Leopardstown in December - achieving this win by 9 lengths. He's unbeaten this season, as well as being unbeaten over fences.
While both favourites deserve to be taken seriously, it does look like the betting markets may once again be losing their bearings.
For example both Seeyouatmidnight boasts a comparable records this season. Seeyouatmidnight has won his last three starts over fences, including a 6 length win last time out and a win in a Grade 2 race a month before that. However he offers far more value than the favourites, with boylesports pricing him at 12/1.
So if trends are anything to go by, both Seeyouatmidnight is a more attractive proposition in a race that rarely rewards the obvious candidates.