AS the curtain fell in the 2019 Cheltenham Festival, it was generally agreed that the RSA Chase was one of the races of the meeting and we had seen three top novices ready to shake up the 2020 Gold Cup market. After all, Al Boum Photo, the Gold Cup winner, had gone off at 12/1 and beaten a 22/1 shot in winning. The King George winner Clan Des Obeaux was well-beaten. There appeared to be no dominant staying chaser.

Topofthegame was the RSA winner and rated 164 in the Anglo Irish rankings, a pound ahead of the two behind him, Santini and Delta Work. Both of those had excuses that gave connections confidence they could over turn the result. Santini had only two runs and a late fitness scare, Delta Work was slow over the last and briefly lost his position in the battle to the line.