Ryanair Chase, Cheltenham Festival Wed
This season’s renewal is shaping up to be probably the best Ryanair Chase since its inception with tips for a wide variety of horses at the head of the market holding legitimate claims and being backed as a consequence, with Riverside Theatre and Noble Prince proving popular.
Perhaps the most surprising thing about the market at this stage is that Riverside Theatre is still available to back at as big as 11/2.
It was thought that following his win at Ascot recently after a lengthy lay-off he would be supported into clear favouritism but that hasn’t been the case, which is probably more down to the strength of the opposition rather than the feelings about the horse in particular.
If the rain stays away at Cheltenham, which looks likely, then Noble Prince for Paul Nolan should relish the dry conditions. He landed the Jewson Novices last season in similar conditions and although needed to improve, he will surely shorten up come the day if he price stays around the 6/1 mark.
A similar market move is predicted about the chances of Rubi Light if the rain comes down at Cheltenham in the next few days. The gutsy steeplechaser relishes a test of stamina and would be a big player around the 7/1 if the going turns soft and especially if it went heavy.
Somersby and Medermit, both 7/1, have solid claims for their respective trainers but may just find this race too competitive while Great Endeavour would also carry respect if he decided to go this route rather than run off top weight in a handicap.
The strength of the race is defined by the fact that Albertas Run, two time winner of this race, is a 9/1 shot to register the hat-trick.
Things haven’t gone to plan regarding his preparations but course form is to be richly respected at Cheltenham and people have latched on to him in recent weeks, especially with champion jockey AP McCoy siding with him instead of Noble Prince.