Ryanair Chase betting tips for the 2.40pm Cheltenham Thursday 13th March, free predictions Cheltenham 2014.
Cheltenham form has proven vital in the past when picking a winner in the Ryanair Chase and, with this in mind, there are a few heading into the race that particualrly appeal. I’ve had a look through this extremely competitive race, and made two selections in the hope of getting Day 3 off to a great start!
When I initially previewed this race at the start of the year I strongly fancied BENEFFICIENT (7/2 Coral) to run a good race and since then nothing has persuaded me to change my mind. This Tony Martin trained eight year-old won last year's JLT Novices' Chase in taking fashion. After being passed coming into the home straight he dug in deep and battled his way back to the front, fending off the challenges of both Dynaste and Captain Conan. This season his most impressive victory was that of the Dial-a-Bet Chase on his latest start at Leopardstown. His form this season has been solid to date, as he showed in that race finishing ahead of talented horses like Arvika Ligeonniere and Sizing Europe. The most attractive traits that this horse possess are his attitude and his resilience, two qualities which are huge positives in a race such as this.
The David Pipe trained Dynaste (7/2 bet365) offers a lot appeal considering he is another with strong form at Cheltenham. After an impressive performance in the Betfair Chase, where he finished a solid second to Cue Card, he put in an extremely poor performance in the King George VI chase at Kempton. Reports after the race were that he had pulled muscles and if able to reproduce his earlier performance in the Betfair Chase he will have strong claims. He did however finish runner-up to Benefficient last season at the Festival and of the two I would fancy the Tony Martin runner to come out on top once again.
Al Ferof (5/1 Stan James) was hammered by 25 lengths in the Denman Chase on his latest start, with the heavy ground and 3m trip stated as the reasons behind such a poor effort. A return to 2m5f on good to soft ground looks ideal and he too has a strong chance of success. He has won around Cheltenham a couple of times in the past with his best piece of form coming in the 2011 renewal of the Supreme Novices' Hurdle where he beat the likes of Sprinter Sacre no less. Despite having failed to hit the heights of his rival he should still be considered a danger to my selection.
Benefficient got the better of Paddy Power Gold Cup third Hidden Cyclone (10/1 Betfred) by three-quarters of a length at Leopardstown, but is a horse that must be considered. Following his run at Leopardstown, Hidden Cyclone came home an honourable second behind BetVictor Queen Mother Champion Chase winner Sire De Grugy in the Clarence House Chase at Ascot in January. His performances this season have been pleasing, and his runs at Leopardstown and Cheltenham were very good. In the Paddy Power Gold Cup, he gave at least a stone to the winner, second and the fourth and, on form, shouldn't be far away in the race.
Another interesting runner is Boston Bob (11/1 BetVictor). A former leading light of the Mullins' yard, since falling when leading in the RSA last season, the horse has shown little in the way of form. He was tested last time out in the Cleeve Hurdle over hurdles, but finished a disappointing sixth. That test didn’t go to plan, and he’s been put back over fences once again. If the combination of Cheltenham and a return to the larger obstacles reignites his interest in the game he will have claims. However, on what he has shown so far he is best watched today.
HUNT BALL (25/1 BetVictor) is back in the UK after an unsuccessful foray to the US. Watching him enjoy his racing again on his comeback race in the Betfair Ascot Chase was a joy, and he did impress me. He looked back to his gutsy self and will have come on an awful lot from that run. In terms of one at a big price he certainly looks a worthwhile bet, with Nicky Henderson’s stable jockey on board a huge positive.
In what is definitely a wide open race, I find it difficult to go against last year’s JLT Novices' Chase winner – BENEFFICIENT. He’s a consistent type who always finds plenty for pressure, and of course he has that crucial solid course form. Of the others, with HUNT BALL back on home turf he’ll relish a battle at Cheltenham, and looks to offer good each-way value.
BENEFFICIENT (WIN) (7/2 Coral)
HUNT BALL (E/W) (25/1 BetVictor)
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